Tonight’s Democratic presidential primary debate featuring Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Jim Webb, Martin O’Malley, and Lincoln Chafee takes place at 8:30pm ET on CNN.
Things to watch for: Discussion of Clinton’s emails and her flip-flop on the TransPacific Partnership and a reminder from her of why she’s the frontrunner, how Bernie Sanders can break out in what is likely his largest TV audience of all time, whether Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb, or Lincoln Chafee can get any kind of meaningful boost from the debate, and who the candidates will attack on the Republican side.
Writes Bill Scher at Politico:
Some complain that Sanders hasn’t received his share of media attention. That’s another way of saying Sanders has yet to take his turn in the campaign crucible, with the requisite barrage of fair and unfair questions about his platform; about issues outside his wheelhouse, such as how he would handle ISIL, Syria and Russia; and about his more controversial opinions from decades past, such as ending compulsory education and legalizing all drugs.
Instead, Sanders has largely gotten a free ride, allowing him to be cast, at least among white progressives, as the Democratic Party’s conscience. Democratic “base” voters may not all be socialists like Sanders. They may not subscribe to, or even know, every aspect of Sanders’ shoot-the-moon platform. They may not even believe he can win the general election. But they certainly embrace Sanders’ classist diagnosis of what ails America, his commitment to cut Wall Street down to size and his condemnation of an “oligarchy” dominated by corporate campaign cash.
Meanwhile, are Clinton donors worried?
Clinton’s big-money backers contend she could tap into the small-donor fervor behind Sanders and fire up her own base if she displayed more emotion on the debate stage, according to POLITICO interviews with 10 leading donors and fundraisers who work closely with the Clinton campaign. They see her best approach as a tricky balance between reaching out to Sanders’ populist base, while still casting herself as the most electable Democrat ― which means also aggressively rebutting Republican attacks over her private email use.
This is the podium positioning:
— Good Morning America (@GMA) October 13, 2015
Trump called in to FOX & Friends on Monday morning, saying he expects it to be dull, but he has a remedy (and you can probably guess what it is).
“I think people are going to turn it on for a couple of minutes and then fall asleep…I don’t think they’ll do badly, because there is a curiosity factor. I don’t think they’re going to do great, and I think a lot of people will turn off after a little while…I don’t want to say this in a braggadocious way, but a person at CNN and a couple of other people said, ‘We have to put Donald Trump in this debate.'”
So he’s decided to live tweet it:
At the request of many, and even though I expect it to be a very boring two hours, I will be covering the Democrat Debate live on twitter!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 13, 2015