Democratic Debate #1 (Las Vegas): Clinton, Sanders, O’Malley, Chafee, and Webb

“I tell you it’s wonderful to be here, man. I don’t give a damn who wins or loses. It’s just wonderful to be here with you people…” — Hunter Thompson Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Festivities begin at 8:30PM on CNN; here’s the live stream. Bob from Legal suggests, by which I mean demands, that I should never recommend that anybody drink, let alone drive, not even after a Presidential debate. (And you, you kids. Get outta Dad’s liquor cabinet!) That said, there are some OK #DemDebate drinking games from Alternet, Newsweek, International Business Times, and Time, not to mention those that NC readers themselves came up with this morning. However, most of the drinking games this round seem uninspired to me; it’s almost as if they’re designed to get you, reader, hammered, as opposed to getting you hammered by calling out in advance, with superb accuracy, the tropes that are mostly likely to be used in the debate.

The #DemDebate bingo cards are much better. Here are four of the best (and others at the Daily Iowan and CNN itself). Some of the Tweet images aren’t full size; click once on the image to get to Twitter, and then click again on the image in Twitter, to get a full size view.

From Vox:

From the Los Angeles Times:

From Harvard’s Institute of Politics:

From the Dallas Democrats:

Notice how the farther away you get to the Beltway, the more the actual policy issues come to the fore? The Dallas Democrats card is the only one to mention TPP. Ditto climate. Interestingly, however, both Vox and Dallas Democrats (“Break up the the banks,” and “Reform Wall Street”) target the FIRE sector.

There’s also something to be said about how two ironic meta-tropes — both drinking games and bingo cards are tropes for structuring and aggregating tropes — came to represent the discourse of the political class so well, but that is a topic for another time.

Finally, here are some live blogs:

* * *

As promised, here are some of my favorite tweets in the run-up to tonight’s Las Vegas broadcast:

Sadly, that loveable goof Joe Biden hasn’t milked the death of his son enough seen the other candidates damage each other enough decided to get into the race, and as of this writing won’t be debating tonight. (His PAC will, however, grace us with an ad immediately beforehand.) But CNN is prepared for a surprise appearance:

I love the carpet. It reminds me of Versailles. And then there’s this:

And this:

Why, it’s almost like kayfabe‘s Face vs. Heel trope, isn’t it?

Finally, “7 Democratic Presidential Candidates As Represented by Sandwiches” from Food and Wine. Sanders: Bánh mì. Clinton: Subway.

[A Subway] sandwich will change however it must to suit your interests. You want meatballs? It’ll deliver meatballs. You want teriyaki chicken? You got it. Don’t like eating yoga mats? Gosh, sorry about that. Bread recipe: changed! It may not be the best sandwich you’ve had, but hey: It’s everywhere, and no matter what, you know you’re going to get stuck ordering this one.

Maybe. But maybe not!

NOTE Readers, I hope you’ll contribute your own reactions and hot takes as the debate proceeds. I can’t do a proper live blog because I have other tasks at hand tonight — besides pounding my head on my desk, that is — but I will check in frequently. I’ll also be listening — I really hope I don’t have to watch — the CNN feed, just so I don’t miss anything ZOMG!!!!!

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Daryl

    I’ll recommend my own personal safe drinking game, which is drinking Sleepytime Extra tea and using a blood pressure monitor that automatically switches the TV to basketball if it detects a hypertensive crisis.

    The Time one was a real hoot, though.

  2. Lambert Strether Post author

    Wasserman-Schultz* just played a canned message from Obama. There’s a reason I never listen to this stuff.

    * Somebody was looking for synonyms for odious. Vile? Repellent? Execrable?

    1. abynormal

      was he trying to be cool, jock, joker…Paaathetic free labor ‘work-harder’ poke

      “Let us toast to animal pleasures, to escapism, to rain on the roof and instant coffee, to unemployment insurance and library cards, to absinthe and good-hearted landlords, to music and warm bodies and contraceptives… and to the “good life”, whatever it is and wherever it happens to be.”
      HST, The Proud Highway: Saga of a Desperate Southern Gentleman ha

      1. Praedor

        My particular fave. Fun to say, so very accurately descriptive, fairly rare in use. Broadly applicable.

  3. Lambert Strether Post author

    Amazing to hear the intro done testestorone-heavy sports announcer-style…

    All the trappings of a sports event. Artificially pumped up crowd. Cheering. Star-Spangled Banner. Ick.

    Somehow I feel the League of Women voters didn’t do it that way.

    1. ks

      They still run some debates. Back when I voted in Cupertino I watched two city council election debates, one run by the Chamber of Commerce and one by the League of Women Voters. The former somehow facilitated canned responses but the League event was sober, the questions intelligent and candidates were forced to think on their feet. Truly informative, which is Wasserman-Schultz et al’s nightmare.

    1. passiton

      Thank you for this comment. Don’t watch TV much anymore … so I’m utterly shocked at the intro. Is this a debate between the candidates for President of the U.S., or a sporting event?

      1. Massinissa

        The only thing it missed that sporting events have is the part where everyone chants USA! USA! really loudly. Or did I miss that part? I didnt see the whole thing.

      1. ambrit

        Did CNN show Hillarys facial reaction to the Sanders “Applause Asault?”
        As if any more proof were needed to show whose pockets CNN is in.

        1. abynormal

          i saw many Hillary (wide range progressive but) tics…i did most of the debate, Waldo style (watch/mute).

          “The more identities a man has, the more they express the person they conceal.”
          le carre/tinker, tailor, soldier, Spy

          1. ambrit

            Watching it without sound is a good idea. We pretty much know the talking points by now. Body language and facial cues do tell a ‘realer’ story than mere words.

  4. 3.17e-9

    Maybe I’m biased, but the 3-second clips of candidates sure don’t favor Hillary. I mean, Bernie is talking issues, and Hillary invokes Trump’s hair?

    1. BEast

      I think her point was that the other Republicans aren’t that different than the Donald on the substance.

  5. IowanX

    Thanks for this, Lambert! Where’s Larry Lessig? Thank goodness we need to hear the National Anthem by Cheryl Crowe, + commercials of social responsibility and greenwashing. CNN and the DNC showcasing talents!

  6. grayslady

    Chafee and O’Malley shook hands very cordially. Sanders and Clinton shook hands very briefly–like boxers touching gloves before a bout.

  7. cwaltz

    Don’t forget REPUBLICAN Chaffee. You may be to the left of crazytown now but so is anyone who still has brains.

    Webb, I served under Reagan……..NEXT.

  8. 3.17e-9

    Hillary says she’s a progressive. But no, she won’t say just anything to get elected. Oh, no.

      1. 3.17e-9


        One of the reasons I’m here and not at our local Bernie community’s debate party is that the loud-mouthed, control-freak, prima donna who has taken over the group put a ban on snark. We received an e-mail this morning saying that several new people were going to be at the party, and Bernie supporters shouldn’t look overzealous but reasonable and respectful. Sounds an awful lot like censorship to me. I think I’d rather have the snark, even if it was aimed at my candidate.

          1. 3.17e-9


            But what’s really troubling is that this group is supporting a candidate calling for people to take back their democracy, and yet not one of them has challenged the lack of democracy within the group. I used to belong and raised these issues, but everyone else was trying to be “polite” and left me out on a limb, the lone voice of dissent.

            So it was great to have this forum. Thanks to NC and Lambert!!

      1. BEast

        Shee-iiit, if that’s the cost for a faux pas, this blog is too rich for my blood.

