(Photo Courtesy of TV Line)
For the Americans who watched the first of six Democratic debates earlier this week, you were introduced to candidates not named Clinton.
Throughout Tuesday night, Hillary Rodham Clinton’s national debate experience shined through as she seemed poised and polished while fighting off attacks all night from her peers. While lesser know candidates Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee took jabs at Clinton and Bernie Sanders, neither of the two men really showed a sense of urgency to catapult their already abysmal polling numbers into potential contention.
Sanders, for the majority of the debate, seemed to be the focus of his fellow candidates’ challenges and responses. A strong showing in his first nationally televised debate certainly had to be the catalyst for the spike of donations he received while the debate was airing. According to the Washington Post, the Sanders campaign raised over $1.3 million following his debate performance on Tuesday.
Martin O’Malley, who is the former governor of Maryland, teamed up with Clinton to attack Sanders on his questionably soft stance on gun control. That was the first time in the night that Sanders seemed taken back. However, he did manage to argue that small states (like his home state of Vermont) would be punished for a more aggressive personal stance, and that the real fight should be with the large gun manufacturers. Sanders poked back at O’Malley by calling him out for never serving in Congress, and given the current state of Congress, Sanders rightfully stressed that it’s far easier said than done when it comes to changing current gun legislation.
At several points during the debate, Webb complained to moderator Anderson Cooper about not having enough time to explain and join in on the discussion like the rest of the candidates. Naturally, Webb’s complaints didn’t appear to sit well with Cooper. While Webb had no problem critiquing Cooper’s efforts, CNN’s moderator also showed little hesitance in cutting Webb short and shifting his line of questioning to another candidate.
To me you can really declare Clinton or Sanders as the winner of this first debate. Clinton displayed traits of a true leader, and she routinely showed why she is a political veteran with countless years of experience. Her performance certainly was a huge positive, and very likely a moment of relief given her reported recent drop in the polls. Meanwhile, Sanders was very smart all night, and he frequently drew large rounds of applause from the audience, particularly when he declared that he was “sick and tired of hearing about Clinton’s emails.” He often spoke with conviction, and he made it very clear that he believes there are very serious problems facing America as a country today. While urging for a political revolution, the democratic socialist urged that closing the income equality gap in this country is a must.
Stay tuned for updates throughout the campaign right here on The Butter Lamb.