The debate will be 9 PM on Monday, January 25th - and on CNN, to boot. It's going to be a town hall type format, which as Vanity Fair notes is something that the DNC would not normally be involved in anyway. And, seriously, this is coming out of nowhere: the timeline for the Democratic primary was set out months ago.
Of course, months ago it was assumed that Hillary Clinton was on a stable glide path for the Democratic nomination. It was not assumed that she would be on the verge of losing both Iowa and New Hampshire at this point. In fact, I'm not entirely certain that the Democrats really expected that there'd be a challenger to her who would be more than a convenient patsy.
But enough about Martin O'Malley: the 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.'
PS: Watch it? For Heaven's sake, why? If there's anything interesting about it - if, say, Hillary Clinton screams "ENOUGH TALK!" and then throws a dagger into Bernie Sander's belly - I assume that it'll show up as a social media clip pretty quickly. Otherwise: I have better things to do with my time.
...And that's the Democrats' problem, right there. They're dull. After seven years of their nonsense, it's all tired and derivative at this point. There's nothing new or exciting about them. No pep. Even their bombthrowers are dull.