One of the larger embarrassments for the Democrats this year has been DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz’s stubborn insistence that there would only be a few debates before the voting begins and they would be held on weekends when nobody was watching. She has continually insisted that this was the best way for their candidates to showcase their talents and get their message out. In fact, when the protests from not only Sanders and O’Malley but large segments of their base grew the loudest, Debbie Downer drew a bright red line in the sand and threatened to break out the ban hammer. (Bloomberg, from October)
“We’re not changing the process. We’re having six debates,” she said. “We’re having six debates and the candidates will be uninvited from any subsequent debates if they accept an invitation to a debate outside the six DNC-sanctioned debates.”
Whoa. Strong language and a firm stance. You kind of have to admire that, right? Except her plan to arrange a smooth trajectory for Hillary’s coronation has run into some trouble of late, what with Sanders inconveniently taking the lead in the early primary states. But wonders never cease and a miracle seems to have occurred. All of a sudden there’s a new debate taking place this coming Monday, and it’s happening in prime time on CNN. (Vanity Fair)
A last-minute town-hall-style event, announced Wednesday by CNN and scheduled to take place just one week before the Iowa caucuses, could be a saving grace for Hillary Clinton, whose presidential campaign has faced an unexpectedly formidable challenge from Democratic rival Bernie Sanders.
The prime-time gathering will air Monday at nine P.M., a huge change from the three debates that the Democratic National Committee scheduled on inconvenient weekend nights.
Clearly there was some coordination with DWS going on here because she’s got an easy out built into the formula when reporters come to challenger on the blatant, hypocritical flip flop. This isn’t a debate, you see. It’s a town hall style event. That will probably come as a disappointment to Sanders in particular since the candidates won’t be able to answer, challenge or attack each other directly. But all three will get a turn with the moderator in front of what could potentially be a sizable audience.
This seems like something of a desperation move on the part of the Clinton campaign because they run the risk of a moderator asking uncomfortable questions about the new Benghazi movie or the FBI circling like hawks over the remains of her bathroom based email server brimming with Beyond Top Secret documents. So why do it? Moe Lane at RedState smells panic in the air.
[T]he important thing here is that this is a last-minute change to the mechanism. And, like most last-minute changes of this type, it reeks of nervous terror and failure. The Democratic party Establishment does not want to run a white, old, socialist-loving ideologue… but they want to run Bernie Sanders even less, so they need to prop up Hillary Clinton somehow, it seems. And this would be ‘somehow.’
So will DWS “uninvite” all three of them from the remaining debates after the voting begins? Unlikely to say the least. But given the growing stench of scandal around the Clinton campaign right now, this one might actually be worth tuning in for. Clinton sat down with Jake Tapper this past weekend on State of the Union and he asked her directly if anyone from the FBI had contacted her yet. There was a dramatic pause while she stared daggers at him before she gave the single word answer, “No.”
That was some Must See TV, and if they drag Tapper in for this town hall on Monday we may see more of the same. Get out the popcorn, folks. This may prove to be entertaining.