Snap Democratic Debate Reaction from multiple angles – Politicos vs Leftists

debateTwitter again tonight reminded me about the split in the people I keep company with.

Political oriented people like myself felt like Secretary Hillary Clinton was the biggest winner. She looked strong, decisive and a leader. It is also about time we had a woman President, and we quite frankly in my opinion have far too many men in public office.  However, that alone isn’t reason to support her, though I must admit it is difficult to vote for me to support a male candidate against a female in most races (assuming the female is a progressive). Unlike her husband who often takes a patronizing and condescending tone when under pressure, Secretary Clinton used humor to her advantage. I believe she had a very strong debate and hardened the support of most of the party’s political establishment.

However, many of the people I follow on Twitter are soccer fans or bloggers, and a disproportionate number of influential fans of the beautiful game in this country support Senator Bernie Sanders. Every day in the soccer world I am inundated with Sanders talking points. The debate performance of Sanders including embracing the tag of socialism hardened this base of support. To them Clinton appeared shifty and indecisive at times. While I see some of this, by and large I believe she had a strong performance, while Sanders ideologically driven commentary seemed in contrast to Clinton, Utopian but perhaps also impractical.

This having been said, the mass of support for Sanders from those soccer fans who are my ideological soulmates and do not have a political agenda demonstrated to me the commitment and adherence to principle of Sanders support. Many of these folks do not even identify themselves as Democrats, but as Independents who see the Democrats as a corporate driven party that has supported foreign military adventurism. While this may seem an extreme view to politicos, it is not a view I can entirely disagree with.

Every time I have been interacting with the soccer community in this country over the past few months, the Sanders topic comes up. Because of my political work, many of these fans see me as a natural enemy despite being in the same ideological came. For these folks, who I believe are representative of highly-educated, and well-read leftists beyond the soccer world, political characters like myself lack the courage in our convictions to create positive change. I understand that criticism and quite honestly at times cannot disagree with it. This is a round about way of saying, many Sanders supporters don’t care what politicos say or think, and are not concerned about whether or not the Democratic Party loses the election. They aren’t moving off their man – this is a cause for them and tonight he hardened those cause driven voters.

I believe Martin O’Malley on substance had the strongest debate – but then again on substance he probably has the most extensive record of accomplishment of any candidate in this race. O’Malley gave a strong account of himself but since the two front-runners seem to have solidified support with tonight’s performances, I don’t know how many new voters he won over. He did position himself well to be Hillary Clinton’s running mate however.

Lincoln Chafee, by contrast ended up in the US Senate because of who his dad was – legendary Former Navy Secretary and Rhode Island US Senator John Chafee. But Lincoln Chafee was an effective voice in the US Senate – a lone Republican who on many substantive issues was more aggressively progressive than his Democratic counterparts. But tonight he looked old and not spontaneous enough. Besides, he wasn’t a particularly effective US Senator, just one who spoke up on the right issues and generally cast the right votes. I expected Chafee to make an issue out of the Iraq War – he did but did not sell it as effectively as I anticipated. This debate did not help him in my opinion.

Jim Webb is a crusty character and having enjoyed his book Born Fighting, I knew what to expect. But in this era of ideological extremes in the two major parties, a genuine back-country southern populist like Webb does not fit in either political party cleanly. His independence means he cannot be elected President.

The big loser tonight was Vice President Joe Biden. Unless the Hillary Clinton email scandal engulfs her campaign (which is still a possibility), he may have missed his window of opportunity. That is if he ever wanted to run to being with.


  1. I might blog on this tomorrow, but I kinda feel like this debate transcended a winner/loser tableau. I think it got off to a rocky start. No one really knew quite how to set their tone, so there was a little bit of too-strong coffee on the table at first. Then, after the first few questions, everyone settled in and got real, and what we were treated to was a slate of candidates that are head-and-shoulders above anything crawling around Republican HQ these days. Our people all displayed depth and caring, as well as intense policy craftwork. No racism. No xenophobia. No crazy science denialism. Just smart people who have great ideas to make the country better.

