On Sunday night, CNN hosted a debate from Flint, Michigan, in which Hillary Sanders squared off with Bernie Sanders to make their cases to the twenty people watching (at least two of whom where Caleb Howe and myself, so I don’t think the audience was wholly open to their message).
As the Democratic Debate from Flint, Michigan, opens with questions on the water crisis there, we see two old white people vying for their party’s nomination by not answering those questions. As Hillary Clinton actually dodged answering whether or not she’d fire the head of the EPA, and said people should be held accountable, Bernie Sanders sarcastically quips that if the government can’t be trusted to run public water, maybe corporations can be.
Between the two candidates on the stage, I’d have to say that Hillary Clinton is the winner based on her being (relatively) more down to earth than Sanders. The pipe dreams of the Sanders movement are never fully explained, while Clinton maintains sufficient counters to keep the frothing masses at bay.
Sanders had two really good moments the entire two-hour debate. The first was his admission that Democrats are not always right and they often cave to business interests. A lot of ears perked up on that one, even as Cooper reminded Sanders that he sided with Cruz on the issue of the Ex-Im Bank, and Sanders got some applause. He also actually answered the question on where his racial blind spots were.
However, if you want the real winner of the debate, it’s Anderson Cooper. Cooper wins the debate solely on his ability to push back against both candidates and force them to give answers.
The whole time, Cooper shuts down interruptions, promising to let someone have their say, but not until he presses the current speaker further on their answers. He tells Hillary “No, no one has been held accountable for Flint.” He asks Sanders “Why is Ted Cruz right and Hillary Clinton wrong on the Export-Import Bank?” He is forcing them to give actual answers, which is rare in these Democratic debates.
One of the most striking elements of the debate, however, was the fact that Bernie Sanders’ talking points sounded really familiar. He talked about China and Mexico, losing jobs to those and other countries… Goodness, I can’t quite place my finger on it… What was it…