Scandal Afoot? Evidence Suggests That Hillary Clinton Has a Debategate Problem


Is Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz unfairly attempting to protect Hillary Clinton?

At the recent DNC meeting in Minneapolis, Clinton and her fellow Democratic presidential candidates met with party leaders, taking the opportunity to address the insiders as opposed to the masses.  While Clinton was comfortable and confident among her fellow Washington insiders, competitors Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley were hungry for change.  Sanders, who is steadily rising in the polls against Clinton, including closing to within seven points of her in Iowa, has joined with the former Maryland governor in complaining about the DNC’s meager debate schedule.  For this election cycle, the DNC has only sanctioned six Democratic debates, with only four to occur before the beginning of the primaries.  Critics have contended that the minimal debate schedule is intended to protect and insulate frontrunner Hillary Clinton, who might lose ground when forced to spar with Sanders and O’Malley onstage.

Many Democrats agree with the need for more debates and are incensed that the DNC has threatened to punish any Democratic candidates who participate in unsanctioned debates by banning them from the six sanctioned ones.  The controversial rule appears intended to prevent non-frontrunner candidates from debating each other, debating Republicans, or challenging Hillary Clinton to debates…all of which would garner plenty of press.  And when Martin O’Malley called for additional Democratic debates and criticized the policy of punishing unsanctioned debates, his words apparently riled DNC head Schultz.

Schultz defended the debate schedule and insisted that the rule punishing those who engage in unsanctioned debates is not illegal.  She also ruled that a motion to increase the number of sanctioned Democratic debates was out of order.  But was it really?

On Reddit, a growing story reports that Nancy Worley, Chairwoman of the Alabama Democratic Party, was at the Minneapolis DNC meeting and heard “Jim Roosevelt, Chair of Rules and Bylaws, tell the Parliamentarian and Chair that the ruling that the motion [to increase the number of Democratic debates] was out of order was improperly ruled.”  Did Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a known Clinton supporter, intentionally break proper procedure by hastily overruling a call for more Democratic debates?  Is the head of the Democratic National Committee attempting to shield Clinton from having to compete with increasingly-popular challengers like Bernie Sanders?

The possibility that Schultz is intentionally trying to shield Clinton from competition is supported by Clinton’s own strategies in 2008, when she pressed frontrunner Barack Obama for more debates and mocked him for giving “speeches” rather than having to “answer questions.”  In the spring of 2008, when Clinton lost the status of Democratic presidential frontrunner to Barack Obama, she wanted more chances to debate him.  Now that she is the presidential frontrunner once again, she is just fine with only a handful of debates.  Ironic, no?

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.”



Calvin Wolf

By day, Calvin Wolf is a high school social studies teacher. By night, he is a freelance writer and novelist, penning political thrillers and commentary on politics, education, economics, foreign policy, and culture. In the past, he's worked as a professional cartoonist and as a backpacking guide. He once stood between a mother bear and her cub and emerged unscathed!

17 thoughts on “Scandal Afoot? Evidence Suggests That Hillary Clinton Has a Debategate Problem

  • August 30, 2015 at 8:10 am

    It’s worth noting that in 2008, the last time there wasn’t a Democratic incumbent, candidates participated in twenty-six Democratic primary debates. There seems no justification to move from twenty-six to six. Also, in the 2008 election cycle, the first debate occurred in April 2007. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has delayed the first primary for this election cycle to October of this year. By delaying the debates, lesser known candidates are denied national exposure which could help their fundraising efforts, volunteer recruitment, endorsements, momentum and garnering media coverage. In essence, it’s starving those campaigns of much needed resources to compete, which provides a huge advantage to the frontrunner.

    Delaying and limiting the debates is bad for the Democratic party and bad for the American people. The only one who benefits is Clinton.

  • August 30, 2015 at 8:11 am

    Correction: Should read “Debbie Wasserman Schultz has delayed the first primary debate.”

  • August 30, 2015 at 8:16 am

    Totally agree. It’s quite a damaging move and I’m sure quite calculated on their part. Especially since Hillary is well aware of how important the debates are. 26 down to 6 is unacceptable.

  • August 30, 2015 at 1:50 pm

    Answer to your question: Is Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz unfairly attempting to protect Hillary Clinton?

    Of course she is! Otherwise what do you think is the purpose of limiting the number of debates. It is just to limit Hillary Clinton’s exposition to public scrutiny. This has been in the making for years. The question is not if this lady has a bias, but what are we going to do about it. I mean, we are kind of slow!

  • Pingback: In 2008 Letter, Clinton Camp Suggests Avoiding Debates Might be “Un-American” |

  • August 30, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    I think that Wasserman Schulz should be dismissed as Chairwoman because she was Hillary’s co-campaign manager the last time she ran for President. Seems like a conflict of interest to me.

  • August 30, 2015 at 5:04 pm

    Very much agree. She has crossed a line that she arrogantly thought she could cross, coached all the way by HC no doubt.

  • August 30, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    yes she is. she needs replaced

  • August 30, 2015 at 7:17 pm

    What if DNC held a debate and no one came (not allowed to)

  • August 31, 2015 at 7:08 am

    What is Un-American is that Wasserman Schultz is allowed to be Chairwoman. Now the Democratic Party is beginning to act stupid as the Republican Party..I am getting really, really fed up with this country….You would be surprised at the number of Middle and Upper class people who are looking for another country to live in….this one is going to the dogs! It is more like a third-world country every day. If Sanders is not able to get the White House, which is the only hope this country has…there will be a mass migration of good people going somewhere else.

  • August 31, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    She is not supportive of the President, she is clearly showing favoritism to Clinton, and she is lobbying against a very important Iran Peace deal. Get her out!

  • August 31, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    It’s hard to believe she is sitting in that position.

  • August 31, 2015 at 5:40 pm

    Not to mention the joint fundraising pact that she and Clinton signed.

  • August 31, 2015 at 11:57 pm

    I believe fewer debates will hurt Clinton too. If the Republicans have 12 debates and the Dems have 6, which group will get the most exposure in the press?

    i completely agree with everything else you stated.

  • Pingback: Vice Chairs of the Democratic National Committee Denounce Debate Schedule – Call for More | The Bern Report

  • September 14, 2015 at 7:52 am

    New York has closed primaries.

    If you are not registered as a democrat, you cannot vote for Bernie Sanders.

    New Yorkers for Bernie: Register as a democrat

    As of today, there are only 25 days left to update your registration to Democrat!
    If you miss the deadline, you will not be able to vote for Bernie!.

    Check your current registration status online
    If you are not already affiliated as a democrat, update your NY registration online.

    Primary: Tuesday, April 19, 2016

    Deadline: Received by Friday, October 9, 2015

    First debate is October 13th? This makes no sense… New York residents will have no option of making an educated choice on who they would like to vote for. The first debate is AFTER their deadline! It’s insane. Am I reading this wrong?

  • Pingback: In 2008 Letter, Clinton Camp Suggests Less Debates Might be “Un-American” | The Bern Report

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