Thursday’s Fox Business News Republican presidential debate in Charleston will likely overshadow Sunday’s Democratic debate in that same city.
At least that’s the hope of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Hillary sycophant who chairs the Democratic National Committee. She has allowed only a half-dozen debates (recently on Saturday evenings). This is akin to the State Department releasing Hillary’s emails on Fridays. Both obfuscations are not working.
It’s true that Martin O’Malley remains only a distraction, unless he finally challenges Hillary in an unlikely defining moment that goes viral. O’Malley barely qualified for this debate, which may be his last, so why not go for broke?
Thus far, a comparatively vibrant O’Malley, 53, has barely confronted a relatively tired Hillary, 68. Along with NBC, the Congressional Black Caucus Institute sponsors this debate. And O’Malley is, after all, the former Maryland governor, and Baltimore’s riots led to O’Malley’s epiphany that “Black Lives Matter” (BLM) as he repudiated his presumed racist rant that “All Lives Matter.” And, as Donald Trump reminds us, BLM protestors seized the microphone from a docile Bernie Sanders.
In all the pandering, perhaps Hillary on Sunday will reprise her jive-talk or maybe even black face. More seriously, expect Hillary, who, after discouraging polls on Tuesday, toughened her attack on Bernie’s voting record, to blame inner city black-on-black crime on soft-on-gun-control Sanders, who will respond with passionate indignation.
The Congressional Black Caucus is in Hillary’s corner, but Sanders might bring up Bill Clinton’s mass incarceration policies, which the Clintons now disown. Reacting to Tavis Smiley, who said on Monday that on every economic issue black Americans under President Obama have lost ground on the economy, all three Democrats will blame Republicans, not Obama.
The latest polls show that Sanders could win Iowa, especially if he draws new voters. An Iowa victory would ensure that Vermont’s Sanders wins neighboring New Hampshire, where he already is leading. Those results would give Sanders momentum — even in the South.
In an era of “Jeb” and “Hillary,” consider that delusional “Bernie” does not get it: if Hillary falters, party bosses will change the convention rules so that a late entrant — Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, or John Kerry — could be the nominee. Biden’s praise two days ago for Bernie’s “authenticity” over Hillary on economic issues is further evidence he sees Bernie as a possible stalking horse. Nonetheless, Bernie now thinks he can win, so look for him to be more aggressive in Sunday’s debate, especially as he responds in kind to Hillary’s attacks.
Beyond the debate, Hillary is under siege. Developing issues will affect general election polls, effectively helping Sanders claim he would be a better candidate in November.
(1) Benghazi and mistrust of Hillary. Benghazi is not an issue for Democrats, but trust does affect independents. This week, 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi opens in theaters. It doesn’t mention Hillary, but it will impact her, especially among younger voters. And remember, Charles Woods, the father of Navy SEAL Ty Woods (who was killed at Benghazi), says Hillary lied to him at Andrews Air Force Base on the arrival of his son’s casket. Even if O’Malley does not mention the movie or Woods in Sunday’s debate , Benghazi will not go away.
(2) Cosby and victims. Bill Cosby and Bill Clinton each settled a civil suit about possible sexual assault. Sanders has already described Bill Clinton’s conduct as “disgraceful and unacceptable,” then added, “I’m running against Hillary Clinton, not against Bill Clinton.”
Many African-American voters watching Sunday’s debate may believe it’s unfair to hold Cosby accountable, and not Clinton, for long-ago allegations of sexual misconduct. Cosby’s preliminary hearing in the criminal case has been postponed until February 2. Even if Sanders on Sunday will not escalate from Bill’s infidelity to Hillary’s enabling, and then further to Hillary’s intimidation of victims, at least one Cosby criminal case and multiple Cosby civil cases will keep the discussion alive in the age of Law and Order: Special Victims Unit (SVU).
(3) Investigation and possible indictment. Anyone who has had a high security clearance knows the routine – signing that you understand and will follow the classification protocols. There is a prima facie case for Hillary’s indictment, and failure to indict would undermine the system and compromise future prosecutions of others. If she is not indicted, look for damaging leaks against her. If she is indicted, she’ll claim a witch-hunt like the Whitewater investigation, but this would be Obama’s Justice Department.
Conspiracists will see an Obama fix against her and for Biden, and feminists will see a plot against women. In the first debate Bernie trivialized the emails issue. Now there is at least one public “smoking gun” – Hillary’s written request to remove the classification from a document and send it insecurely. Will Bernie, who couldn’t care less about national security, talk instead about Clinton Foundation gifts from autocratic, anti-women Arab regimes to impact State Department policy? Will he speculate on the investigation’s public corruption angle — “what if” the Clinton Foundation corporate donors were favored to receive State Department contracts?
(4) Health and age. Celebrity television physician Drew Pinsky wonders why Hillary is “getting such shoddy care.” That’s a nice way to inquire into her medical history and about possible lingering effects from her concussion. Pinsky notes recurrent blood clots in her leg, and the risk of pulmonary embolism. Others suggest a troubling matrix of symptoms – fatigue and mood swings, swelling and weight gain.
Trump, as only he can do, has put Hillary on notice about her frequent urination. Hillary‘s marathon Benghazi testimony was impressive, but can she handle the physical demands and the constant stress while campaigning and losing in primaries? Slumped-over Bernie, 74, hardly Jack LaLanne, will not question her health, but future comparisons to the elusive Elizabeth Warren will not be flattering.
Months ago Jeb’s ads of his time in Florida backfired, partly because they showed a once energetic Jeb. Photos of Hillary over the years will help only among her true believers. Meanwhile, the mainstream media will be watching for every bathroom break.
Looking at the gathering storm, if Hillary is her party’s nominee, her hardcore supporters will never leave her. But there could be defections among younger Democrats. And her victory among independent voters is hardly assured.