        (Sort of OT, but when I hear NPR talking about $100 contributions, I want to call them up and ask them if they know what they’re asking for, and how it relates to the lives of regular people.)

        1. abynormal

          touche! have you ever seen an NC thread blow up from comments with ‘tests’? Lambert was setting up to go Live, all cylinders banging. this belle jumped in with a reminder…THIS AIN’T NPR and the MIC IS NOT OURS TO TEST.

          Beautiful Job Lambert

          1. low_integer

            “Perhaps you’ll be the first to approach this. Who’s the realest?
            You might never get another chance to catch the illest.
            Before they find out who’s the realest, the name, the name unforgetable.
            Perhaps you’ll be the first to approach this. Who’s the realest?
            You’ll never see eye to eye with the likes of us ’cause we’re too damn technical.
            Who’s the realest?
            The illest claims respect”

            I’m all for the high standards of NC being upheld.

    1. downunderer

      Nope. I tried before the start, after the start, and just now, and got no more content than a couple of ads. That would be a tempting looking Samsung TV, if I hadn’t quit TV years ago.

      And that was after I told NoScript to temporarily allow all javascript sources on the page to do their thing. That got a list too long to fit on the screen, which appeared in three waves, with each new batch of permittees bringing along another bunch that needed their own temporary permissions.

      But still no live feed, just promises surrounding a black screen patch.

      So I revoked temp permissions and here I am again.

      I suppose that none of the sponsors (except maybe Samsung) cares whether their ads are seen on this side of the equator and dateline. Or their sales pitches are so carefully tuned to the American psyche that it’s a waste to send them elsewhere. So why give away any service?

  9. aliteralmind

    Bernies passion and anger is palpable, but I feel like he actually needs to calm himself down. Like he’s coming across as straining himself, and endangering his health.

    1. 3.17e-9

      Yeah, I have to agree. OTOH, people complained that in a recent issues video he did, he seemed too rigid, like he was reading from a script.

      1. Some Guy

        A throwaway comment, maybe, but this is exactly right. The wildcard is that TV is exiting stage right (if you will), and the internet is not cool.

    2. Goyo Marquez

      I love it. This is serious business. There are serious problems it’s not time for a bunch of political namby pambying.

  10. BEast

    Good for Anderson Cooper for pressing the candidates on their spiels.

    All of them have their spiels down. If one didn’t know better, one might believe they’re all good people primarily interested in serving the people of this country.

  11. Kim Kaufman

    In drag queen parlance, Hillary got there early in the afternoon to beat that face. In other words it looks like she’s got about an inch of pancake on her face and neck.

    1. BEast

      Let’s not talk about female candidates’ appearances:

      [T]there is research that suggests even mentioning a female politician’s looks in the media – regardless of whether it is in a positive or a negative light – can hurt her campaign. One study, using fictional candidates, found that when potential voters read a news article containing a positive, negative or even neutral description of a female candidate, the respondents were less likely to want to vote for her. A similar effect was not found for the fictional male candidate.

      “It has a detrimental effect on taking a woman candidate seriously,” says Dittmar. “It raises different expectations and stereotypes.”

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        Yeah, Dukakis in a tank begs to differ.

        One issue is men have developed a standard uniform over the years which was standardized by the 20’s. I imagine appearance was the topic of discussion in the 19th century. Quite a bit was made of Davy Crockett, Jackson, Van Buren, Madison’s height, etc.

        Women still don’t have a set uniform, and this is a major factor to the appearance game.

  12. wanderindiana

    Nothing any candidate says or does from this point on will take my vote away from Bernie Sanders. I remember commenting in a Sanders diary at the orange satanism years ago that if he ran, he’d have my money and my support. He has a monthly stream from me and I speak his name when the opportunity arises.

          1. Praedor

            Indeed. Kos is split personality. It is both hardcore establishment Democrat, but also has fringes of progressive, [i]real[/i] issues and concerns. They don’t always play well together. Kos/GOS

        1. wanderindiana

          I love it! Exactly. Spellcheck changed satan to satanism and I dropped the great because, well, it is not so great…

  13. 3.17e-9

    For being a former secretary of state, HRC isn’t coming across as any more knowledgeable on foreign policy.

    1. Massinissa

      Them damn Communists start Unionizing the minute they walk into the room! Someone call Joe McCarthy, quick!!


  14. Bunk McNulty

    I’m sorry, I can’t watch any more of this. How does this inane performance get to generate anything other than contempt? Politics as sporting event. We’re so exceptional.

    1. ks

      Letting people clap and cheer contributes greatly to the circus atmosphere. Give the debates back to the League of Women Voters and broadcast them commercial-free, without the colored lights and moronic moderators.

      1. John Zelnicker

        ks – Yes, please. The League always did great debates. And they actually know how to be non-partisan.

  15. petal

    The Guardian’s feed seems very pro-Clinton and anti-Sanders, and are making it out that she is mopping the floor with him. Is that really the case, watchers? Also, is the panel not challenging her like they are challenging the others?

    1. 3.17e-9

      The Guardian has been pro-Clinton from Day 1 and will do whatever they can to spin her as the winner. And it is spin. I read some of the tweets they featured that supposedly were “bad reviews” on gun control. I didn’t see it that way at all.

      1. petal

        Thanks, guys. Much appreciated. Cheers. I can’t bear to watch this stuff-it would crush what tiny little shards are left of the dreams for my future.

    1. Massinissa

      Theres 4 men and one woman.

      If you were to say ‘her’ statements, we would know who youre talking about, but otherwise, you need to drop a name. Thanks.

  16. aliteralmind

    Bernie’s awesome but old, Hillary’s a bought and sold unfeeling robot but smart, Webb is a whiny weenie, Chafee is creepy, and O’Malley is…I don’t even know, but something very off-putting.

    1. Massinissa

      Bought-and-Paid Corporate Shill is the term youre looking for. Right?

      In fact, that would work for four of the candidates, maybe even five if youre cynical enough. I think I might be.

        1. Massinissa

          Nah, I guess I wouldnt use those words. Would be sort of unfair, to be honest. I was just making a joke.

    1. Blue Floridian

      Wish I had seen this comment last night . It would have improved my view of humanity.Chafee mentioned perpetual war in closing but failed to talk about it elsewhere.

    1. cwaltz

      Well technically they did. However, they did so after we managed to help overturn the government over there and they did so in order to enforce a contract.

      1. tawal

        They have a military base. And Crimea had a plebiscite. Maybe the choices were not best worded like poll questions, but a large majority have cultural ties to Russia.

        1. cwaltz

          Yes, they have a base but they also brought in lots and lots of people to ensure they kept control of that base. Don’t blame them a bit for it by the way. Strategically, I doubt we would have done differently if a foreign nation liberated somewhere we considered strategically important.

          1. Yves Smith

            Russia was permitted to move more troops into the base by treaty. No evidence they exceeded treaty limits prior to the vote for secession, which IIRC Russia accepted ten days or so after the vote. You can argue the the vote was illegitimate, as if California or Catalonia voted to secede, but if you accept the vote, you can’t pin misconduct on Putin. And here we are backing a government in Kiev that staged a coup and overturned the constitution when an election was mere six weeks away…..

            1. ambrit

              That six weeks gives the game away. One would have to think that civil war was the intention all along. Otherwise, wait for the election, then, if your side doesn’t win, engineer the coup.

            2. Watt4Bob

              Let’s pause here to remember that America’s turn at the Viet Nam War started more or less the same way, to avoid a scheduled election that Ho Chi Minh was sure to win, and which would have unified the north and south.

