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Feb 12 2016
Nevada #DemDebate: Hillary Seemed To Land Some Solid Blows Comments (0)

Obviously (to anyone who reads me), I am rooting for Hillary. That said, she certainly makes blunders now and again, and there is much to criticize.

However, credit where it's due—Hillary did some real damage to Bernie in tonight's debate in Milwaukee.

Bernie is not expanding his attacks on Hillary. Though he did come off as more sarcastic and pointed than I've heard him before, not to great effect, he is simply continuing to hit her (perfectly fairly) over Wall Street and the status quo.

By contrast, Hillary (who came off as less aggressive than usual overall) rattled Bernie by (perfectly fairly) quoting him in his repeated attacks on President Obama. Though he tried to turn it around by calling the line of attack a “low blow,” it was clear the crowd was with Hillary, and in my opinion, this is where she created a new wound for Bernie: It really is ridiculous that he suggested President Obama be primaried in 2012, and it really is offensive that he's questioned Obama's leadership and it really is pretty weird for him to happily contribute a positive blurb to a book whose premise is that Obama should inspire Democratic buyer's remorse. 

Bernie followers are tweeting approvingly of his line about how he isn't the one who ran against Obama, which presumably means Hillary is disingenuous to attack Bernie for strongly criticizing the president whose party he now wants to lead. However, it makes no fucking sense. She ran against candidate Obama, and then she supported him. Any disagreements she's had have been respectful, not calls for someone to run against him, not statements that his leadership is lacking. I see this as a problem for Sanders that will flower.

For anyone irked by Hillary's shouting, can we get a note to Bernie to stop the finger wagging?

As usual, Bernie landed blows over big money (allowing her closing on how she is not a one-issue candidate to be all the more compelling), but Hillary spoke knowledgable circles around her opponent on foreign policy. Criticize her motives and question where her heart is, but the woman has to be one of the most thoroughly prepared candidates for the office—she never sounds like she's bullshitting, she knows the ins and outs of just about any issue.

I actually think Bernie must've been a little sick or fatigued, and it showed, leading him to become snippy. He brought up Hillary's boneheaded decision to bring up Henry Kissinger in their last debate, but in so doing, he his delivery was cranky. I think Hillary did well in contextualizing her mention of Kissinger; it's clear to me that when she first brought him up (and I did groan at even his name!), she was bragging that someone so politically diametrically opposed to her had praised her. She never seemed to imply that Kissinger—who is alive!—would be part of her brain trust. She also scored by questioning who Sanders listens to on foreign policy; he did not answer that well.

His answers about inspirational leaders felt kinda expected, whereas Hillary's surprise inclusion of Obama was inspired, as well as coming off as genuine.

Most of their diehards must know she bested him tonight, but we all know debates are not the be-all, end-all (remember Kerry running circles around W?). Probably very few votes were changed, but I would think undecideds (in Nevada) will be thinking harder about Hillary after this.