Tuesday’s Democratic debate was nowhere near as compelling as either of the two Republican debates, but it was eventful because the front runner wasn’t knocked from her position. Hillary Clinton made it through unscathed, and she’s the automatic winner as nobody scored any political points at her expense. That’s the way things work in primary debates and boxing. You need to knock the champ out to be declared the winner.
But something very curious did happen. When the subject of Hillary’s e-mail scandal was broached by Anderson Cooper, Bernie Sanders made the type of misstep that an underdog rarely recovers from. He took her side and said that, “the American people are sick and tired of hearing about [her] damn e-mails.”
By not going for her throat and attempting to take her out of the primary race, he basically endorsed Hillary. It’s all over for Bernie. He’s no longer a rising anti-establishment force in the Democratic primary race. He has signaled that he is nothing but a fad candidate. And like all fad candidates from the past (think Ralph Nader and Ron Paul) his supporters know that he doesn’t expect to win. Now that they know that he doesn’t expect to win, they’ll cease to take him seriously.
Hillary Clinton won the first debate. If Joe Biden doesn’t throw his hat into the ring, it’s all over. (I’m still very much convinced that he will, and at the President’s behest.) Hillary will continue to dominate these debates. She’s got the money, the political backing of half the establishment, and the capitulation of her so-called opponents in the primary race. Martin O’Malley not only didn’t go after Hillary at the debate, he lead the charge going against Sanders over his gun-control record. It’s quite possible that O’Malley is already looking for the second spot on Clinton’s ticket.
While Hillary was the winner of the first debate, she’s not the only winner… Anderson Cooper emerges surprisingly triumphant from Tuesday’s debate. Cooper defied expectations by actually being tough on the Democrats. Apparently, both CNN and Cooper thought it was important, after eight years of fawning over the Democrats and President Obama, to reestablish themselves as a somewhat objective news outlet. He succeeded, but we won’t be forgetting that CNN (like the bulk of the American media) is in the bag for the Democrats. But it’s nice to see them making an effort.
I am quite shocked over the Bernie Sanders misstep. He prefaced his statement with, “Let me say something that might not be great politics… ” and that was really the truth. I think that Bernie really did want to be president. I don’t believe that he was running simply to highlight his Leftist agenda or to secure a place in the next administration. Right now, he has to be beating his head against the wall. How could he have been so stupid? Bernie Sanders will look back at this moment as the biggest political mistake of his life. This statement was an unforced error that has reduced him to being a dignified loser, and propelled Hillary into presumptive nominee status.
Unless Joe Biden makes up his mind, Hillary is definitively going to be the Democratic nominee.