      2. Jim

        How, technically? The Russian military was already there; the population of Crimea was overwhelmingly in favor of reuniting with Russia; and it was a decision by Khrushchev to reassign Crimea from Russia to Ukraine when both were part of the Soviet Union – when Crimea had been part of Russia for hundreds of years. On all accounts, the Crimean decision to reunite with Russia is far sounder, legally, than what the US did in Kosovo. Neither Bernie Sanders nor anyone else in political office in the US has a leg to stand on.

          1. Christopher Fay

            CNN on Ukraine is about as accurate as Fox on anything. Fox/CNN: all the truth you need to know

          2. Massinissa

            Masked gunmen shooting, but no dead bodies? Impressive!

            I wish America could do more invasions like that! An invasion with lots of shooting but no dead bodies, who woulda thunk?!

      3. Jagger

        Russia didn’t invade the Crimea. Their major black sea port was located in the Crimea. Troops were already there via treaty. Although they did allow/hold a succession election which is probably not particularly kosher.

        1. cwaltz

          They brought in MORE troops to make sure they maintained control. Don’t blame them. Doubt we would have done it differently had it been us.

      4. Praedor

        Russia TOOK BACK their Crimea after a local vote strongly supported going BACK to Russia.

        Crimea had ALWAYS been Russia, not Ukraine. Only under Kruschev did Crimea get unceremoniously handed to Ukraine as reward for some reason. The Crimeans were not asked, they did not seek to be part of Ukraine, if done today such a handover would not be recognized as legit by the world. Crimea was taken BACK by its original owner: Russia. You cannot invade your own territory.

      1. cwaltz

        Since the victors write the history books more often than not I’m sure you are right.

        As far as I’m concerned Russia was just responding to our screwing around in Ukraine anyway. Can’t exactly say we had the moral high ground when you have members of our country installed in the Ukrainian government.

        1. low_integer

          The situation became complicated after the coup that installed Poroshenko, as before this Russia had some sort of informal agreement with Ukraine that they could keep leasing the area their base was located on indefinitely. When that agreement became threatened by the (possibly illegitimate) new government, Russia made their move.

          1. cwaltz

            Yep. From a military strategy standpoint I completely agreed with their decision. I doubt our puppets would have let them remain on the base had it not been secured by their military.

            1. low_integer

              I think we agree on this, however I will just say that ‘military strategy’ is a spectrum, and having antagonistic opposition installed on one’s border puts Russia’s move at a different end of the spectrum than many US endeavours imo.

              Being an Australian though, it is possibly worse what we are doing. It is one thing to be on the wrong side of military-based conquest, it is another to be the country eagerly trying to please those on that wrong side. Really, neither is excusable.

              1. abynormal

                good gawd…your an Aussie? no ponder you buy into mannered belle’s. i’m a Wince’r Belle. tickle tickle ‘)

                “As she gracefully descended down portico, the white gloved hand of the lady of the estate met the white-glove worn by a Negro footman, as a vast expanse of hoop skirt filled the carriage doorway. It was a skirt of fine white lawn with ruffles embroidered with little pink and blue flowers complete with green stems. The white trash girl looked on in amazement, involuntarily wincing at the thought of the long hours plantation slave seamstresses had devoted to decorating a dress that might only be worn a half dozen times and survive as many launderings.”
                Gwen Bistrow

                1. low_integer

                  “Wisdom is better than silver and gold
                  I was hopeless now I’m on Hope Rd.
                  Every man wanna act like he’s exempt,
                  need to get down on his knees and repent.
                  Can’t slick talk on the day of judgement,
                  their movement similar to a serpent.
                  Tryin’ to play straight how your whole style bent?
                  Consequence is no coincidence.
                  Hypocrites always want to play innocent.
                  Always want to take it to the full out extent.
                  Always want to make it seem like good intent.
                  Never want to face it when it’s time for punishment.
                  I know that you don’t wanna hear my opinion,
                  but there come many paths and you must choose one.
                  And if you don’t change then the rain soon come.
                  See you might win some but you just lost one.”

                  For you, not at you.

    2. ks

      Foreign policy is Sanders’ biggest weakness, but he at least wouldn’t be beholden to war profiteers. His effectiveness would depend entirely on his choice of advisers. Carter made a major mistake in choosing Brzezinski and it worries me that Sanders might show a similar lack of judgement, but since Clinton is a war-monger and O’Malley untrustworthy, there’s no better option.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I wouldn’t call Brzenski a mistake. Malice and gross incompetence spring to mind. Carter was bright enough to recognize his actions and be held accountable for them. From tax cuts to the wealthy, union stomping, to his foreign policy, the Simpsons line about Carter being history’s greatest monster was more on the point than anyone intended.

        1. neo-realist

          Not a tie w/ Bush/Cheney for history’s greatest monster(s) since they committed similar offenses?

  17. cwaltz

    Anderson Cooper to democratic candidates- As President who will you all bomb and utilize as a reason to continue to give funds to the MIC?

      1. 3.17e-9

        He is light on foreign policy, but I wouldn’t say he sucks. Most presidential candidates coming from the Senate or from state governerships aren’t fully versed on foreign policy. It’s big OJT. Hopefully he will appoint good people. My biggest concern is whether he will get rid of the neocons at State.

        1. cwaltz

          I heard nothing in his spiel that made me think he’d govern differently on foreign policy. I saw absolutely no acknowledgement that we essentially had unilaterally decided to change regimes in Syria or that Russia’s action is a direct result of our actions.

          1. NotTimothyGeithner

            It’s unlikely he would retain as many neocons as Obama who ultimately drove the policies in Syria, Libya, and Ukraine. After all, promises were being made about Western support for rebellions and coups by someone. The GNC in Libya wasn’t a long suffering guerilla outfit but elites within the Gaddafi regime with the ability and money to travel abroad. Who organized them? 43 holdover Obama allowed to stay and listened to.

            1. Massinissa

              I dunno man. I didnt expect Obama to have Neocons everywhere in his staff, but he did.

              Still, the focus is on the term ‘less likely’, which is not the same as impossible, so I agree, its less likely for Sanders to do that.

              1. 3.17e-9

                Correct. They are so deeply embedded that it’s not even evident they’re there. Victoria “F– the E.U.” Nuland was there through Republican and Democrat presidencies.

              2. NotTimothyGeithner

                I was never much of an Obama fan and thought he KY spouted mainstream conventional wisdom on his good days. Mostly I was surprised he wouldn’t want more loyalists around rather than aparatiks of the previous administration.

                You might try rereading Obama’s more prominent speeches if you have a strong stomach. Except for a few broad generalizations, there isn’t much there. Much of his race speech sounded like it was lifted from a Cosby rant mixed around a story about Michelle’s father sending his kids to college when school was cheaper and he had a good paying government job.

                There is a reason Tea Partiers were lifting from Obama. He was so darn generic.

          2. 3.17e-9

            He said he doesn’t want U.S. troops sent to war. No boots on the ground. That means no more Iraqs or Afghanistans.

            He said the U.S. shouldn’t be the world’s police and that we should not be taking unilateral action. So he wouldn’t have gone in and bombed Syria.

            He took issue with Clinton’s position that there should be a no-fly zone over Syria. He rightfully said that doing so would create very serious problems. Yeah, like WWIII.

            For more, check out the “War and Peace” page on his senate web site.

            1. cwaltz

              I’m not a big fan of bombing the crap out of things from the air with drones or aircraft so Bernie is still to the right of me on foreign policy.

