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Friday, 22 January 2016 15:58

Serody: Jan. 17 Democratic National Debate

Written by  Bob Serody


Posted January, 22,2016
National Presidential Debates Commentary

Jan. 17 Democratic National Debate
By Bob Serody
This debate highlighted sharp differences between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.  Hillary stressed the accomplishments of President Obama in the area of health care with Affordable Health Care, while Sanders stated that he supported it, but as president, he would go to the next step by providing everyone with ‘medicare for all’, namely the single payer health plan.  Hillary defended Obama’s health care program by stressing that it was simpler to build on what exists than to start all over with a radical plan that would have difficulty finding the votes to support it.  And how could the new plan be implemented without raising taxes on the middle class?  Sanders countered by saying that too many Americans (29 million) were still not covered, and that by eliminating insurance premiums and excessive drug costs, the annual costs of health care would drop.
Sanders attacked Hillary on her super PAC support, which suggested that she would be influenced by corporate interests.  When Sanders criticized Clinton for accepting more than “$600,000 in speaking fees” from Goldman Sachs, she used the moment to portray Mr. Sanders as opposed to Mr. Obama on the issue of Wall Street regulation.
This debate centered on Clinton being the person to carry on the Democratic Party’s more traditional agenda and make minor improvements on Obama’s policies, while Sanders presented himself as the only choice for real reforms in the economic sector, such as much-needed regulation and breaking up banks “too large to fail”.
On the whole, there was nothing new in their positions.  Clinton, Sanders, and even O’Malley (when he was able to get recognized by the panel) did well in this debate.  Since this is the last debate before the caucuses, it remains to be seen what the voters think, and how many will take a chance on the deeper changes promoted by Bernie Sanders, changes that would move the Democratic Party back to the more liberal positions of FDR and Harry Truman.  These same voters will also have to decide which candidate stands a better chance to defeat the Republican candidate, and right now, he appears to be Donald Trump.   Even more recently, Trump was endorsed by Sarah Palin for president.  Is it possible that she will become Donald Trump’s running mate?  Let’s hope so.

Bob Serody is a member of Space Coast Progressive Alliance.


Last modified on Friday, 22 January 2016 16:02
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