Clinton’s debate performance leaves trail of fodder for political adversaries
It was not a tricky question, but Hillary Rodham Clinton found a way to make it so. Toward the end of the latest Democratic presidential debate over the weekend, she was asked about the rash of campus protests and whether she would encourage more of them. Clinton, who had plenty of stories of her work with activists, decided to go with biography.
I come from the ’60s, a long time ago,” she told moderator John Dickerson. “There was a lot of activism on campus.”
KAPOW 11.15.155:52 AM ET
Ana Marie Cox
Democratic Debate: The Surrealist Scorecard
What is wrong with our politicians?
Non sequiturs and word salad aren’t a partisan issue . The Democratic debate deserves its own slate of grades that don’t add up.
Looks exactly like a real candidate. But the verisimilitude granted by life-like facial modeling and an extensive vocabulary is marred by a software glitch where the model repeatedly croaks his campaign URL and begs for money. We suspect this is a virus and urge the developers to scan for malware delivered from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Started strong, with Donald Trump being an “anti-immigrant carnival barker,” and a woman’s son given the dignity of being “more than boots on the ground.” Faltered when he felt the need to remind news organizations that they should fact-check him. Ended with “weak tea” and a plea that “no dollar is too small,” which I think means he’s going after that kid who sent Huckabee his allowance. Gave himself a thumbs up at the end. Thinks he really nailed it.
Overall: The part of the movie just before you realize Old Yeller is going to die.
We could defeat Islamist terrorism single-handedly if we could weaponize his scowl. No wonder he’s over-sensitive on the gun issue, his forehead requires a three-day waiting period. Seems to think he can win based on ideas and decibel level. Hand gestures being studied for contributing to global climate change.
Prep for the re-oriented first part of the debate appeared to consist of doing a search and replace of “rigged economy” to “ISIS.” Patented “sick berns” were directly primarily at O’Malley, who isn’t even on his lawn. Running against Wall Street, income inequality, systematic racism and—just fucking read his platform, he has no time for this.
Overall:The noise made by a plastic bag stuck on a tree, tattered but fluttering defiantly in the high wind.
Dressed for a funeral, prepped for a cage match. An icy smile and gritted teeth turned clipped and polished answers into impenetrable crystal balls. The occasional forced laugh just reminded people how willingly she will push the button should the need arise.
Pressed to say “we are at war with radical Islam,” she chose not to explain the executive-level ban on the phrase that’s held since the Bush administration but instead seemed to treat it like a game show challenge. To be fair, “husband’s administration” might actually be harder for her to say than “radical Islam.” Asked about the FBI investigation into her emails, answered with, basically, “Trump.” Asked about Wall Street donations, brought up 9/11. For these answers we, game, recognize game.
Overall: The very expensive silver picture frame you got as a wedding present that you will never find the right photo for.
“Look, there was a clear intent to bury these debates to the benefit of Clinton,” said another Democratic campaign official on Sunday afternoon. “And it is doing a disservice to the Democratic Party. The GOP is blowing out numbers — and we are protecting Hillary Clinton.”
Both of the last two Republican debates were held on smaller networks than CBS — CNBC and Fox Business — and they got over 13 million viewers. The first two Republican debates — on CNN and Fox News — each broke 20 million.
What is wrong with our politicians?