I stayed up to watch the debate last night. It was hard fought between the only two candidates in either party worth our votes. Most of the ground had been covered in the MSNBC debate. If you you missed it, I have the video and transcript for you. In general, both candidates performed well. I think it was too close to call, but I did have one observation that may prove interestying.
Let’s dispel once and for all the notion that Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders don’t know what they’re doing—they know exactly what they’re doing, and on Thursday night in Milwaukee, at the second Democratic presidential debate since the field narrowed to two candidates, they sparred over the issues that will define their contest going forward, without moving the needle in any obvious direction. The two-hour debate, moderated by Judy Woodruff and Gwen Ifill of PBS, put the candidates on the spot on issues of race and gender, while returning again and again to the themes that dominated their earlier meetings: Wall Street, Medicare, and the Middle East.
Both candidates made an effort to shore up earlier weak spots. Sanders had a ready response on charges he’d stood in the way of immigration reform; Clinton continued to insulate herself from accusations that she was a pawn of corporate interests, and used her relationship with President Barack Obama as the rough equivalent of a character reference in a job interview. Whatever the consequences, Clinton and Sanders will be stuck with them for a while. The next scheduled debate isn’t until March 6—five days after Super Tuesday… [emphasis added]
Inserted from <Mother Jones>
I did catch one difference between the two. Hillary seemed to have the upper hand on tactical matters, a specific plan for a specific problem. But Bernie seems to excel on strategic matters, an overview of what we need to do on issues. I prefer the latter, with the caveat that Bernie will need to surround himself with tacticians who share and be faithful to his world view. Obama is also a strategic thinker, but some of his tacticians were “business as usual” and too quick to cave in to Republican intransigence.