              The answer to the no fly zone question was probably one of his more sane responses on foreign policy though.

      2. sd

        Frankly, I’d like a president who spent a little less time on “foreign policy” and a little more time on domestic.

  18. sleepy

    Chafee is the most reasonable and restrained on foreign policy.. Sanders says war should be a last resort, but says he supports Obama’s war in Syria.

    1. jonf

      I think he blew it there. First he describes the cluster***k and then continues on to endorse it all.

    2. Ulysses

      And kudos to Governor Chafee for mentioning the bombing of the hospital in Kunduz and dronings of weddings, etc.!!

  19. ekstase

    Bernie on climate change, good.

    Feel like I need a break here. Looking for the nuggets of real is hard.

  20. grayslady

    Does anyone else think that Bernie is the only one on stage who doesn’t sound like a war hawk?

    1. cwaltz

      I personally thought he was more hawkish than I’d like. Is it a deal breaker for me at this point? No.

    2. Massinissa

      Eh, Chaffee, for all his faults, didnt really send any Warhawk bells for me.

      The other three? They all want our F-15s to play Top Gun with Russian MiGs…

  21. Jagger

    Bernie Sanders is saying the right things on middle east foreign policy but not so much on Russia. He cites Global Warming as our greatest threat. My doubts on Sanders are starting to diminish. None of the others are impressive at all.

  22. Q.C.

    I dunno, it seems the people in the room want to fight climate change by the cheers tonight, in spite of all the near-term middle-east threat talk… I’m actually a little surprised by that.

    1. Praedor

      Obama made that promise. Her words are useless. She chose to run her own email server precisely to avoid, as much as possible, transparency. I get her desire to hold it all close to the vest given the way Congress handles Clintons but still, it was an attempt to be only as transparent at the most minimal level she could get away with.

      She cannot be trusted.

  23. Lee

    I thought Obama lost Syria. Or was it Bush? Whatever. The less ground we have to win or lose in that sand trap the better.

  24. SoCal rhino

    So far I thought highlight was Bernie saying we need to mobilize people to retake control of our govenrnment. When he says it, sounds like he’s ready to lead the troops into the Bastille. Like people thought Obama meant to do. Only like for real this time.

    He does sadly seem sucky on foreign policy. Maybe some BLM matters folks can school him on this.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      One issue is he needs low info voters still who won’t take kindly to bashing Obama on foreign policy. It’s unfortunate but true, no matter how unhinged the President sounds in recent days.

    1. aliteralmind

      Wish he went farther with the symbolism and history of the phrase (what it stands for), but yes, good.

    2. optimader

      The correct answer is Black lives matter as much as everyone else’s lives, and this is presently a fundamental injustice that needs to be corrected in this society.

  25. aliteralmind

    “Enough with the damn emails!” just won Bernie the night. Gracious to his top opponent, and speaks to the raw shallowness of the media.

    1. ambrit

      I disagree. The Clinton e-mail server affair clearly exposes the ladies’ utter contempt for the rule of law. This is the big ‘character’ stick with which to beat her over the head with.
      Bernie needs to realize that he’s facing the kinds of people who will literally kill to win. there is no Gentlebeings’ Corner in this race. Go for the jugular Bernie!

      1. Praedor

        It wasn’t illegal, Obama has clearly stated so as well as other legal heads. What she did was not illegal but it was ill-advised, stupid, short-sighted, and ended up running counter to her obvious intentions to keep her communications NON-transparent. It was a political mistake.

        1. ambrit

          As legal as all the other previously non-legal things he’s approved of; such as drone strikes on wedding parties and non-prosecution of financial frauds.
          The case can be made that, since the Secretary of State deals with Classified materials on a daily basis, exposing said Classified materials to disclosure to foreign governments through a shoddy e-mail system can be construed as treason; at the least, criminal negligence. Secondarily, her mixing up of personal and public communications was a huge blunder. What happens when a historian wants to read her private messages, for whatever reason, and is denied access under the official secrets laws? (Could this have been a motivation from the start?)

  26. Jagger

    Sanders missed a point on the emails. One set of rules for the powerful and another set for the everyday man. Anybody but Clinton would very well be going to jail for what she did.

        1. Steven D.

          The email issue isn’t going away. No need for Bernie to stoke it. He was right to take the high road.

          1. Code Name D

            But he needs to avoid the back-handed complements too. Or he risks getting tainted by Clintion’s e-mail scandal. I am not sure he understands why this is a big deal and why this is not going away.

            Clintion keeps going on and on about how she followed the law and didn’t violate any regulations. She doesn’t understand that her defense is part of her own indictment.

            As it was already said, laws don’t exist for people like Clinton who are given special privileges above those of mere mortal men.

            But it also speaks to Clintion’s trustworthiness. When ever you hide away from sunlight, people can’t help but become suspicious. That she did nothing wrong is besides the point – the point is we have no way of knowing and just have to take her word for it. That’s not how trust works.

            Sanders has done well to take the high road. But at some point he is going to have to call Clinton out on both her record and on her activities.

      1. 3.17e-9

        A CNN reporter (sorry, didn’t get his name) who interviewed Sanders after the debates asked why he handed the gift to Hillary. Without hesitating, he said, “Because it was the right thing to do.” He added something to the effect that the issue is being addressed in an investigation, and that’s where it belonged. And besides that, he said, it’s true; voters want a serious discussion of the issues, and the e-mail is a distraction.

        Sometimes I think Bernie makes too much sense. People without critical thinking skills need a black-and-white answer in 140 characters or less.

        1. ambrit

          As I mentioned just above, I’m of the opinion that the e-mail server issue is of paramount importance. First, it displays all of Clintons’ bad characteristics. Second, it shows the low ethics of the “Official” politicians in play. Third, even if through surrogates, the DNC is going to sooner or later attack Sanders in the basest ways imaginable. He is a threat to the Establishments’ standard bearer. Fourth, which ‘voters’ does Sanders think he really needs to win over? If one is to run a populist campaign, then run one, and hard. This is politics. No Quarter.

          1. James Levy

            No quarter ethics-free politics leads to no quarter, ethics-free governance. You don’t switch off your moral compass when you run then switch it back on when you take office. Once it’s gone, it’s gone, regardless of what Hilary did or did not do. She is object lesson #1 in never taking the high road or acting morally or with gentlemanly restraint. And that’s why we don’t want her anywhere near the Oval Office.

            1. ambrit

              I’ll try and respond. All wars, at the ground level, are exercises in evil. Leaders try to frame the evil in terms of “higher purpose.” This is both a disguise for the evil, and a partial justification for said evil. At the ‘higher’ levels of responsibility, a double mindedness develops. To the extent that ‘leadership’ can institutionalize this double mindedness, the regime has a chance of functioning in a partially ethical manner. History, (I feel you of all people here can appreciate this,) is a compendium of horror stories leavened with a yeast of positive aspirations. I may be too cynical an observer but, first, the reformers must seize control of the forces driving the culture. This includes the association with and enabling of some evils. The difficult part, I freely admit, is to resist the allure of the internalization of the evil. Glamour, the older definition of this word, is the best fit I can find for this, to steal from Conrad, “fascination of the abomination.” The extent to which the leadership can maintain some degree of ethical conduct in the midst of the rot is the real definition of “Leadership.”
              To use a Christian religious image; Yeshua was the Prophet, while Paul was the Vicar.

            2. Ulysses

              Well said!

