Last Tuesday the candidates for the Democratic Nomination gathered in Las Vegas for their first primary debate. The candidates that squared off against one another were former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, former Virginia Senator Jim Webb and former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee. The debate covered a variety of issues that concern the Democratic Party, and each candidate gave the public their vision on how they would deal with the pressing issues that face the country today.
All eyes were on Hillary Clinton, and how she would react to the scrutiny that she has faced over the past few months about her personal email server that she used at the State Department ,while serving as Secretary of State. According to the New York Times it turns out that she had a strong debate performance according to political commentators from both the left and the right side of the political spectrum. The New York Times also reports that these commentators thought Clinton was the most polished out of everyone on that debate stage, and that she came prepared to inform the public on why they should elect her as President.
According to CNN Clinton was able to defend herself from critics who say that she has flip flopped her positions on key issues, which are her sudden support for gay marriage, and her support for the Pacific Rim trade deal. CNN goes on to say that Bernie Sanders was mainly speaking to his core base of supporters for most of his remarks, but he had a difficult time convincing anyone outside of his base the reasons why he should be elected President. O’Malley, Webb, and Chafee meanwhile struggled to convince voters that they are better alternatives than Clinton and Sanders.
It should be interesting to see in the coming weeks and months how both Clinton and Sanders do in the polls. Another thing to watch for is if Sanders will improve his performance when the next debate comes around, he needs to try to appeal to the broader spectrum of the population, not only his base of liberal supporters. Clearly Clinton did well in this debate, so well that both pundits from the left and the right thought she had a stellar performance in this debate.
That’s why I’m calling this debate the Clinton Show, because it mostly showcased how strong of a leader Clinton can be, and how she can be a formidable political opponent that can be very tough to beat. If I were the other three candidates, I would think long and hard on how I can stay viable in this race, because I think it’s mostly Bernie versus Hillary at this point. As long as Clinton does well in the remaining debates and that she stays clear of scandals for the time being, she could very well be running away with the Democratic nomination in sight.