CNN’s Democratic debate last night, unlike Fox News Channel’s GOP fracas days earlier, was shockingly lacking in body-part boasts. And at no point did either Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders assume that John Kasich-esque look of having been drawn into the hostilities against his will. Still, the Dem debate had its zippy moments. These are the tops.
Donald Trump is crazy: “We are, if elected president, going to invest a lot of money in mental health,” Sanders promised. “And when you watch these Republican debates, you know why we need to invest in that,” speaking for many Democrats and, apparently, some Republican establishment. The joke played well in the hall, and Clinton was among those who laughed, leaving it to her campaign staffer, Deputy Digital Director Jenna Lowenstein to tsk-tsk:
Meanwhile, a CNN producer/news editor declared it the night’s best line:
But, this morning, CNN instead focused on the comment’s inevitable Twitter backlash.
Everyone’s a little bit racist: Bringing to a political debate an anchor who speculated that a missing jumbo jet might have been sucked into a black hole and who asked a Bill Cosby accuser why she did not bite Cosby’s penis is a high-risk proposition – like looking for a leaky gas line while smoking a cigarette. By those standards, it was pretty tame when CNN’s Don Lemon asked Clinton and Sanders in what ways were they racist, noting, “Everyone is a little bit racist,” in a nod to Avenue Q. Both veteran politicians, taking a page from the Politics 101 playbook, answered the question they wanted to answer, rather than the one they were asked. Lemon refused to concede defeat: “I appreciate you responding to that question, but I want to ask both of you again. In a speech about policing, the FBI director James Comey borrowed a phrase from the Broadway show Avenue Q, saying, “Everyone is a little bit racist.” What racial blind spot do you have? Secretary Clinton, you first.”
Clinton handled her second dodge far more deftly. Sanders went with, “When you’re white, you don’t know what it’s like to be living in a ghetto, you don’t know what it’s like to be poor,” for which he got dinged in media coverage of the debate this morning.
Women can be president, so long as you handle them with kid gloves: This morning, CNN and others are making much of a moment in the debate when Sanders “interrupted” Clinton to tell her to let him finish his point. Few pointed out he’d done so because she interrupted him when it was his at-bat onstage. “The exchange demonstrated a new level of comfort with the hand-to-hand combat of presidential campaigns. But it was also a risky move, making him sound potentially patronizing or dismissive of a candidate who could become the first female president,” said CNN, a patronizing position echoed by others this morning.
Dems are not always right: On the subject of “corporate welfare,” registered Independent Sanders reminded viewers at home of that, with some bad news: