Saturday Night Live: The Democratic Party Debate in Des MoinesPosted: November 14, 2015
Tonight, the three Democratic candidates for president will face off in a debate that has now been adjusted to reflect the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris. This is obviously former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s bailiwick. CBS experienced some push back from the Sanders campaign for this move. The debate will be held at my sister’s alma mater Drake University and should prove interesting.
A top aide to Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., one of the three candidates, got into a lengthy dispute with executives from CBS, the network hosting the debate, during a conference call on Saturday morning. A staffer for one of the other campaigns who was also on the call described the exchange to Yahoo News as “heated” and even “bizarre,” and a second source on the call confirmed the nature of the exchange.
The dispute centered on CBS’s decision to increase the emphasis on terrorism, foreign policy, and national security in the wake of the attacks that left more than 100 people dead in Paris on Friday night. According to the rival staffer, Sanders strategist Mark Longabaugh lit into CBS vice president and Washington bureau chief Christopher Isham when the changes to the debate were detailed on the call.
“It was a little bit of a bizarre scene. The Sanders representative, you know, really laid into CBS and basically … kind of threw, like, a little bit of a fit and said, ‘You are trying to turn this into a foreign policy debate. That’s not what any of us agreed to. How can you change the terms of the debate, you know, on the day of the debate. That’s not right,’” the staffer recounted.
Another person who was on the call confirmed to Yahoo News that Longabaugh had a lengthy dispute about the changed plans for the debate format during the call with CBS. The Sanders campaign declined to comment.
The second Democratic debate will be held at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, on Nov. 14. It will air from 9pm to 11pm ET on the CBS Television Network. Pre-debate coverage will begin at 8pm ET.
- What: Second Democratic presidential debate
- Time: 9pm to 11pm ET
- Where to watch/listen:
- On TV: CBS television affiliates or on CBSN streaming on Apple TV,Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV and Xbox One
- Mobile: CBSN streaming on the CBS News apps CBS News for Androidand CBS News for iOS
- Online: CBSNews.com (livestream will include real-time Twitter trends, instant reactions, curated Tweets and other key information)
- On radio: CBS Radio News affiliates
- Pre-debate coverage: Join Senior Political Editor Steve Chaggaris and White House correspondent Major Garrett for CBSN’s livestream coverage of debate preparations will air online at CBSnews.com/live starting at 6pm ET.
CBS News is hosting the debate in conjunction with CBS’ Des Moines affiliate, KCCI, and the Des Moines Register. “Face the Nation” anchor John Dickerson will be the principal moderator, and he will be joined by CBS News Congressional Correspondent Nancy Cordes, KCCI anchor Kevin Cooney and the Des Moines Register’s political columnist, Kathie Obradovich.
With Friday’s attacks in Paris, the debate will also focus on foreign policy differences among the candidates and strategies to fight extremist groups abroad.
Many folks believe that Sanders will go on the attack and that Clinton will deflect. Oh, and Martin O’Malley will still be looking to make an impression. ABC has made a list of things to look for during the debate tonight.
Hillary Rodham Clinton has been on a hot streak since the first Democratic presidential debate last month. The main question heading into Saturday’s second encounter: Can her two challengers slow down her Big Mo’?
National security will play a prominent role in the debate in the aftermath of deadly terror attacks in Paris that killed more than 125 people and left about 350 injured. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the attacks, a development that will bring terror and the U.S. response to the jihadist group to the forefront.
Heading into the debate, Clinton expects to face a more direct challenge from Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley in their first debate since the Democratic field has winnowed down to three candidates.
Both Sanders and O’Malley have taken steps to point out their differences and the underdog ex-governor is also trying to undercut Sanders as Clinton’s main alternative. But the debate could take a more somber tone following the Paris attacks.
Questions on foreign policy and national security are generally believed to advantage Clinton. Beyond her years as head of the State Department, she has an international presence dating back to her time as first lady and extending through her work with the Clinton Foundation, a non-profit organization she started with her husband, former president Bill Clinton, focused on “global interdependence.”
But with great experience also comes great responsibility. Clinton’s time in the Obama White House ties her to the policies of an administration that has come under attack for its handling of conflicts in Iraq and Syria, specifically for its strategies to counter the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). The armed group has claimed responsibility for the violence in Paris.
Clinton’s role in U.S. policy on Libya has proven one of her biggest potential tripwires, at least in the eyes of Republicans. The deaths of four Americans, including the U.S. Ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens, in Benghazi in 2012, has spawned countless Congressional investigations and near-constant conversation in conservative media. Clinton, an advocate for military intervention in the conflict that ousted Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi, has defended her beliefs, going so far as to praise the recent Libyan elections during the last presidential debate.
The debate’s shift from the economy to national security would appear to be a setback for Sanders, especially at a time when many feel he needs to communicate his core message to a broad electorate. His focus on income disparity and an under-regulated financial sector fit well with the original focus of tonight’s event, and recent polling shows voters think Sanders is as good or better than Clinton on those issues.
But economic worries and questions of national security are far from mutually exclusive. The debate over economic austerity and its effect on domestic security, for example, has been revived in the last 24 hours. In the wake of the January killings at the offices of Charlie Hebdo and a kosher supermarket, French authorities said that, even though some of the attackers were known to the government, they hadn’t had the resources to track all of them.
Tonight’s debate is also likely to include questions on immigration, especially in light of the European refugee crisis and the intense focus of GOP presidential hopefuls on deporting undocumented immigrants from the United States.
Watch along with the rest of the Sky Dancers as the Democratic candidates take the stage in Des Moines.