Last night, 02/04/16, I managed to watch the Democratic debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
Shout out to being able to stream the debate from my iPhone to my Apple TV (I’m a sucker for all things Apple. I make no bones about that 🙂 )
I was able to catch most of the debate, except for a couple times when the streaming got wonky (I even had to restart my Apple TV) and when I got distracted posting on Twitter and Facebook.
At first I figured I’d just list all my observations out, but I think it might be best to break them out by candidate. I don’t have all the answers or rebuttals to these positions, so I’m just going to lay out what I saw and chime in where I feel like I know something.
So, here goes.
- Bernie seemed to stick to his main (as I have perceived them) points – better health care for all, cheap to free college education and his (as I perceive it) dislike of Wall Street.
- He really seems to have an axe to grind with Wall Street, especially the big banks. Breaking them up seems to be his proposed solution but I didn’t catch a how or details into what the breaking up would look like.
- In regards to foreign policy, Sanders tried to differentiate himself from Clinton in pointing out he didn’t vote for the Iraq war. Also, his solution to the ISIS problem would be to form a coalition of countries to work with the Muslim countries of the region to defeat ISIS.
- Interestingly when asked how he would get countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia together, who don’t like each other, I think his response was something like “well of course those guys don’t like each other”. I thought the “those guys” comment was interesting. Not something you can always get away with in racial conversations.
- When the topic of the Flint, MI water crisis came up, I also thought Sanders made an interesting statement. He called for Governor Rick Snyder (thank you, Google) to resign due to the crisis. Snyder is a Republican. Now, it would seem to me that perhaps local officials should shoulder some of the responsibility in the situation, and perhaps their resignation should be called for. However, the past couple of mayors (including the current Mayor – Karen Weaver) have been Democrats. Interesting.
- Bernie made a big deal of money in politics and how he’s done a great job of raising support from regular Americans as opposed to Super PAC’s. And from everything I’ve seen, it looks like he has.
- Not too far into the debate she outright accused Sanders and his team of some “artful smear” tactics, while making a plea to focus on the issues.
- She seemed to be presenting her as the candidate people can trust (regardless of numerous scandals and shenanigans she’s been involved in). Sort of implying (in my mind) that Sanders is too far to the left and wouldn’t win a general election. Which, by the way, she wouldn’t come right out and say when she was asked.
- Clinton wants to build on the Affordable Care Act and has accused Sanders of basically wanting to rip it up and start over from scratch (my words, not hers).
- When pressed on the death penalty, Clinton seemed to walk a fine line. She stated that state handling of the death penalty needs to be scrutinized and reformed. The impression I got was that she wanted to see it standardized across states. She also mentioned having the Federal government come up with rules to handle how and when the death penalty should be used, mainly in heinous circumstances (i.e. the case of Timothy McVeigh).
- When asked about the email scandal regarding her use of personal email during her time at the State Department, Clinton seemed to do a good job of brushing the question off. She seemed to use a modified version of the “vast Right Wing conspiracy” tactic used when her husband Bill was going through his own set of scandals during the ’90s. She very quickly pointed to Benghazi and how Republicans tried to score political points by grilling her for 11 hours. She also pointed out that aides to Powell and Rice had also used personal email during their time at the State Department. If I had to guess, though, I’d imagine they didn’t have their own server. Clinton also argued that she didn’t send classified information but that it was classified after being sent.
- Lastly, when Clinton was pressed if she would ask Sanders to be VP (in order to further unite the party) should she win the nomination, like any politician probably would, she managed to pretty much dodge the question.
I assume that those watching on cable saw regular commercials during the breaks, but the stream had some behind the scenes stuff, which was pretty cool. They usually started with a wrap up of what the candidates said in the prior segment.
They added some zingers in for Clinton, I thought, showing clips of previous debates and her “strategy” for debating. I found it pretty comical.
So, there you have it – Thursday’s Democratic debate (at least from my point of view).