The stage is set for tomorrow night’s Democratic debate in Vegas and while most eyes of the political world will be on the spectacle that it has become, the cries for more debates ring louder than ever. Just the mere fact that this is THE first Democratic debate is a real head-scratcher. Let’s not forget that on the Republican side they are two months ahead in terms of debates, they’ve already had two and their first one was way back in early August. That’s right they held first debate over two months ago in New Hampshire.
Why aren’t there more debates? Why are we waiting so long? DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz gave the curious explanation that having the candidates out in front of millions of viewers on national TV would harm their campaigns by taking them off the campaign trail. Yeah she said that.
Let go back in time shall we, and have a look at the historical precedence for this current debate schedule.
In a 2008 letter to Obama’s campaign manager David Plouffe, the Clinton campaign stresses in explicit terms how important additional debating is, implying that less debating may even be un-American. Debating is “the American way”
Back in 2008 much was being said about the presidential debates and even though there were more than four times as many in that cycle as there are now, the Clinton camp was adamant about scheduling even more. They recognized the benefit of being in front of the camera. I think we can quickly dismiss any talk that Clinton is not part of the decision making process about the debate schedule for 2016. Back in 2008 when her camp was accusing Obama of avoiding her, Obama was making it clear that he or his camp were involved in approving the debate schedule.
Remember this? Clinton to Obama: Let’s debate like Lincoln
In a 2008 CNN article Clinton called for more debates – “I’m offering Sen. Obama a chance to debate me one-on-one, no moderators. … Just the two of us going for 90 minutes, asking and answering questions; we’ll set whatever rules seem fair,” she said.
“I think that it would give the people of Indiana and I assume a few Americans might tune in because nearly 11 million watched the Philadelphia debate. And I think they would love seeing that kind of debate and discussion. Remember, that’s what happened during the Lincoln-Douglas debates,” she added.
Also from 2008: Clinton campaign manager Maggie Williams sent a letter to Obama campaign manager David Plouffe on Saturday asking for another debate. “I have no doubt that Sen. Obama, who hails from that great state, understands how valuable and vital these national conversations were to the heart of America. … If we debate, Americans will come,” Williams wrote.
Also see this article by us, The Bern Report Clinton’s debate flip-flop from ’08 to ’16 reveals that she and Schultz are well aware of the risks and benefits of publicized debates. Are they complicit in trying to rig the DNC rules and policies to favor the frontrunner? It sounds like a new scandal may be brewing…let’s call it “Debategate.” And now we have #Debategate2
Almost everyone wants more debates and to not give them more debates in not Democratic, in fact it’s just the opposite. The DNC has even went so far as to un-invite one of the Vice-Chairs from the debate because she bravely called for more debates on national TV. Read about that HERE
It appears this time Debbie Wasserman Schultz may have went too far.