By Daniel Ford
I hope Democratic Presidential contender Lincoln Chafee enjoyed his moment in the national spotlight because it will likely never shine on him again.
Wearing an ugly, mangled, green vomit slide of a tie, Chafee gave a historically bad answer explaining his vote to repeal the Glass-Steagall Act (transcript from Boston.com):
“Glass-Steagall was my very first vote,” Chafee said. “I had just arrived. My dad had died in office. I was appointed to the office. It was my very first vote—”
“Are you saying you didn’t know what you were voting for?” Cooper asked.
“I just arrived at Senate. I think we get some takeovers,” Chafee said.
Well, thanks for playing, Lincoln!
Jim Webb had a couple of good moments (and developed a bromance with Doc Brown…I mean Bernie Sanders), but was undone by incessantly whining he wasn’t getting enough time to talk about each issue. Not to mention a creepy, somewhat unseemly smirk following his humblebrag about killing an enemy soldier who had thrown a grenade at him. If it’s any consolation to Webb, my grandfather, a World War II veteran, would have voted for him in a heartbeat.
Hillary Clinton and Sanders gave solid performances and had a couple of decent standout moments, as one might expect from the two most viable candidates. Oh, Mike O’Malley! I almost forgot about him. Did anyone else think he looked like he was experiencing the miracle of television for the first time? Every time he started to answer, O’Malley appeared as if he was producing his very first YouTube video.
Easy jokes aside, this debate showcased an actual discussion on difficult issues facing voters. The Republican’s debates featured a chorus of: "Me, myself, and I." The Democrats spoke of "voters, issues, you." Now, I’m not naïve enough to think that politicians aren’t self-serving narcissists running for their own personal legacies, however, it is nice to be reminded of who actually has the power in this election: Us. The billionaires and millionaires can plow as much money into this campaign as they want, but they can’t buy every vote, and they certainly can’t take away our right to speak and demand more from these yuuuuuuge losers.
Speaking of losers… You may be wondering why I didn’t do a post like this during the Republican debates. Well, the other side of the electorate, to borrow a phrase from Sanders, is a national embarrassment. If those candidates one day grow a conscience and stop hating women, minorities, the poor, and the LGBT community, I’ll consider acknowledging the current crop of Republican Presidential aspirants.
In the meantime, I’m going to applaud Anderson Cooper for his efforts to prove that journalism isn’t dead and enjoy the top 20 tweets from last night’s debate. Feel free to vehemently (but respectfully) disagree with me or add to the discussion in the comments section or on Twitter @danielfford.
I thought Clinton was good and probably "won", but glowing media narrative is overcompensating a LOT for having underestimated her before.— Nate Silver (@NateSilver538) October 14, 2015
Oof, Chafee pic.twitter.com/Y5N9NMsXKY— Benjy Sarlin (@BenjySarlin) October 14, 2015
Bernie: I want to make college free. Hillary: I will help you refinance your crippling student loans to be less barely affordable.— Evan Gregory (@EvanJGregory) October 14, 2015
Let's all acknowledge that the boring wasp dudes are the fringe candidates in the #demdebate. Good time to be alive.— Liz L (@lizlabz) October 14, 2015
Idea to spice up debates: allow fictional candidates, e.g. President David Palmer from 24, Coach Taylor from Friday Night Lights #DemDebate— Aziz Ansari (@azizansari) October 14, 2015
Clinton has spoken for 6 minutes, 30 seconds since the commercial break. Chafee? 25 seconds. #DemDebate— PBS NewsHour (@NewsHour) October 14, 2015
Not as good as Jeb(!)-Trump hand slap. But good. https://t.co/5zNy8Ty41m— Chris Cillizza (@TheFix) October 14, 2015
One of these things is not like the other. pic.twitter.com/EI0NBvXR3G— Esquire Magazine (@esquire) October 14, 2015
Jim Webb's complaining is the only thing that keeps Jim Webb from killing everyone with Jim Webb's bare hands. #DemDebate— John Fugelsang (@JohnFugelsang) October 14, 2015
Anybody who had bet on a John Quincy Adams reference at 250-1 can go collect now.— Neil Irwin (@Neil_Irwin) October 14, 2015
Also, I dare anyone to watch the Republican and Democratic debates together and then say there's no difference between the parties.— Alex Irvine (@alexirvine) October 14, 2015
Things that are disappearing: The middle class, Bernie Sanders' hair line & Jim Webb's neck #DemDebate— Stephanie Schaefer (@Steph_Schaefer) October 14, 2015
I predict the Dem debate will be a massive ratings bomb for CNN. Substantive answers to complicated policy questions? No one wants that.— Immortan Joe Hill (@joe_hill) October 14, 2015
The debate so far: pic.twitter.com/ICPT9gZVha— Rebecca Sinderbrand (@sinderbrand) October 14, 2015
Martin O’Malley has public radio voice. I want him to leave the campaign and do a podcast on quilting.— Derek Thompson (@DKThomp) October 14, 2015
Only 2 things that matter in debate coverage: - fact checks - dumb memes— Margarita Noriega (@margarita) October 14, 2015
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