Democratic Debate

Five presidential candidates participated in the Democratic Debate on CNN. Who won? Here's what some of the major U.S. newspapers reported:

  • The Wall Street Journal focused on Hillary Clinton as the lead candidate: ". . . like her campaign more broadly, she seemed determined to use the opportunity to march methodically through her policy positions, to remind voters of her broad experience, and to unleash just enough criticism of Republicans to remind Democrats that they are supposed to be the real opponents."
  • The New York Times complimented Clinton's performance:

    "On Tuesday night, after months of political heartburn, things finally started cutting Hillary Rodham Clinton's way.

    "Her performance at the first Democratic presidential debate was so commanding that even her greatest vulnerability - the lingering controversy over her private email practices as secretary of state - ended up redounding to her benefit."

  • The Atlantic commented on the predictability: "Hillary Clinton delivered a typically strong performance, much as expected; Bernie Sanders played to type, railing against corporations and inequality. Martin O'Malley kept to his strategy of hitting Clinton. And Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee remained, for the most part, marginal to what was going on."

The highlight of the night was Bernie Sanders' support for Clinton:

Discussion Starters:

  • Sanders starts this segment with, "Let me say something that may not be great politics." What do you think? Did this support work for or against Sanders?
  • Watch the candidates' opening statements. How did they do? What do you notice about delivery style and message strategy?