Democratic Debate Wrap-Up–Hillary Clinton Winner, Joe Biden Loser
There is no denying the strong performance that Hillary Clinton gave on the stage in Las Vegas Tuesday night. She was on message and pointed in her remarks about policy and politics. She never wavered, hemmed, or hawed. She was less than candid about her email situation, and was less than convincing about her degree of being sorry for the mess that has caused not only her campaign but the Democratic Party to be in a sticky sitution. But for star power and presidential campaign performance she brought her A-game and was the solid winner for the night.
Bernie Sanders pounded over and over again his message of taxing corporations and setting the middle class on a firmer economic foundation if he were elected president. But there was never a completion of his ideas in how he would pay for them or how his ideas would translate into general election success. It made for a lively and provocative debate but the details of how it would work in actual governing was never–at least in my mind–even attempted at being articulated.
But it was Sanders who landed the line of the night with “the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails!” when talking about the main issue that dogs Clinton. He threw her a lifeline in the debate and she was gracious to accept it.
Clinton had her moment with a one-liner too when making it clear she cedes no ground to Sanders. She stated ‘I’m a progressive. But I’m a progressive who likes to get things done,’ And she knows we need to find a credible way to fund the programs we propose. Sanders just has no clue about the paycheck for what he is planning.
The whiner of the night was Jim Webb who seemed at every opportunity to complain that he was not being given enough air time. Perhaps had he fared better than a mere 1% in the polls he would have had more attention. When given the chance to speak it left me wondering why he did not switch parties and run for the GOP nomination. He clearly was not a part of the modern-day Democratic Party. At one time in our history–back when I was in high school–he would have been a player. This year he looks like a man lost in the fog of politics.
Lincoln Chafee was just so ill-prepared to be on the stage and was clearly the odd-ball of the night. I think he has had a remarkable political career and apart from last night is not a stupid man. But when he tried to downplay a wrong vote in the senate due to being new to the chamber and that his dad had just died showed how unprepared he was to address questions on the big stage of politics. It was not pretty to watch and undermined all that has come before for this man. It was sad to see play out.
I love Martin O’Malley and felt what he had to say made sense and it all fits with my liberal perspective. But he does not connect with voters and has not found a way to punch through to the voters. During the debate he never lifted the sails in the way he needed to elevate himself in the polls.
The loser of the night was Joe Biden. Simply put he waited to long to enter the race.
Even as big a fan as I am of the man–I simply love him–I can not see the political narrative this morning to have him enter the race and make it seem credible. He needed to have been there last night and prove his points about policy that I know would best serve the nation.
Clinton still has weaknesses that must be dealt with. But her winning performance in the debate makes it harder for Biden to come in at this stage and mount a coup for the nomination. Sadly, his name was never even mentioned all night long.