Brian Beutler was definitely right, The Adults Take the Stage in the Democratic Debate. I’m a Sanders supporter, but not enough to want to see any of the candidates attacking each other. So I didn’t like seeing that. But in an absolute sense, there was very little of it. And it was all substantive. Overall, I thought it was a great debate.
I agreed with Lincoln Chafee when he said that he hadn’t changed — it was the Republican Party that had changed. He’s right. I’m constantly amazed at the people who stay in the Republican Party, even though it has clearly gone on tilt. I welcome former Republicans into the Democratic Party — often they are more liberal than long time Democrats.
Speaking of long time Democrats, what’s up with Jim Webb? After Chafee made his statement about the Republican Party, Webb implied the same thing about the Democratic Party: that somehow he was the guy who represented the tradition of the Democratic Party. How can anyone seriously think that?! But if the purpose of the debate was to mention Vietnam and veteran the most times, Webb won!
Martin O’Malley had a strong debate. I don’t think he answered the question about his “lock ’em up” policies, but otherwise, he was good. And his final statement was the best of any of them. Was it enough to move him in the polls? I doubt it. And it certainly wasn’t enough to move me. If he becomes the nominee, I’ll support him. But he doesn’t shine when it comes to my issues — economics.
Clinton and Sanders did about as well I expected them to. Clinton came off as serious and competent. But she also lacked a great deal of passion for the most part. Sanders was full of passion — especially on economic issues. And he’s absolutely right. At the same time, he came off a bit scattered and, frankly, old. Still, I will be donating some money to his campaign tomorrow.
Overall, I think the Democratic Party did itself proud. We don’t have to be embarrassed by our candidates. Even the worst of them is better than the best that the Republicans have to offer: Marco Rubio. It was a good night. But will the American people notice? I doubt it.