Democratic Debate Recap: “It is Raining Lead in Flint”

With a packed schedule of debates in the upcoming week, I’ll limit this to a few observations on last night’s latest Democratic debate.

  • The endless speeches on the campaign trail seem to be taking a pretty major toll on the candidates’ voices. We saw it with Marco Rubio’s hoarseness at the last GOP debate, and again tonight with Hillary Clinton. I do feel kind of bad for them. It has to be an exhausting process.
  • This debate took place in Flint, MI, and (for once) the audience questions were hugely impactful. Their questions were tough, heart-wrenching, and critically important.
  • The tone, substance and overall atmosphere was like night and day compared to the GOP debates. Apart from some minor sniping (“Excuse me, I’m talking…”), the candidates mostly stuck to critiquing their opponents’ positions and highlighting their own agendas. In light of this, Sanders’ line about mental health and the GOP debates was timely and hilarious.
  • Don Lemon apparently had a bone to pick with the candidates – or else was trying extra hard to be journalistically tough. I don’t really know. But he wound up coming across as slightly over-aggressive and some of his questions were less ‘provocative’ and more ‘head-scratching.’ Sure, let’s discuss racism and how to address it, but did you really think the best question to go with on that subject was “What are your racial blind spots?” What kind of answer would you seriously expect from that? “Oh, Asians.”
  • Sanders can spin literally any issue into a rant against billionaires and wealth disparity. Flint water crisis? Outrageous! Just like the billionaires. Broken criminal justice system? Not for those billionaires! Favorite ice cream flavor? Whatever is made from the TEARS OF CORRUPT WALL STREET EXECUTIVES WHO HAVE BEEN BROUGHT TO JUSTICE.
  • Sanders gave a short and sweet answer on whether he supports fracking: “No.” But let’s be real here — a way better answer would have been “No fracking way.”

Alright, that’s all I got for now. See you in a few days!