Bernie’s Brooklyn Moment

By | 4/14/2016 Leave a Comment

The Democratic debate in Brooklyn is finally upon us. After much dodging and weaving from the Clinton campaign – first on whether to actually agree to a New York debate at all and later when to schedule it – the two candidates will now face each other in a head-to-head for what could be the last time in this contest. (The Former Secretary of State’s team had originally agreed to schedule one in May also, but judging from the number of teeth needed to be extracted to get this one to materialize, the odds on that happening would have to be fairly slim.)

As mentioned in a previous post, Clinton’s reluctance to have this debate right before the voting takes place in the state is understandable. She’s a known quantity to the entire electorate, and like her or loathe her, she’s not had to waste a minute or a dime in this contest introducing herself to the public at large.

Sanders, on the other hand, remains something of a mystery figure to many, and the Clinton team’s efforts (often aided and abetted by the mainstream media) to paint him as a quixotic, non-Democrat socialist with “pie in the sky” policy goals hasn’t exactly helped him in winning over the casual observer.

But, as he’s proved many times in the past, when people actually have the opportunity to spend some real time listening to what he has to say and explaining his ideas, he wins over a lot of progressives, independents, and moderate democrats who might have thought their minds had already been made up.

According to polls, Mr. Sanders continues to trail Mrs. Clinton by double digits in the Empire State, so this debate will be crucially important for the Vermont Senator. But his impressive ability to come from behind and close the gap – despite what polls predict, such as his stunning upset in Michigan – means that whatever the outcome tonight, his increased exposure to a curious but potentially skeptical audience five days before voting is worth its weight in gold.

The upshot:

Whoever the media decides is the “winner” after tonight’s debate, Sanders will have already won just from having the opportunity to introduce himself to a significant number of voters who are undecided or not fully-committed.

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