This was a good debate and informative for the voters, not only in New Hampshire, but the whole country. Each time Bernie and Hillary do these debates, the American people learn more about each one of them. That is what democracy is all about.
Other than a few unnecessary “gotcha” questions, the moderators, Rachel Maddow and Chuck Todd, did an acceptable job. However, it was very apparent to viewers that throughout the debate, they allowed Hillary to use much of the debate time for all her long rebuttals. This took away the time for other questions that could have been asked.
Bernie answered questions in a direct manner. He reiterated his beliefs as to what should be done for the American people and how he was going to do this. He never once interrupted Hillary on her long rebuttals. He complimented Hillary and made note of the issues they agreed on and, stated a very clear difference on others. He explained how Wall Street is controlling our political system and the economy as well. He told how he would deal with Wall Street if he was president. He told of his concern for the lower and middle class of America and the disparity in treatment of African Americans. He elaborated on how all the free trade agreements passed have hurt the American worker. He is for trade, just not “free trade agreements”. He is concerned about those who still cannot afford health care. He also pointed out he was on the “Obamacare” committee and helped President Obama get it passed and had no intention of “doing away with it” as Hillary suggests! Bernie was asked by one of the moderators about Hillary’s comments that he was not in agreement with President Obama’s policies. His reply was he helped Obama with passing many of those policies and that was untrue. Chuck Todd accused Bernie of never giving a “foreign policy’ speech and asked him what help he would get on this. Sanders told Todd that wasn’t true and where he had given that speech. Bernie also told Todd, as a member of congress he knew many people to consult with on “foreign policy”.
When Hillary became very defensive and accused Bernie of “attacking her, “impugning her credibility”, etc. (on the issues of Wall Street, the term “establishment”, and, the term “progressive”), Bernie explained the difference between a “moderate” (something Hillary had previously said she was) and a “progressive” (which she now calls herself). He did not back down on the fact Hillary made a lot of money in her speeches to Wall Street and how Wall Street caused the 2008 recession. Hillary bragged about all the endorsements she has received from Democrats in congress, the Obama administration, Democrat governors and politicians in many states, etc. Bernie used few words to comment on that saying “they are the establishment”! He agreed the “establishment” endorsed Hillary and that was o.k. He went on to say how many millions of ordinary American citizens support his campaign and why. Hillary had no rebut to that! Bernie kept “his cool” but was firm anytime Hillary attacked him (and yes, she did attack). He gave perfectly reasonable replies to all her accusations. He not only got all his points across but remained a gentlemen to the end! In his closing statement he said his candidacy for the presidency is to help the American people regain their rights as American citizens and get rid of the “money” that is ruining it.
Hillary took a lot more time to explain her positions and her ideas about what needs to be done for this country. That is a common trait of being a politician many years. She agreed with Bernie on what has to be done for the country. I found it interesting that in this debate she took every chance she could to describe herself as a “progressive”. Hillary’s “pat” answer to how she would accomplish these goals was “I have a plan”. However, she never explained what that plan was, how she could make it work if she was president or how to fund it. As I wrote in the previous paragraph, she was on the defensive much of the time with her blah, blah, blah rebuttals. Hillary also interrupted Bernie just as he began to reply to a question by the moderator! That was extremely rude! Particularly when, as I said before, she was given as much time as she wanted for rebuttals. At every opportunity Hillary “bragged” about how she and President Obama were in agreement and how much she supported him. Hillary explained why she was for TPP before she was against it but didn’t sound very convincing. Hillary’s defense of all the money she made with speeches on Wall Street, Hillary said “that’s what they offered” and how past Secretaries of State did it also. She inferred it was a common practice among “high level politicians”. Once again, she said she was the first one who imposed sanctions on Iran. This has been proven to be a false statement. In Hillary’s closing statement she told the audience she is the best candidate to win the nomination and the choice comes down to who has the best policies and who “people believe will make these policies” as president.
Now that the DNC has “sanctioned” more debates as Bernie requested, these debates should get better with each one. The more we hear from each of them the more we are able to determine which one to vote for. There is much more to come!