The night was filled with discussions ranging from foreign policy to the economy. The moderator did a wonderful job, Bernie talked campaign finance, Hillary talked about Hillary, and O’Malley shined. Here’s a breakdown and the highlights:
Bernie was a little off his game. Considering his only focus is on economics, being part of a debate that suddenly switched to focus on foreign policy made it a little rough for him. Every time he could change the topic and talk about campaign finance, he did.
Most memorable Bernie quotes of the night:
– “Climate change is directly related to the growth of terrorism.”
– On pulling the plug on Medicare: “It’s not going to happen tomorrow. And it’s probably not going to happen until we have real campaign finance reform and get rid of all these superpacs…”’
Hillary was off her game as well. She had many stumbles and did the one thing you’re never supposed to do in a debate: be on the defensive. Once you are on the defensive, you’ve lost.
Most memorable Hillary quotes of the night:
– On ISIS: “This cannot be an American fight.”
– When she tied her efforts in the 9/11 aftermath to Wall Street and campaign finance: “I represented New York, and I represented New York on 9/11 when we were attacked. Where were we attacked? We were attacked in downtown Manhattan where Wall Street is. I did spend a whole lot of time and effort helping them rebuild. That was good for New York. It was good for the economy and it was a way to rebuke the terrorists who had attacked our country.”
This was O’Malley’s best debate performance. He proved that he is in it to win it. (Whether he actually has a chance at winning is a different story.) However, I personally think that a combination of his rhetoric and always being on the offensive gave him an edge in the debate. I declare him the winner of the night. His only pitfall was when Baltimore was mentioned, which he quickly brushed off and moved on.
Most memorable O’Malley quotes of the night:
– “This actually is America’s fight. It cannot solely be America’s fight.”
– “I was in Burlington, Iowa. And a mom of a service member of ours who served two duties in Iraq said, Governor O’ Malley, please, when you’re with your other candidates and colleagues on stage, please don’t use the term ‘boots on the ground’. Let’s don’t use the term ‘boots on the ground’. My son is not a pair of boots on the ground.”
The Moderator, John Dickerson:
I was highly pleased with the CBS moderator. He was not afraid to ask the tough questions (even to Hillary) and refrained from asking stupid questions.
Most memorable questions and quotes:
– “Secretary Clinton, you mentioned radical jihadists. Marco Rubio, also running for president, said that this attack showed and the attack in Paris showed that we are at war with radical Islam. Do you agree with that characterization, radical Islam?”
– “Senator Sanders let me just follow this line of thinking. You criticized then, Senator Clinton’s vote. Do you have anything to criticize in the way she performed as Secretary of State?”
– To O’Malley when he interrupted: “Governor — Governor, you’re breaking the rules.”