Democratic Debate Wrap-Up

[Content Note: Terrorism.]

There was another Democratic debate Saturday night in Iowa. I have no idea why they scheduled a debate for a Saturday night, unless the goal was to have people not watch it, which I didn't.

Here is a complete transcript of the debate.

Perhaps the biggest story to emerge from that debate was a Bernie Sanders campaign strategist flipping out over the last-minute changes to the debate format as a result of the bombing in Paris.
After being informed the agenda of Saturday night's debate on CBS had been shifted in light of the siege of Paris, a top Sanders aide "threw a fit" during a conference call with producers and other campaign staffers, a staffer for a rival campaign told Yahoo News. The aide's concern: Expecting a presidential candidate to shift focus due to an unanticipated international incident isn't fair.

"It was a little bit of a bizarre scene," the staffer told Yahoo News. "The Sanders representative, you know, really laid into CBS and basically ... kind of threw, like, a little bit of a fit and said, 'You are trying to turn this into a foreign policy debate. That's not what any of us agreed to. How can you change the terms of the debate, you know, on the day of the debate. That's not right.'"

Another source told CNN that the aide, identified as strategist Mark Longabaugh, was greeted with stunned silence after the outburst.

"Once CBS informed the campaigns the debate was going to kick off with a focus on the attacks in Paris last night, [Longabaugh] completely lost it," the source said. "He threw a fit for several minutes."
The Sanders campaign later declared victory, with Sanders' campaign manager Jeff Weaver telling CNN: "We obviously wanted to keep the format to what had been agreed to and I think people on our staff argued vigorously to that and were successful. We ended up prevailing."

It seems like a pyrrhic victory, though, given that the job of a president is to respond to crises, and Sanders now looks like he doesn't have the flexibility or expertise to swiftly respond to a foreign policy crisis.

I mean, complaining that it isn't fair to "expect a presidential candidate to shift focus due to an unanticipated international incident" is absurd. The President of the United States has to shift focus due to unanticipated crises all the time. If Sanders can't handle it in a debate, how are we supposed to feel confident he can handle it in the Oval Office?

This might well just be a case of Sanders' team making him look bad, without an explicit directive from the candidate, in which case: It's not the first time Jeff Weaver has done that. Much more of this garbage from Weaver and I'm going to start questioning Sanders' judgment keeping him on as campaign manager.

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