In my humble opinion, the entire debate can be summed up with one sentence:
(Updated on 1/22/16) Together, Hillary Clinton and her husband Bill have earned in excess of $125 million in speech income since leaving the White House in 2001 — about $40 million of it in the last two years. This morning Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a big supporter of Hillary Clinton, was interviewed on MSNBC and asked if it was a mistake for Clinton to be taking those speaking fees from the big banks. Shaheen's response was, "That was all in the past, just like Bernie's socialism was in the past."
Anyone who reads my posts knows very well that I'm obviously a very big Bernie fan — and very critical of the Clintons in general. But while watching the 4th Democratic debate, I tried very hard to remain objective; but still, I couldn't help but notice how mean, vindictive, cunning and ruthless Hillary can be — despite her big smiles and attempts at humor to make herself appear more "likeable". I found that, after listening to her in the last debate, I liked her even less than I did. The problem with that is, if a lot of Democrats feel the same way I do, and if Hillary wins the Democratic nomination, they might not go out and vote for her in the general election — and that will give the Republicans the White House in November. Of course, that's only my opinion. Hillary's deliberate mis-characterization of Bernie on the issues (whom Bernie himself had politely said were "disingenuous") could backfire big time on the Democratic party if she continues her phony attacks on Bernie.
In a campaign appearance last year while on Stephen Colbert's "Late Show," Hillary Clinton explained her positions on Wall Street reform and said that, while she supports everything President Obama is doing, "I'm not running for my husband's third term, I'm not running for Obama's third term, I'm running for my first term."
But judging by the fourth Democratic debate last night, it sure sounded as though Hillary was running for Obama's third term. As NBC's Chuck Todd noted in a post-debate discussion (video below): "On health care and on Wall Street reform, it was Hillary Clinton on the defensive ... You've heard a lot of Hillary Clinton saying things like, she wants to build on the things that President Obama did, wrapping herself in President Obama."
Jason Johnson tweeted, "If Hillary hugged #Obama any tighter tonight Michelle would've had to step in."
Rick Klein, political director of ABC News, wrote: "Bernie Sanders offered the louder and bolder vision tonight in South Carolina, channeling some of the anger that's blossoming in both parties in 2016. His is a play for the hearts of voters, including segments of the Democratic Party that are disappointed in the Obama years [and] embraced President Obama’s legacy more fully than she has in the past."
And let's not forget, Hillary once wrapped herself in Obama on other issues as well, such as the TPP trade agreement — 45 times. Of course, it's very obvious why she wrapped herself in Obama: He's popular among congressional Democrats and the super-delegates (establishment politicians who vote at the Democratic National Convention); and Obama is also still very popular among African-American voters — who Hillary desperately needs to get herself elected. So it was pure pandering on Hillary's part.
Immediately after the debate, rapper Killer Mike fielded questions on Bernie Sanders' behalf in the spin room. He said Bernie, more than anyone, deserves the African-American vote — and that people have to go out and vote. Watch his interviews via Periscope at the website Pitchfork.
It should also be noted that, despite her clinging to President Obama, he may not feel the same way about Hillary, because Obama won't even endorse Hillary during the Democratic primary. Whereas, Vice President Joe Biden made some very favorable remarks on Bernie's behalf, and almost dissed Hillary.
After last night's debate, Politico wrote:
Hillary Clinton, facing an unexpectedly stout challenge from Bernie Sanders, threw diplomatic dignity to the wind in the fourth Democratic debate, attacking the senator even if it reinforced his characterization of her as an establishment politician so desperate she’d say anything to win ... Her jacked-up performance reinforced the impression that she’s motivated more by personal survival than by a fervor to reverse economic injustices...Clinton hugged Obama so hard he needs new ribs. Iowa was a world of hurt for Clinton in 2008, but South Carolina was the killing ground for her presidential aspirations. The Democratic primary there is dominated by African-American voters (who now support Clinton by a 2-to-1 margin) and President Barack Obama, for all of his mediocre polling nationally is still a near-unanimous favorite of black voters. He is almost equally popular among hyper-progressive Democratic caucus-goers in Iowa, so Clinton has been effusive in her defense of the White House during campaign appearances in both states. She took that support to a new level on Sunday night, accusing Sanders of undermining Obama’s legacy by challenging parts of the Affordable Care Act, which she says would “tear up” Obamacare [a big lie] ... Clinton’s two biggest weaknesses, in the eyes of the Sanders camp, are her connections to Wall Street and the fact that she has personally profited from the financial industry plutocrats who she claims would be in her cross hairs as president. Sanders razor-stropped that attack in the debate, focusing — angrily, directly and personally — on Clinton’s lucrative six-figure speechmaking career after she left the State Department.