              Hillary Clinton, in the end, will expose her own smarminess far more effectively than anyone else.
              (reply to James Levy)

    1. Massinissa

      Didnt you know? Grown black men and women dying doesnt matter.

      Sort of like how babies dont matter unless theyre still in the womb. Common sense!


      1. Q.C.

        No the racist militant police state isn’t the issue for H – it’s just education that’s the problem… sure.

  27. Chuck Roast

    I’m not trying to be rude, but Lincoln Chaffee looks kind of like Mortimer Snerd. Kind of like HIll’s puppet.

    1. Massinissa

      So, is Hillary Nixon and Bernie Eisenhower? Because I like that comparison. Except for maybe being a bit too charitable for Sanders. And also for being unfair to Nixon.

      1. Massinissa

        He meant ideologically. Anyway Jews in congress arnt really anything new are they? I guess one running for president is still pretty unusual I guess.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      And now she says she’s not running for President because of her last name.

      But technically, she’s right. She’s running for President because of her husband’s first name.

    2. Praedor

      Blessed with great insider connections, blessed with VERY loose ethics so you are ALL willing to break various laws and regulations to get rich.

      Blessed indeed.

    1. Massinissa

      “Cut it out, Wall Street! I have wet spaghetti noodles and Im going to use them! And if that doesnt work, I will use *cue the Spanish Inquisition* THE COMFY CHAIR!”

      Yep, Hillary gonna tell Wall Street off right and good, sure as sure!

      1. Bunk McNulty

        “I knew Bob Rubin. Bob Rubin was a friend of mine. You, sir, are no Bob Rubin. And by golly, Bob Rubin is a friend of mine. Right now.”

    2. BEast

      Really? If anything, Clinton going to the banksters and telling them to “cut it out” in 2007 shows how little such remonstrations matter. Did they cut it out? No. Of course not. The fact that Clinton could put that forward as a positive doesn’t speak that well of either Clinton or Congress.

  28. schultzzz

    hillary; i can honestly say that i agree with sanders and o’malley that talking about big banks is effective as a campaign ploy!!

  29. Adam1

    Interesting that Clinton is pushing the “shadow banking” problem as more than just the big banks. Sounds like a good way to put a lot of effort on something other than actually breaking up the biggest banks.

    1. Massinissa

      “We can kill off some of the lesser competition of our Too Big To Fail buddies and call it a day. The public is too dumb to tell the difference.”

      1. Adam1

        Shadow banking is performing banking functions, primarily lending, outside of the traditional regulated depository framework. An institution which accepts traditional deposits must be chartered as such and is subject to state and federal regulations. Shadow banks operate outside of this depository structure.

        1. Massinissa

          I know China has tons of banks that work outside the structure, and they have a huge Shadow Banking problem, but is that really a big thing in the US? I thought most of the corrupt banking practices in this country were legal.

          Either way, even if there IS Shadow Banking in the USA, it still feels like Hillary is using it as a way to deflect blame from Goldman Sachs and friends.

        2. BEast

          Okay, but that’s part of what they were doing leading to the 2008 crash — using these newfangled tools to create the “wall of liquidity” that undervalued risk and gave them all more credit to play with than they or their supposed insurers (a collateralized debt obligation is form of unregulated insurance) could actually back up.

        3. John Zelnicker

          @Adam1 – It also includes money market funds, hedge funds and so on that take in investors money and issue credit in some form or other, e.g., repo transactions.

    1. Massinissa

      “Shadow Banking” is when small banks do bad things.

      When big banks do bad things, we call it “creating jobs”, and when they start to collapse, we give them a bailout so they can “create more jobs”.

  30. Lambert Strether Post author

    I followed Clinton closely (as a supporter, I might add) and the financial crisis in 2008, and I don’t recall Clinton going to Wall Street to jawbone the banks on foreclosure. I don’t think much of her five-point plan. And I haven’t heard anybody else but Clinton saying that shadow banking is the issue.

    1. BEast

      Lambert, having recently read Yves’s book, I was under the impression that shadow banking = credit default swaps and collateralized debt obligations as done by the big banks was a big part of the problem. Am I mistaken?

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        In my understanding, it’s the derivatives that caused the problem. Shadow banking also includes perfectly normal business activities, like laundering drug money.

  31. optimader

    I just watched some one explode blaming a vote on his father, he should go catch a cab right now before the rush, go to his hotel, skip the blackjack table tonight and just wipe out the minibar laying in bed in his underware.

    1. BEast

      Worse, he said *twice* that he was appointed for his first term in Congress. Yes, your father died. Very sad. But you really wanna harp on having gotten your first national position without an election?

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        The 2000 election was between two local councilmen (if they were lucky; 43 would probably in prison with 3 strikes laws) if not for daddy.

        1. BEast

          Sure, but as far as I know neither of them got their first position in national politics as a direct inheritance without an election.

    1. david

      She has caveats and word games for every subject – she is stalking Social Security with her code words, banks get a free ride, TTP will be enforced by her, more waaar, pharma has a lock on her vote

    1. Massinissa

      Gee, cant be! We all thought she was genuine, back in 1992 when Bill was running!


      (Note: if this sounded rude I apologize. This is supposed to be a joke and not insult you in any way)

    1. Massinissa

      Hey, how many hours did Chelsea work during the week when she was in school?

      Then again, she may have been doing a bunch of hours working for NGOs…

      Hillary was talking about college students right?

    2. Carla

      Re: the Clinton plan for working one’s way through college.

      Let’s see. 10 hours a week at $8.00 an hour. That’s $80/week x 40 weeks a year, let’s say, = $3200/year. Then add summer work. Let’s be very optimistic and say our sample student can get 40 hours of work for 12 weeks of the summer. At $8/hr., that’s another $3,840. We’re up to a whopping $7,040 for the year.

      Tuition, room and board at a state university comes to about $20,000 per year. Also, room and board are not provided during the summer. Maybe the student can live with mom or dad while working during the summer.

      But perhaps the student needs clothing, the occasional haircut, bus fare (a car is completely out of the question), a lap top or other computing device, a fucking cup of coffee now and then (Forget social life, recreation–those luxuries are beyond reach). How should we budget for those “incidentals”? Maybe another $3,000 a year? So for a four-year program at a state school, we’re talking $92,000.

      So subtracting the student’s 4-year earnings of $28,160 from the 4-year expenditure of $92,000, our hypothetical young person only has to come up with $63,840 from — somewhere else — or s/he has to borrow it at interest.

      And all of this for a four-year degree that as Senator Sanders points out really has the worth of a high school diploma of 40-50 years ago.

      But WAIT — I forgot, we have to subtract Social Security, Medicare and state and local income taxes from all of those 8 dollarses (presumably, someone grossing $7000 a year does not have to pay federal income tax in this most permissive of countries)… Oh, I’m too tired now.

      1. Zach Braff

        I finished college not long ago, and I was a “work study kid.” It’s not just the money, it’s the hours: I went to a small private school (2-3k enrollment, and growing) in a post-industrial college town, and there weren’t enough work study jobs for the minority of us who were looking for them (idk how many kids, 200 seems like an upper bound w/ a healthy margin).

        Although most kids didn’t do work study, virtually all of us had (crushing!) loans, so if work study were a requirement for her “debt-free” plan, you might expect ~2k kids looking for 10hr/week employment, which would be the equivalent of 400 full time jobs. Where are those jobs coming from, exactly? There are only a handful of public institutions in that town where we did odd jobs that wouldn’t be filled otherwise: YMCA, local historical society.. can’t think of any others. Any other positions were done at the college.