    Although, I did have the feeling that Jim Webb might have had a gun in the waistband of his pants. He’s just that kind of badass. Wasn’t feeling it for O’Malley. I kept expecting him to pull out a Twizzler and munch on it for effect after making a point.


  2. I’m a Martin O’Malley supporter and still believe he is the only progressive candidate that can win the office and come in with enough momentum to get some things done. However, I think he missed a number of opportunities tonight and came in third behind HRC (who was better of specifics) and Sanders (who was very on message).


  3. O’Malley won the debate IMO.


  4. Kartik, This election transcends politics as usual. It’s more than who has the most money and establishment endorsements. It’s more than electing a woman. It’s more than age and looks. It’s about ideas and issues. It’s about lies and deceit. It’s about rigged elections and Greedy Corporations. It’s about disenfranchised and disillusioned citizens. It’s about a future where war is the last resort not the first. It’s about social and economic equality. It’s about a world where we protect the environment and all the people. This is a political revolution that will reshape how we think about our world. Bernie is our leader but he can’t do it without kind and loving people who are fed up with the status quo. There are more of us than you think. We just need an honest and tough leader. That man is Bernie Sanders and he is just getting started.


  5. “She looked strong, decisive and a leader. It is also about time we had a woman President, and we quite frankly in my” opinion have far too many men in public office” – Typical lefty slant – The Clintons are some of the most corrupt politicians to ever set foot on this continent and the tunnel vision, hero worshipping misogynist dems blindly bow to their evil queen – never mind the trail of dead bodies, “we NEED a woman president” (despite the fact that the devisive tactics employed by this administration and likely the H administration will destroy our country from within as we know it)- Utter Balderdash


  6. Dr. Ben Carson has been criticized for saying he would oppose a Muslim running for president — but a new poll reveals that more than half of all U.S. voters agree.
    The telephone survey by Rasmussen Reports found that 51 percent of likely U.S. voters would not personally be willing to vote for a Muslim president.
    Only 28 percent say they would support a Muslim in the White House and 20 percent are undecided.
    Fifty-two percent say most of their family, friends and co-workers also would not be willing to vote for a Muslim president, with only 15 percent saying they would, and 32 percent not sure.
    By comparison, 78 percent said they could vote for a black president after Barack Obama won enough delegates to be the Democratic nominee in 2008.
    According to the poll, Republicans are more than twice as likely as Democrats — 73 percent to 35 percent — to say they would not personally vote for a Muslim to be U.S. president.

    Bernie will drive this country into bankruptcy. Hitlary into further deceit. Wake up Dems! Your idealistic utopian spoild child free phone Kool Aid pitcher cant be refilled on the backs of your entitlement generation bastard children without crashing the economy and lowering the standard of living for all bu the top Limousine Liberal Democrat Ivory Tower ruling class – whose boots you all incessantly lick..



  7. You can’t criticize Sanders’s supporters for using talking points when you start off your article with Hillary’s only talking point.


  8. Mark Lynn · ·

    Hillary hit it out of the park! There is no denying it. Thus, the big loser was Joe Biden. His window & reason for running was just slammed shut. He played Hamlet too long. Bernie was Bernie, about what I expected. Strong on economic issues, while weak on others. O’Malley was unimpressive. I felt sorry for Linc Chaffee. He seemed lost & out of place. I still can’t figure out his reason for running after his awful tenure as RI Gov. Now, my man Jim Webb. I don’t blame him for being pissed. He was ignored by the moderators. Debates should give all participants the same questions with equal amount of time to respond. That is how I learned debating works back in high school. Webb is the Bill Clinton of 2016. I say this as a veteran of the Clinton primary campaign in 91/92. They are/were both Southern Populists trying to bring the party back to the center. The GOP fears him as an opponent. Tough. Ready to lead. Born fighting, in other words!! All that said as a Webb supporter I’m disappointed in his campaign thus far. I mean you can’t even get a bumper sticker from these folks. But I’m still gonna drop him a few bucks & hope for the best!


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