And one also has to ask themselves: Since Bill Clinton first became the Arkansas Attorney General in 1976, what have the Clintons really accomplished for American-Americans after being in politics for the past 40 years? And then ask: Do we really want the Clintons back in the White House for another possible 8 years? (Read my post: Most African-Americans prefer Bernie Sanders over Hillary Clinton).
Just like the previous three debates, all (not most, but all) online polls shows Bernie Sanders won the 4th debate — and not by small margins either, but by whopping landslides — all while Hillary was running for Obama's third term. And just like all the previous online polls, not ONE SINGLE POLL showed Hillary winning any of the debates (See the latest online poll results further below).
Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post declared Bernie Sanders the clear winner of last night's Democratic debate. "She was unable to effectively cast him as a pie-in-the-sky idealist and herself as the only person who could truly fight for — and win on — Democratic priorities." (Much more here at the Washington Post's Daily 202: Bernie Sanders won the Democratic debate, say pundits and social media).
In a series of Tweets, Nicholas Kristof of the New York Times wrote:
- "Clinton is disingenuous when she suggests that Sanders wants to tear up Obamacare. He wants an upgrade to single-payer, not downgrade."
- "A good question would be: Secretary Clinton, why do you think banks and hedge funds pay you $200,000 to give them a canned speech?"
- "Hillary Clinton is eminently knowledgeable, but she's in effect calling for continuity at a time when lots of people want discontinuity."
- "Clinton is stronger on foreign policy, but on domestic issues, Sanders is stronger. She showed nuance; he showed passion."
- "Hillary Clinton excels when the debate is about wonky policy issues, or governing. But tonight was about vision, and that's Sanders' turf."
John Podhoretz, editor of Commentary magazine, tweeted: "I hope Hillary had a good lunch yesterday, because somebody ate hers today."
Chris Kofinis of Park Street Strategies, which conducted a focus group of likely Democratic voters in South Carolina, said: "From the beginning, Clinton was perceived as too negative toward Sanders. The attacks not only didn’t resonate, they made him appear even stronger as he was able to reinforce his message in response." (His last tweet)
According to CBS News, during the Sunday night debate Bernie Sanders was the most-searched Democratic candidate on Google — and that happened in every single state. Sanders was also the most mentioned candidate on Twitter as well — where he enjoys a soaring popularity among younger online voters. [Corporate-sponsored polls also use landline phones.]
WATCH! In the post-debate discussion with NBC's Chuck Todd and Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson (toward the end of this 15 minute video below) they speak with Rep. Jim Clyburn. Note that Clyburn is a Democratic super-delegate representing South Carolina's 6th congressional district and he is also a member of Congressional Black Caucus (who, along with Google, co-sponsored the debate last night). Clyburn had previously remained uncommitted throughout most of the 2008 presidential primary elections, but he eventually endorsed Obama. But so far, he has not decided on a candidate in 2016. Listen very carefully to what he said about last night's debate — and then tell me if he's not Feeling the Bern! (Note: Bernie Sanders was the last to speak at the debate, so the video first begins with Bernie Sanders' closing remarks.)
(* The video was edited from the original live-streamed debate at YouTube.)
Polls Results for Fourth Democratic Debate
- Time: Bernie Sanders 86% - Hillary Clinton 10% - Martin O'Malley 3%
- Syracuse.Com: Bernie Sanders 90.54% - Hillary Clinton 6.56% - Martin O'Malley 2.9%
- Fox5 San Diego: Bernie Sanders 93.5% - Hillary Clinton 6.56% - Martin O'Malley 4.6%
- The Slate: Bernie Sanders 86% - Hillary Clinton 10% - Martin O'Malley 2%
- Heavy.Com: Bernie Sanders 89.8% - Hillary Clinton 5.45% - Martin O'Malley 1.73%
- NJ.Com: Bernie Sanders 91.87% - Hillary Clinton 8.47% - Martin O'Malley 1.44%
- Knox News: Bernie Sanders 77% - Hillary Clinton 15% - Martin O'Malley 8%
- Ceasar Daily: Bernie Sanders 97% - Hillary Clinton 2% - Martin O'Malley 1%
Results from previous polls:
- All online polls showed Bernie winning the first three Democratic debates by huge landslides (first, second and third), while not one poll showed Hillary winning.