        So at what point do you start cutting into the private sector, replacing jobs community members need w/ low wage, unskilled migrant workers (I mean college students)

        Our college was the biggest employer in that poor town – if you count contracted food service, custodial firms, etc. – and, excepting teaching faculty and administrators (who always come from outside the community), I can’t imagine they employ 500 people.

        A lot of thorny class issues going on here that seem to be universally ignored in discussions of Hillary’s plan — it sucks to have to wear a bow tie and wait on your richer peers, speaking from experience; on a deeper level, the divide between campus and community was bad enough; if the campus employed virtually nobody, it might be psychically unbearable.

    1. Massinissa

      You expected any differently? Is it really all that different from her lame old Bill Clinton era proposals? To my knowledge, that wasnt Single Payer either was it?

  32. Q.C.

    Outed: Hillary is a new old Republican — the States want, if the States agree… she sounds further right of Obama on immigration and health care, whatever she may say (recall that Obama pushed for more then caved).

    1. Massinissa

      Shes right at home with former republican Chaffee and former Reagan staffer Jim Webb.

      Quite frankly though, IMHO Chaffee seems farther left than Hillary… Which isnt saying much…

      1. cwaltz

        And even his answers was less than acceptable. Snowden broke the law by telling us the government was breaking the law and therefore should be punished. Hillary Clinton brought home her server from the State Dept = okay

        1. Jagger

          Good point. Missed a couple opportunites to point out different rules for different people based on who they are.

  33. optimader

    He stole important information, I just archived it on personal hard drives, and have begrudgingly surrendered paper copies

      1. Praedor

        Snowden simply carried out one of Obama’s (undelivered) campaign promises: to run the most transparent Administration ever. Since Obama was clearly dragging his feet (never intended to go through with it), Snowden decided to carry out the promise himself.

        Thank you Snowden. You deserve the Medal of Freedom.

      1. BEast

        Agreed — there’s a lot of room between “hero” and “traitor”.

        Anyone else notice that most of the candidates didn’t have to directly answer the Black Lives Matter / all lives matter question?

    1. grayslady

      Clinton likes to continue to pretend that outside contractors are entitled to whistleblower protections. Pity no one from CNN or on the stage was willing to set her straight on that.

  34. 3.17e-9

    To Clinton: How would you be different than Obama?
    Clinton: I’m a woman.

    The scariest part is that there are people who actually think that’s a reason to vote for her.

      1. Steven D.

        Perfect opportunity for Bernie to talk about TPP. He has to bring it. Is he afraid of crossing Obusha?

        1. hunkerdown

          Did you forget under which Party’s banner he’s running? It’s the Party that wants TPP. Obama is happy with the credit (and the cash) for making it happen.

    1. Q.C.

      Am I the only one thinking Sanders is trying too hard to bring up Pope Francis? If the Papa went the other way, would it not be still a moral issue??

  35. Jagger

    General impressions so far. Three of them will go nowhere-stale, stiff, no passion, limited vision. Hillary is really smooth-an answer for anything…like a used car salesman or a politician. My first sense of Sanders is he may actually be a principled man…but then, that is what I thought about Obama back in 2008…so what do I know.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Well, Bernie actually has a record to look like. Unlike Obama in 2008. #JustSaying.

      Hillary is smooth. Shiny. It’s bizarre. I haven’t heard her talk so long, ever.

      Under Bush, I had to turn down the sound when he spoke.

      Then under Obama, the same thing, except worse.

      Do I really want to hear Clinton’s voice for four years?

      1. Q.C.

        I’m not keen on Bernie’s hybrid New York-New England voice either if we’re talking “Presidentiality”, but at least on policy I know where he stands…

        1. Bunk McNulty

          It’s his voice. He was born in Brooklyn in 1941, moved to Vermont in 1968. Would you like him better if he spoke like a news show host?

      2. Jagger

        True enough on a record. I was impressed to learn he voted against the Iraqi invasion. That took guts. I know I burned some bridges with some people by being outspoken against the invasion. As a politician, he was risking a lot more than I did.

        My impression is that Bernie Sanders may have some depth to his personality beyond a pure politician. Maybe he is a moral man. When is the last time we had a moral, principled man in the executive position?

        1. Massinissa

          To be fair, im impressed that Chaffee fellow was the ONLY REPUBLICAN to vote against it.

          Think Sanders was being ballsy? Think about what Chaffee had to go through from both parties and probably many of his own voters.

          Its not enough for me to vote for him out of pity or anything though.

      3. ks

        Obama had a record in Chicago, it was just hard to find. There were many warning signs about the guy that people chose to ignore. Helping to knock out Christine Cegelis in favor of Tammy Duckworth in the race for Henry Hyde’s congressional seat and reckless talk about bombing Pakistan being two of them.

        1. Praedor

          Bombing Pakistan would have been more in tune with reality than invading Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, wrecking Libya, Yemen, etc. Pakistan is where the Taliban are nurtured and grown. It is where they get supplies and intel. Pakistan is NOT an ally, is NOT a friend. Bombing it is closer to correct than incorrect.

          1. ks

            Yes, God forbid bombing wouldn’t be the first response to any conflict, especially one with a nuclear-armed country.

    1. ambrit

      I don’t know who or what Anna AF-1 is, but I have met several people over the years who used old deep fryer oil from fast food places to power their diesel trucks. Properly filtered, it works fine.

    1. Massinissa

      Chaffee was a republican most of his career and he is STILL to Webb’s left. Not by much mind you, but still.

      1. tawal

        So we have only 3 Democrats on the stage; or 2 since Bernie is an Independent. I see both parties going down in flames in 2 presidential election cycles.

        1. cwaltz

          From your lips to God’s ears.

          Both parties suck. I’m fairly certain the sooner they fade away the better off we’ll all be. At the very least it will mean the rich will need to come up with new and inventive ways to co opt the system.

        2. Massinissa

          Watch what you wish for. The last time a party was replaced by another one, it was the herald of a coming Civil War

          Might not be a Civil War this time, but if people get so angry they start voting for a third party for real, it might mean something dangerous is about to happen.

          And IMO it wont be 2 cycles. Make it about 20-30 years. Wait for Climate Change to kick in.

          That will be a real kick to America’s nuts.

          1. cwaltz

            Personally if the right side of the aisle wants to secede I’m all for it. My only hope is that they get a deal with Bravo or TLC for reality TV. I want to watch them all argue about who is going to pay for things once the blue states aren’t around to be their sugar daddy.

            1. ambrit

              Unfortunately true. The South might have to mount a filibustering expedition to Cuba to distract the rubes.

            2. nigelk

              One of the things that rarely gets discussed…

              All those in red states afraid of Bernie the “socialist” conveniently ignore that the reason their states are red is because they’re the “takers” they have been coached to loathe so much.

  36. jonf

    Hillary wants to ride in on Obama’s coattails with the AA vote. She has done a credible job there tonight.

    1. Q.C.

      I don’t get that at all — I thought she got a solid F on the #blacklivesmatter question and she never mentions poverty, only the “American Middle Class” which is the political code for “Average White Folks”, IMO

  37. schultzzz

    Did Don Lemon just read a viewer question from “kerry king”?
    That’s the guitarist from Slayer, people. (J. Hanneman RIP)
    actually it was a more substantial question than most reporters’ questions, and required more ducking.

  38. optimader

    Chaffee’s presentation style kinda reminds me of Grandpa on The Munster..
    not that its a bad thing..

    1. cwaltz

      I actually thought he exceeded expectations. I’d kick Webb and O Malley off the island before I voted him off.

