3rd Democratic Debate 12/19/15

The next Demotratic presidential candidate debate, like the last, will be on a Saturday night. Who is organizing these debates (DNC?) and why are they doing this? Do they not want viewers? It’s in New Hampshire, too, the one early state where Sanders has a decent chance.

In any case, no fireworks are expected. The general thought seems to be that Sanders and O’Malley will debate just enough to not piss off Hillary or cause her harm in the general election.

I’ll record it and watch at some point over the weekend. Anyone out there looking forward to this?

Seems they don’t. I imagine the calculus is that Clinton is the foregone nominee, so let’s arrange the primary process so any potential damage is minimized. I think it’s a mistake, and Democrats would benefit from getting their message in front of as large an audience as possible, but no one consulted with me.

No they don’t. Why would they?

Because the debate is for the benefit of voters. Why would they not want people to watch?

The vast majority of voters won’t tune in even if it was held on a weekday. The ones who truly care will watch it on Saturday (or DVR it). The rest will get their info from attack ads or friends, family, and co-workers, complete with the appropriate spin from whichever side of the fence they happen to be on. The “informed electorate” is (mostly) dead.

These debates are for primary viewers, which don’t need any more encouragement to vote. Once the nominee is decided, we can expand the audience.

As of now Clinton is the presumptive nominee and the DNC does not want to do anything which may ruin that. They don’t want the other candidates to get much airtime. Also explains why the next debate is on a Sunday during playoffs.

I bet Jeb! wishes there weren’t as many debates.

“Informed voting” doesn’t come from watching these, though. They’ve long since turned into “give a bunch of short speeches on topic vaguely related to softball questions” and not debates at all. Then we judge them on who spoke the loudest or softest, or what they wore, or who seemed “hesitant,” or basically anything except any actual issues.

Moreover, they don’t want anything that would result in Clinton being wounded but still nominated. That’s really the worst-case scenario.

Yes, I think that is the logic. I still think it’s a mistake - it’s playing-not-to-lose thinking. I would prefer to see the Democrats putting out their ideas front and center for the next year, not starting in late spring or whenever. The Republican debates are getting pretty high ratings, and regardless of why that is (Trump/clown car crash), a lot of people are getting exposed to a lot of “Clinton/Obama bad.” It’s marginal, but I think it hurts. The Democratic debates, featuring actual adults discussing issues in considerable more depth, could be a good antidote. But no one’s seeing it.

So the DNC is actively pulling for Hillary and not really trying to hide it. And the other candidates don’t care? If Martin O’Malley is aligned with that strategy, why is he still running?

A) I’m not sure what the other candidates could do about it if they wanted to.

B) They know they aren’t going to win, too. Sanders is running to push Hillary a bit to the left, and O’Malley is running to raise his national profile.

The other candidates, and their respective bases, have been complaining about the debates for months now.

Same reason they only scheduled six debates.

When are they to debate foreign policy and homeland safety ?

That is the only debate I would like to see the dems have.

The previous debate, occurring right after the Paris attacks, was primarily focused on foreign policy and homeland safety. I’m not sure if this one has a ‘theme’ or not.

Either O’Malley is angling for the VP slot, or he’s hoping to run for POTUS again in some future cycle, he’s young enough to contemplate that (unlike Clinton and Sanders).

A talking head on the radio pointed out that the Democratic debates are on networks not cable and it is probable that networks were less than eager to give up week day programming to something that, well, is not likely to pull in many viewers in any case.

Let’s be real … who was going to watch this on a Tuesday or Wednesday either? Certainly NOT many of the marginal true general election swing voters. There is no real serious horse race drama and are no major disagreements.

My guess is some sort of federal appointment. I’m sure he’d like the VP nod, but I can’t imagine why he’d get it, and I imagine he knows that too.

My question is why there aren’t a million Dem candidates like the Pubs? Do they not want increased national fame, more book sales, more appearances on talk shows, or to lay a foundation for future runs? I can think of a couple reasons, but none of them look too good for the party. Even if they were worried about hurting Hillary they could just agree to talk about themselves.

What is dead may never die.

I’m not so sure, after the shenanigans with the DNC locking the Sanders campaign out of their addresses database and the Sanders campaign suing them. Sanders’s campaign manager had some strong things to say today.