The story of the night at the Democrats’ Las Vegas Debate was that Hillary 6.0 was ClintonCo’s most bug-free release since 2009. She made no obvious errors, and her anger subroutine was almost as good as real live angry man Bernie Sanders. Her logic programming was still flawed, as shown in the discussion of whether she was progressive or moderate, but flawed logic may be a feature, not a bug, with the Democratic electorate. All in all, though, I think she calmed the Democratic Establishment’s nerves, and may have helped to stave off the Draft Biden movement. There will be more stumbles–Hillary is still a deeply flawed candidate–but this competent performance may stop the slide, for now.
Sanders’s performance was also strong. He came off at times as a crazy, partially deaf old man, and at one point he definitely wasn’t paying attention, but he, too, made no obvious errors. Sanders projected his weird vision of bourgeois socialism as effectively as his followers could have hoped, and recovered from his earlier struggles with black Democrats by showing that he had been adequately reeducated in the new dogma (which he likely believed all along, but lacked the adequate buzz words to convey).
As to the rest: O’Malley sleepwalked through most of the debate, but showed some flashes of fire at the end when discussing green energy, an issue no one cares about. Webb spent half his time complaining that he wasn’t given enough time, and the other half demonstrating that there’s no place for men like him in the Democratic party. I’d love to see him on stage at the next Republican debate. And Chafee. Even though he’s had months to prepare, his answers sounded like what you’d hear if you broke into his house in the middle of the night, woke him up, shined a flashlight in his eyes, and demanded he explain his PATRIOT Act vote. I don’t think he or Lessig have much of a shot, but I know who would’ve added more serious content to the debate.
On a lighter note, here are some of the best debate tweets of the night:
Really hoping one of these random white dude candidates turns out to be Mystique kicking off the mutant revolution on live TV.
— Saladin Ahmed (@saladinahmed) October 14, 2015
“I’m carrying right now!” Jim Webb #DemDebate
— Stephen Miller (@redsteeze) October 14, 2015
Dodging the question:
‘tracy why were you late for work today?’ ‘id rather talk about issues that the american people care about.’
— Tracy LaFway Clayton (@brokeymcpoverty) October 14, 2015
Webb called the Viet Cong Communists. That is self-destructive in a Democrat primary — Soren Dayton (@sorendayton) October 14, 2015
— AmBOO (@missambear) October 14, 2015
If Chafee had a staff, they would have told him not to say that. — Ari Fleischer (@AriFleischer) October 14, 2015
The Dems would get more value from Lincoln Chafee if they let Planned Parenthood sell him as spare parts. — Michael B Dougherty (@michaelbd) October 14, 2015
Hillary, who put sensitive information at risk herself with a workaround email server, says Snowden put us at risk by divulging information. — Josh Jordan (@NumbersMuncher) October 14, 2015
The PATRIOT Act:
“and that’s it for tonight…” *faint sound of opening riff to more than a feeling* “hold on. is that? is it!?” biden storms the stage — Jamelle Booo-eeee! (@jbouie) October 14, 2015
And my favorite, on legalizing marijuana:
SANDERS: HEY HEY HEY-EY-EY … … … … COOPER: Is that your entire ans— SANDERS: SMOKE WEED EVERY DAY — Ben Mathis-Lilley (@BenMathisLilley) October 14, 2015