Unfortunately, I missed last nights' debate since the husband and I were over in Norfolk visiting one of my daughters and our new grandson - he decided to be born 8 weeks early, but fortunately both mother and child are doing well. Thus, I have to rely on accounts of others as to what transpired during last night's Democrat presidential debate. One piece in the Washington Post views Hillary Clinton as the winner. Here are highlights:
WinnersHillary Clinton: Clinton didn't knock Sanders out. But she definitely won on points. She was ready when Sanders came at her on her judgment for voting for the war in Iraq, noting that the voters of New York as well as President Obama trusted her judgment. She noted, powerfully, that women's rights had not come up nearly enough in these debates and that Sanders had sought to minimize them as an issue when Donald Trump made his comments about abortion. (Sidenote: That was Clinton's best moment of the night, reminding people watching that her campaign to be the first female presidential nominee for a major party was both historic and unique.)
Most importantly, Clinton drove home -- again and again -- the idea that Sanders talked a good game but couldn't back it up. "It's easy to diagnose the problem," she said at one point. "It's harder to do something about the problem." That's her broader argument in this race -- what Sanders says sounds nice but can't be done -- and she did yeoman's work in making sure anyone watching understood that.
No, she wasn't perfect in the Brooklyn debate. Clinton continues to be evasive and unconvincing when it comes to her refusal to release the transcripts of her paid speeches to Goldman Sachs. The idea that the Republicans running for president need to release any paid speeches they gave before Clinton will do the same is a cop out. Period.
But, Clinton came into the debate ahead in New York and the race more broadly. Nothing that happened on Thursday night will change that.
LosersBernie Sanders: Let's start with what Sanders did well in the Brooklyn debate: He effectively portrayed himself as the candidate of big ideas and Clinton as a seeker of half-measures, full of caution. And, if you came into this debate liking Sanders, you left it loving him.
Now, to what he did wrong: The sarcasm. He was dismissive to the point of danger, politically speaking, on a number of occasions.
Regardless of the reason, Sanders isn't going to win over many converts with that sort of approach to Clinton. And, make no mistake, that is what he needs to do going forward. If the race continues on as it has to date, Clinton will be the nominee. It might not be as smooth a path as she and her team imagined but she will win unless Sanders can start changing hearts and minds. Sarcasm isn't the way to do that.
Candidly, I am getting tired of Sanders' tone and sarcasm - and even more tired of some his followers who seem set on sabotaging Clinton and putting a Republican in the White House out of spite - something that would be a total disaster, especially if the believe in what Sanders is peddling. Some are becoming as stupid and mindless as Trump supporters, in my view.