Thursday, October 15, 2015

DEMOCRATIC DEBATE - Clinton vs Sanders

"Clinton and Sanders dominate policy-deep Democratic debate" PBS NewsHour 10/14/2015


SUMMARY:  The first Democratic debate between five presidential candidates sharpened into a two-person heavyweight match between between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton over capitalism and gun control.  Political director Lisa Desjardins reports.

JUDY WOODRUFF (NewsHour):  The Democratic candidates for president got back on the campaign trail today after an issues-packed debate last night.

Political director Lisa Desjardins reports on what we learned from their first five-way face-to-face encounter.

ANDERSON COOPER, Moderator:  Please welcome the Democratic candidates for president of the United States.

LISA DESJARDINS (NewsHour):  The five-person Las Vegas stage quickly morphed into a two-person heavyweight match, as Democratic socialist Bernie Sanders was asked if he is also a capitalist.

SEN. BERNIE SANDERS, Democratic Presidential Candidate:  Do I consider myself part of the casino capitalist process, by which so few have so much, and so many have so little, by which Wall Street’s greed and recklessness wrecked this economy?  No, I don’t.

LISA DESJARDINS:  It was a symbolic start to a policy deep-debate, and Hillary Clinton moved to critique, but defend the system.

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, Democratic Presidential Candidate:  It’s our job to rein in the excesses of capitalism, but we would be making a grave mistake to turn our backs on what built the greatest middle class in the history of the world.

ANDERSON COOPER:  Senator Sanders?

LISA DESJARDINS:  Clinton pointed to her experience.

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON:  I’m a progressive.  But I’m a progressive who likes to get things done.  And I know…


HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON:  … how to find common ground, and I know how to stand my ground, and I have proved that in every position that I have had.

LISA DESJARDINS:  She soon went on offense, highlighting Sanders’ vote against a prominent gun control bill.

"3 things from the Democratic debate you couldn’t see on TV" by Lisa Desjardins, PBS NewsHour 10/14/2015

The Democratic debate in Las Vegas exceeded its expectations in hitting on substance.  But as pundits trade thoughts on who was strong (Clinton), who was solid (Sanders) and who else was on stage (O’Malley, Webb, Chafee), we want to point out a few things that you didn’t see on TV.

1. Team Clinton was very happy, then ecstatic.  As the debate clock ticked, Hillary Clinton’s team increasingly felt they had a clear win.  By the time reporters hit the spin room, in one-on-one conversations they were cautiously very happy.  And within minutes — as the reverberating ballroom of opinion seemed to confirm their instinct — they moved to confident campaign joy, which in turn added to the zeitgeist.  Which in turn added to this morning’s headlines.

2. Democrats had fewer heavyweights in their spin room than the GOP.  Sure, this is partially due to the 5 to 16 ratio of candidates between the parties, but even so, one might expect candidates of Clinton’s and Sanders’s clout (as well as O’Malley’s, Webb’s and Chafee’s experience) to have a few more ringers in the spin room.  Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., working the room for Team Clinton may have been the most well-known national figure with a bias.  Republicans, in addition to their platoon of formers running for the White House, saw more faces like that of former Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott and current House Freedom Caucus member Rep. Raul Labrador in the mix.

3. Message at odds with venue.  Democrats wisely chose Las Vegas as a way to shore up their strength in the purplish state.  It played to their union base in one of the American labor movement’s most concentrated cities.  But those same dynamics also exposed a seemingly less-intended contrast.  As Democrats prepared to debate, staff and press were surrounded by both opulence and struggle.  Hotel wait staff brought rounds of beautiful cake pops on trays to journalists, some of whom gazed at the treats as though they were being shown tiny magic tricks.  With every step through over-the-top Vegas and the $600-a-night Wynn hotel, it was hard to miss the contrast between an elite talking about, and writing about, inequality and those struggling and not seeming to reap many direct benefits from the debate’s presence.  (Though overtime hours may count.)

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