    1. Jagger

      I think a number of the republican presidential candidates are in the race purely with the objective of cabinet positions.

      1. cwaltz

        I’m overwhelmingly underwhelmed. I almost wonder if the DNC asked some of these folks to be placeholders so that it appears less like a coronation.

      1. Massinissa

        I kinda hope both OMalley and Webb just drop out of the race before the next debate, but I know in my heart thats not going to happen.

        1. nigelk

          Jim “I don’t think the revolution’s coming, Bernie” Webb just wants us to put aside his rightwing, white-guy schtick because I SERVED IN NAM, DAMMIT

  39. Q.C.

    Nice closing aspirational speech from O’Malley.

    Not sure he’s right about no-one under 30 willing to bash immigrants though… not at all sure about that.

    1. Massinissa

      He is sooo wrong. I live in Georgia and im 23. I know plenty of folks, black and white, ready to immigrant bash.

      1. ambrit

        Yes. The Mexicans around here have their own mini barrios, and stick to them. They are strongly disliked by the working class whites because they are perceived as being responsible for the stagnation of wages and race to the bottom. Working class blacks seem to be split on the Mexicans. I see very few happy faces on the Latinos I see at work places around town. Much fewer than blacks or whites, even accounting for percentages of the workforce in evidence.

      2. Praedor

        EVERYONE needs a scapegoat to punish for what government/economic policy steals from them. The GOVERNMENT needs people to find scapegoats outside itself to blame and punish for government’s intentional misdeeds.

  40. Steven D.

    Bernie on point in closing. None of the politiciany bullshit like Hillary now doing and the others did. Still, he should have talked about TPP.

        1. Steven D.

          No. It did not. CNN doesn’t want to draw attention to TPP and the candidates either tacitly support it or don’t want to cross Obama.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        As they did with Gore in 2000. It took the press three or four days to turn the narrative from Bush being Bush to Gore’s sighs, and turning him from a winner into a loser.

        Interestingly, they tried the same thing with Trump in the first Republican debate, and it took a couple of rounds of polling for them to back off.

    1. Goyo Marquez

      Bernie Sanders came across as though he could be president, he’d been painted as some kind of nut and he didn’t come across as a nut. He won. He was made into a real possibility as the nominee.

      1. grayslady

        Yes. Important point. He was magnanimous to Clinton and Webb, coming across as the eminence grise. Passionate on the issues, but also sounded thoughtful and temperate.

  41. 3.17e-9

    And NOW the punditry starts. Jake Tapper (wtf is he?) has proclaimed Hillary the winner. But hey, Bernie played well to his “fans.”


  42. tawal

    Thank you for the forum, Lambert! I will consider supporting Bernie’s campaign. I will support that of nakedcapitalisms!
    Thanks again, tawal

  43. Lambert Strether Post author

    I think Sanders is too negative. He needs to stop saying “We don’t have Medicare for All.” And start saying “When I am President, and with your help, we will have Medicare for All.”

    1. optimader

      interestingly that is the approach ground into cadets in the military academies, always frame in the positive.
      When commenting on the flaming oil train wreck in the tunnel, frame it as: “an incomplete but illuminating rail transportation work in progress”

    2. 3.17e-9

      And loud. Evidently he’s always been like that. Did you see the old Russell Banks piece that recently ran in The Atlantic? And for all his loud harping, Banks reported that he was “charming.”

      The alternative is the smiling “proud grandmother,” who is so fake she wouldn’t pass an audition for a school play.

      1. optimader

        On the loud thing, BSanders kinda has a Lewis Black thing going on. I don’t mind loud actually, it’s insincere that bugs me. (I think BSanders is very sincere)

  44. Steven D.

    By corporate media values, Bernie had the only good sound bite of the night. “Enough with your damned emails!”

  45. Jonf

    Chris Mathews is saying Hillary did great and Sanders did little more than repeat his mantra on inequality. And that won’t sell.

    1. cwaltz

      Awwwww, Tweety doesn’t have a Democratic man crush on Bernie? Very sad, quick someone send Sanders some Aqua Velva so Matthews can swoon at his manly manliness.

    2. Steven D.

      Like most of the media, Chris Matthews doesn’t know what to do with Sanders. This was Bernie’s introduction to many Americans. His job was to repeat the same message that’s been so effective on the campaign trail to whole new audience.

      1. Massinissa

        No, Chris knows what to do. Dont treat him like a ‘serious’ candidate. Hes doing what most of the MSM do, not because they ‘dont know what to do’, but because its a strategy that has worked before on other candidates.

        To be fair though, it isnt really working that well this time.

        1. nigelk

          It works until it doesn’t.

          Clinton looks like she learned nothing in 2008, and I for one am going to enjoy every moment of her potentially getting Baracked again.

  46. dcblogger

    according to Twitter Bernie’s supporters are pleased w/ his performance, Hillary’s supporters are pleased with her performance and everybody hates Webb.

    1. Massinissa

      “and everybody hates Webb”

      It would be a small mercy if the man just drops out before the next debate.

    2. Steven D.

      Hillary’s political problem is that she’s canned. That’s why people don’t trust her. She didn’t solve that problem. Sanders standing next to her is the anti-Hillary. He’s all about message and doesn’t care if people like him. He cares if his message hits home. He did that. I think he did what he had to do. I don’t think Hillary did.

      1. cwaltz

        I don’t think this debate will shift numbers much. I like Sanders but thought he was underwhelming and missed some opportunities. Clinton was slick, perhaps too slick but I don’t think she lost any support based off this performance.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          I expect a good deal of Hillary’s supporters are concerned she didn’t crush her opposition, or appear as amazing as she has built up.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            If Clinton doesn’t appear to be anything more than a highly articulate politician, she’s going to be increasingly vulnerable. That’s not going to wear well.

    3. Carla

      IMO, before the next debate, Biden will be in, and Webb and Chafee will be out. Webb was pretty bad, but I thought Chafee was just awful.

      I thought Bernie’s closing was disappointingly weak.

      1. cwaltz

        I thought Chaffee’s performance was better than O Malley’s. Webb’s sole claim to fame was whining that he wasn’t getting enough of a turn. I wasn’t expecting him to add much and he didn’t disappoint me. Will not be sad if he is not invited to the next debate.

  47. MM

    Bernie with a very strong post debate interview on the floor. I’m a bit surprised CNN gave him the extra time.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I agree. I’m surprised that he got the opportunity but not Clinton.

      Great answer (paraphrasing) on “Why the heck did you defend Clinton on the email?” And Sanders is quiet for a minute, and says “Because I thought it was the right thing to do.”

      I guess that was the fight the press was trying to instigate.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        She might have left. Her views on the media are well documented, and I’m not certain she is quick on her feet. Bill could go on and on, but he hasn’t been cornered in our current environment.

      1. nigelk

        You and Debbie tend to agree.

        O’Malley was too canned and pander-y while giving a pathetic defense of his presiding over the tragedy that is Baltimore, but damn if I didn’t LOOOOOOVE it when he singled out Wasserman-Schultz about how great the debate was and why can’t we have more of these and looked RIGHT AT HER.

  48. Lambert Strether Post author

    CNN interviewed Sanders (though not, interestingly, Clinton) after the show. They also interviewed Jane Sanders. I liked her. They don’t seem like a power couple. (And this was interesting, because The Hill did a hit piece on her late last week.)

