Evening birdies…lots riding on a strong, Bernin’ performance against the media.
From my local newspaper, some thoughts about the two candidates and what they need to do for combat:
Since he won a majority of the South Carolina vote, Biden has been on a roll, and he now enjoys a lead of more than 150 delegates over Bernie Sanders. On paper, the majority of the remaining states and territories better resemble the places where he has done well than those few where he has finished poorly. This debate is perhaps the only thing standing between him and the Democratic nomination.
However, in prior debates and in numerous campaign events, he has lost his train of thought, fumbled for words or lost his cool, seeming befuddled sometimes and startlingly cantankerous at others. In the first one-on-one debate, Biden must avoid alienating Sanders’ many diehard fans, whom he will need on his side in November. At least as important is to prove that he can be cool and coherent, if not eloquent, in the debate format in which the Democratic nominee will eventually clash with President Trump.
To derail the Biden express, Sanders must plant strong doubts in the minds of those Democrats who have not yet voted about Biden’s ability to win the 2020 general election.
Freed from the chaos of a multi-candidate mix-up, he can accentuate their policy differences. But if he really wants to win, he probably has to muster all of his debating skill to get Biden off balance.
In 2016, Sanders took Hillary Clinton’s email destruction off the table in the primary season, to her relief and temporary advantage.
If he fights Biden with one hand behind his back, he’ll be watching the November campaign from Vermont.
As Bernie said last night in the Firechat, it will be interesting to see what the media will be interested in asking, particularly of issues.
Bernie already has his gloves on:
Bar is open; dinner is on your own. This serves as an open thread. Debate starts at 8 ET/7 CT/6 MT/ 5 PT, and is on CNN.com. According to The Verge, these are the options to watch for free:
The debate will air on CNN, CNN en Español, CNN International, and Univision. If you don’t have a cable or satellite login, you can watch it for free without paid credentials on CNN.com or its mobile app for iOS and Android.
Alternatively, you can tune in for free on your TV via the CNNgo app, which is available for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, and Android TV.