The first democratic debate of this presidential “season” was one to define the candidates. If you didn’t know who’s who or what each hopeful stands for, after watching the debate, you got a good idea of each candidate’s stance.
Before I get into the meat of my critique, I want to point out the clear and blaring differences between this debate and the last Republican debate. The reason I feel the need to do so is because, in my view, the differences are indicators as to how each party and within that, each candidate, is going about portraying who they are. That, to me, is a central aspect as to how people will think and vote.
Barrack Obama really changed the game when it comes to the way campaigns are run and in how candidates carry themselves. Considering the democratic debate and keeping in mind how the Republican candidates like Trump, Christie and Rubio presented themselves, the Democrats are winning. They were poised, they were serious, and they stuck to what really matters- letting the American people know their agenda. Whereas the Republicans were more concerned with personally jabbing each that relayed to me and I am sure others a cattiness that exists within that party.
The Republicans definitely gave a better show, but I was not impressed with their wit and quick comebacks at each other. Yes, some of those elements were present during the democratic debate, but they were not a central focus that kept creeping its way back into the discussion every other question. It’s not a good look.
Now as for the actual debate, there were some standouts of course. The main two being Sanders and Clinton with O’Malley coming in third and the other two just coming in.
Bernie Sanders, as everyone is saying, won the night, and it’s not just because of the things he had to say. He expresses his views and plans with such fervor and conviction, and he had actual solutions that may sound unfeasible to the others on stage, but that didn’t matter to him because he believes in them. I like Sanders. I like him a lot. He embraces the title of socialist that the other candidates and the media have placed on him, and he actually makes you agree with his reasoning when he explains why he is okay with being considered that. Plus he had the highlight of the night when he told Hilary Clinton, “We are all tired of hearing about your damn emails.”
Speaking of Hilary Clinton, she spent a lot of her time defending herself against everything from her decisions on foreign policy to her leaked emails. Aside from that, she has a seasoned debate style that is very effective and convincing. She is poised and in control of her emotions. She knows what she is talking about and seems to have solutions. It just comes down to whether or not we, the America people, feel hers are the best.
Martin O’Malley has the looks but doesn’t have the presence. And if I’m really honest here, he doesn’t have the track record. I lived in Baltimore for three years and to say that he has a bad rep in that state is the understatement. I mean hell, his lieutenant governor couldn’t even get elected when he ran for governor after O’Malley left office, and it’s because of the laws pass and patterns of government/law enforcement behaviors during O’Malley’s reign that he allowed to flourish. As far as I am concerned, nothing that comes out of his mouth can be trusted, and I feel all the same doom and gloom at the thought of him being president as I do when I think of Trump in that position.
Jim Web was interesting in that we didn’t get to hear a lot from him, as he pointed out, but when he did have a chance to speak, he made sense. He was particularly strong in voicing his agenda and that, to me, was in his favor.
Lincoln Chafee was boring, and I honestly can’t remember much of what he said or how it affected me when I heard it. He did speak more than Webb, but I don’t feel that his time made an impact whereas Webb’s commanding approach the few times he got a word in did.
The democratic debate clearly positioned the forerunners Sanders and Clinton and also gave a glimpse into who might be running mates (O’Malley for Clinton). As reported by numerous outlets, the Republican presidential hopefuls were “put to sleep” watching the debate and bored out of their minds. I guess that’s what happens when you’re used to making a spectacle of everything you do.