- A comprehensive survey in all 50 states conducted over several months shows Sanders has the highest approval rating of any U.S. Senator.
- Polls also show Bernie Sanders is the most "electable" candidate — in either party.
- All three polls at www.Democrats.Com showed Bernie beating Hillary by wide margins.
- Bernie overwhelming won the TIME poll for Person of the Year (but was snubbed by Time).
- Bernie also won the TIME poll face-off against Hillary, leading her by a whopping 84% to 15%.
- Members of the progressive group MoveOn endorsed Bernie Sanders by a whopping 78.6% to Hillary's 14.6%.
- Members at the progressive website Daily Kos poll shows Bernie beating Hillary a whopping 73% to 26%.
- Two Fox News polls shows Bernie Sanders beating Hillary and all the GOP candidates by huge margins.
- The Working Families Party endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders with a whopping 87.4% of their members.
- Members of the liberal group Democracy for American endorsed Bernie by a whopping 87.9% to Hillary's 10.3%.
- Editor's note: Even my humble poll on the right side of this page shows Bernie at a whopping 71% to Hillary's 13%.
And it doesn't end there. When African-Americans get to know Bernie Sanders better — such as at the Presidential Justice Forum — they like him too. After the forum their straw poll showed that Bernie beat Hillary by a whopping 42 points — 65% to 23%. Hillary Clinton was a "no show" at the recent "Putting Families First Presidential Forum" in Iowa — and it didn't go unnoticed. But Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley were all at the 2016 "Brown & Black Democratic Presidential Forum". Read more here.)
Remarks of Hillary Clinton embracing Obama's third term — from the full transcript
CLINTON: [About bringing people together.] "I think it's an important point the president made in his State of the Union."
CLINTON: "We have the Affordable Care Act. That is one of the greatest accomplishments of President Obama, of the Democratic Party, and of our country...The Republicans just voted last week to repeal the Affordable Care Act, and thank goodness, President Obama vetoed it and saved Obamacare for the American people."
CLINTON: "He's criticized President Obama for taking donations from Wall Street, and President Obama has led our country out of the great recession ...I'm going to defend Dodd-Frank and I'm going to defend President Obama for taking on Wall Street."
MARTIN O'MALLEY: "Now you bring up President Obama, here in South Carolina, in defense of the fact of your cozy relationship with Wall Street.
CLINTON: "I think, as commander in chief, you've got to constantly be evaluating the decisions you have to make. I know a little bit about this, having spent many hours in the situation room, advising President Obama."
CLINTON: "I'm very proud of the Iran Nuclear Agreement. I was very pleased to be part of what the president put into action when he took office.
CLINTON: [Syria's Assad and chemical weapons.] "I think that the president's decision to go after the chemical weapons once there was a potential opportunity to build on when the Russians opened that door resulted in a very positive outcome.
CLINTON: "I was very pleased that leaders of President Obama's administration went out to Silicon Valley last week and began exactly this conversation about what we can do, consistent with privacy and security."
"I'm not running for my husband's third term, I'm not running for Obama's third term, I'm running for my first term."
NOTE: During the debate the NBC moderator asked Hillary Clinton: "This is the first time that a spouse of a former president could be elected president. You have said that President Clinton would advise you on economic issues, but be specific, if you can. Are you talking about a kitchen-table role on economics, or will he have a real policy role?
CLINTON: Well, it'll start at the kitchen table, we'll see how it goes from there. And I'm going to have the very best advisers that I can possibly have, and when it comes to the economy and what was accomplished under my husband's leadership and the '90s -- especially when it came to raising incomes for everybody and lifting more people out of poverty than at any time in recent history -- you bet. I'm going to ask for his ideas, I'm going ask for his advice, and I'm going use him as a goodwill emissary to go around the country to find the best ideas we've got, because I do believe, as he said, everything that's wrong with America has been solved somewhere in America. We just have to do more of it, and we have to reach out, especially into poor communities and communities of color, to give more people their own chance to get ahead.
Who wants Bill Clinton back in the White House for another 8 years? Vote in my own poll at the top right hand of this pages. Thanks.
P.S. — I just found this comic in my email today...
...and it reminded me of this 50-second video I created last year.
* And I may be wrong but, it also appeared that Bernie was being interrupted much more than the other candidates...but again, I could be wrong ;)