  49. Lambert Strether Post author

    This is what Hillary reminded me of in this debate. From William Gibson’s Neuromancer:

    Ice*, all the really hard stuff, the walls around every major store of data in the matrix, is always the produce of an AI, an artificial intelligence. Nothing else is fast enough to weave good ice and constantly alter and upgrade it

    Hillary reminds me of an artificial intelligence weaving ice to protect itself.

    * Intrusion Countermeasures Electronics

  50. Oregoncharles

    Thanks, everybody. Much better than watching it (but then, I don’t have a dog in that fight).

  51. Daryl

    According to CNN’s social media poll, 73% of people thought Sanders was best, 18% for Hillary.

    Don’t overthink it; simply putting Sanders and Clinton side by side is a win for Sanders as he’s willing to commit to clear policies, while Hillary is not.

    1. 3.17e-9

      That’s amazing! All the pundits trying to put the spin on a win for Hillary, and the people say the reverse! It had to kill CNN to report that.

      FWIW, just read this in the National Journal:

      Most of the can­did­ates came in­to the de­bate hall earli­er in the af­ter­noon for their walk-throughs, to test out the stage and see where everything is situ­ated (and in some cases, like for Sanders, stop­ping for a quick in­ter­view with CNN’s an­chors). Clin­ton, however, sent top aide Huma Abedin in her place.

  52. Code Name D

    Here we go. Remember the Dean Scream? Well now its the Sander’s Shout. He was too loud for some of the pundents apparently.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      The pundits will try. Dean had problems on domestic issues in 2004, and Joe Trippi staffers tend to become clingy and overworked by campaign standards. I’m not entirely certain Dean’s collapse was about his scream as much as promises of winning in Iowa and not being prepared to move on. After New Hampshire, Kerry had the lead, and Edwards was on message and won South Carolina. I’m not sure Dean’s scream was the problem as much as his weak answer on Social Security and his lack of “specific policies,” Kerry and Edwards seemed much more together on this for Democratic audiences.

      1. Code Name D

        The “Dean Scream” is an example of how damaging a hostile media can be. But it’s not the only example I could sight. You also have “swift boating” for example, pointing out much the same phenomenon.

        Back then, the media turn was devastating because there was no alternative means for Dean to bypass the media blockade. John Kerry was sunk because he was too slow in realizing the damaging being done by the smear campaign.

        In contrast, Sanders is doing as well as he is now because of how developed and mature the alternative media is in bypassing the corporate media. It also helps that Sanders information about the public perception is not dependent on corporate narratives and is thus closer to reality.

        Only time well tell of course. It’s no surprise to any one that Clinton emerged from the debates with the pundits holding up her hand as the champion. And it’s also no surprise that the pundits still have to make shit up to justify how Sanders “blew it,” while at the same time completely ignoring the issues.

        But I suspect that no amount of negative media is going to hurt Sanders this time around.

        One, Sanders is too experienced. His “high road” strategy that every one is talking about is as old school as it gets. Sanders doesn’t discus or attack Clinton’s position on the issues for a very good reason – he doesn’t know them. And if he follows the old school – he will likely go on the offensive once his opponent makes their platform clear, and even then he will go after the issues and not the candidate.

        Two, as I said before, the alternative media is a lot more developed this time around. So he is getting a lot of attention through word of mouth and social media. (And he isn’t even making effective use of social media. I suspect that will improve as his machine is refined.) The corporate media has made itself irrelevant here and I doubt will have the same power to harm his image.

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Kerry’s campaign lacked message other than tweaking the status quo and had virtually no ground game. Kerry lost because of structural problems within the Democratic Party. Dean recognized this, and the basic difference between 2004 and 2006/2008 was sometimes voters in urban areas across the country voted in droves when they were asked to vote for a positive and clear agenda. The SwiftBoat like Nadercostustheelection scream before is embraced by the Democratic elite to avoid placing blame where it should lie which is with corporate democrats and their triangulation strategy.

          Dean collapsed in Iowa before his scream and was failing to outdo Kerry in New Hampshire because he wasn’t a great candidate except on the war.

  53. abynormal

    we get this thread to 400 comments…Lambert should be in the deserving black. between $40,000 to $400,000 will do just fine…

  54. Bubba Gump

    Had to sit through my wife’s morning NBC viewing. They are all congratulating Hillary on her strong win – hammering, hammering, hammering on that message. The clip of Bernie with the emails is being shown a lot but only the “enough of the damn emails” portion (that benefits Hillary), with the remaining (more important) part cut off. They are also talking A LOT about Biden! I’m stunned to see the CNN viewer poll results noted up thread — to watch the morning news here it is a strong victory for Hillary.

    1. jawbone

      BBC did the same thing, using the short clip of “enough of the damn emails” over and over on their discussion of the debate and in the little news summaries. Also called it a gift from Bernie to Hillary.

      Actually, since I was trying to get to sleep in the wee small hours of the morning, I may have missed more substantive reporting, but the clip was emphasized for sure.

  55. Faye Carr

    Thank you, everyone! For saving me (a deeply cynical electoral political – past tense – activist) from having to watch.

    This commentarian thread was wonderful!

    PS: I spent the debate time writing a small holder cover crop post and bagging up bulk buy winter cover crop seeds to distribute to our food production community.

  56. Left in Wisconsin

    Couldn’t watch live so taped and just watched – alongside NC comments to speed fast-forwarding. Punditocracy at MSNBC and CNN immediately clarified HRC status – they even had the same talking points! MSNBC immediately followed debate with Clinton campaign manager and 3 strong HTC supporters. At least CNN had decency to keep Bernie spokesman around for a bit. I think CNN was desperate for post-debate interview w HRC but she apparently didn’t come back out to the interview room for a long time afterward, if at all. Left it to the minions. And probably confident she had all her people lined up to staff the expert panels, so no need.

    One claim that doesn’t hold up on re-viewing is that Sanders was on defensive for first hour. I didn’t see that at all.

    HRC only made one honest point all night, but she made it several times – to the effect that, even when she changes positions, everything she does is a reflection of her true values. So true!

    This should get everyone who hopes for a better future in this country to entirely and permanently abandon the term “progressive.” Leave it to HRC and the D apparatus. Bring back “socialism”!!

    1. 3.17e-9

      I think CNN was desperate for post-debate interview w HRC but she apparently didn’t come back out to the interview room for a long time afterward, if at all. Left it to the minions.

      She did the same thing earlier in the day, whereas Bernie not only showed up himself, but took some time to chat with CNN reporters.It is not to her advantage at this point to talk to the media, because she has the lead. With every spontaneous interview comes a risk that the veneer will crack.

            1. abynormal

              i’ve always kept an eye on your hard work & talent being recognized.mho only thread growth is what will take NC past ‘blog’

              draw’m in…lets do 450
              till your next hit…plenty hammers to grab.

              Yves & You are one heck of a team!

  57. Liz Burton

    Notably missing from all bingo cards: education. Which the rank-and-file educators are not happy about. Nor are they happy that their unions have already declared for Mrs. Clinton, as they find her stand (as on all matters important to, you know, ordinary people) vague and unhelpful. And given her record, as the saying goes, they aren’t at all sanguine her election won’t mean more of the #waroneducation that’s destroying our public schools.

  58. freedomny

    Well – cut the cable cord a while back and didn’t get a chance to watch until tonight. OK – why is everyone saying HC “won”? I mean how many times can a person say ‘they changed their minds…their views’…

    And why are so many people criticizing Sanders that he comes off as “angry”….ya think? I’ve been pissed off for the past 7 years.

    Bernie won because he is authentic and “is” like the majority of US. HC is trying to be, but isn’t.

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