GeekMan’s Milwaukee Democratic Primary Thoughts

Tonight I’ll be reviving this dusty blog the only way I know how; by live-blogging the Milwaukee Democratic Presidential Primary Debate. I’ve been actively live-posting my thoughts on Facebook of each of the previous Presidential debates, both Democratic and Republican, and I think my FB posts have gotten large enough to warrant their own place on the web, instead of being buried and forgotten on FB.

One thing to note; unlike most live blogs, this one will not run bottom up. I’m keeping all my thoughts contained within a single post so everything will flow from oldest post (this one) at the top, to the last post on the bottom. This way you, the reader, can read everything in order without having to scroll up to read my thoughts in order. So, if you’re reading along while the debate is progressing and you’ve reached the end of the page, hit the refresh button on your browser because I’ve most likely made another post.

And now, without further ado, I give you GeekMan’s Primary Thoughts.

~~~

And we’re off. Opening statements seem to be their standard talking points. Bernie is hitting all of his standard checklist items of wanting a revolution where everyone comes together to make a change from the bottom up. And even though he isn’t chewing the scenery during his delivery this time, you can feel how hard it is for him to keep it under control. Hillary is still talking about how she’s going to do things for people and how she’s going to make progress, but she never seems to include all the voters in her plans.

~~~

Shallow observation time.

Someone managed to comb Bernie’s hair, but he hasn’t been able to get control of his flailing hands.
Clinton looks very poised, but I’m wondering how the choice was made to wear the gold, mandarin-collard jacket.

~~~

First question leads directly to health care, one of the pretty clear differences between the two candidates. They both want the same thing, but Bernie wants to start a war with drug companies and politicians to get universal health care while Hillary wants to continue making incremental changes to ObamaCare until we reach 100% coverage.

~~~

So far, three questions in, and Hillary is beginning to get a little specific with her plans, talking about the costs and how she’s hoping to find the money. Bernie is still sticking to broad strokes and little to no details on how he’ll get the money to accomplish his goals.

~~~

Racism seems to be a topic where both candidates want the same goals with little real difference in how they want to reach those goals.

~~~

Immigration question, specifically deportation. Bernie stands tall and promises no more deportations under a Sanders Presidency and that, should Congress disagree, he’d use Executive Orders to force immigration reform. Clinton doesn’t go as far as saying she’d use Executive Orders, but she does promise to provide a path to citizenship for the 11 to 12 million undocumented people living in America.

~~~

A little heated exchange on Social Security. Not on the ultimate goal, where they both seem to agree. But with the method of making that happen and the plans they’ve put forth… well, let’s just say Bernie doesn’t believe Hillary has a plan at all.

~~~

Campaign Finance question gets both candidates fired up as they hit their standard talking points on how evil Wall Street is and how tough they’d be on big banks. Once again, Bernie brought up the idea that having a superpac and getting large donations from major corporations might leave a candidate beholden to their donors once elected. Hillary shot back with her tried and true fact about how Obama was the recipient of the largest superpac in Democratic history when he ran for President, and how it didn’t stop him from doing what needed to be done when facing the great recession.

~~~

And we’re at the halfway mark. Time for a commercial break!

~~~

Foreign Policy:
Hillary’s strongest category, thanks to her four years as Secretary of State. Bernie is weak here, but getting better and is actually making a few good points this time, which I chalk up to good coaching. But no matter how you slice it, Hillary is much stronger than Bernie in this category and it shows.

~~~

The night’s biggest tussle comes right before closing arguments when Hillary implies that Bernie is too critical of Obama to be the Democratic nominee and Bernie fires back that disagreement isn’t the same as criticism.

~~~

Closing arguments:
Back to standard rhetoric and talking points for both candidates. Boring.

~~~

And we’re done. Something I noticed during this debate is that Hillary is really tying herself to Obama in every way she can. For good or ill, she wants to be seen as the heir apparent to the Obama presidency. And Bernie used most of his debate time to try to appeal to minority voters, talking about incarceration rates, education reform, etc.

So, when all’s said and done, I’m not sure any minds will be changed by this debate. Overall, the tone of the candidates answers leads me to believe that they’re beginning to broaden their rhetoric to appeal to more than their base supporters. In my opinion, Hillary did a little better than Bernie tonight, thanks to her obvious knowledge of local issues, like name dropping the Wisconsin Governor, mentioning Unions, recalling Flint, etc.. Bernie relied a lot more on his standard talking points and rarely added any new data to his well-established talking points, which could be problematic as people get a little weary of hearing the same thing at every debate.

Good Night!