Saturday Night Live: The Democratic Party Debate in Des Moines

170151_600Tonight, 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.

CBS will be broadcasting the debate after 48 hours. It’s also possible to catch the live stream on the web.169938_600

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.

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.

170061_600Many 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.

Gregg Levine–writing for AJ–believes the switch in focus does benefit Clinton.

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.



119 Comments on “Saturday Night Live: The Democratic Party Debate in Des Moines”

  1. Oh I forgot about this. Just got back from Jake’s play.

    ~ ᏠᏠ Ϣѧʟτṡ ~ ʂɛŋɬ ʄཞơɱ ɱყ ı℘ɧơŋɛ…


  2. dakinikat says:

    John Dickerson is introducing the debate with a moment of silence for Paris.

  3. Fannie says:

    I’m here, ready. Told 4 grandkids, they have there own room to hang out for the next couple hours.

  4. bostonboomer says:

    I’m here. I’m watching the live stream at

  5. bostonboomer says:

    One of Bernie’s advisers flipped out when he found out CBS had changed the focus of the debate.

  6. dakinikat says:

    Hillary keeps with the idea of ridding the world of radical jihadists while OMalley talks about needing a new approach.

  7. dakinikat says:

    First question to Clinton asking if this is part of a failure of Obama’s policy which reflects on her. She responds with an international effort needed. Dickerson asks the question about Obama and she underestimating ISIL.

  8. bostonboomer says:

    Bernie doesn’t sound very confident about what he’s saying.

  9. bostonboomer says:

    Hillary now showing how much more she knows about the Middle East than Sanders.

  10. janicen says:

    The men sound like light weights speaking in soundbites and generalities. Clinton knows wtf she’s talking about.

  11. Fannie says:

    WTH…….This is about leadership Hillary, you failed in Libya! WTH?

  12. janicen says:

    Bernie can’t seem to stay on topic.

  13. Fannie says:

    When Hillary began as SOS, less than 1 million girls/women were in schools. When she left more than 40% were enrolled in the middle East. What don’t they talk about that.

  14. Fannie says:

    Com’on hit Sanders with his support of F35’s and that cost effective bullshit in the military, and how he benefited from it.

  15. janicen says:

    I wish we could just listen to Hillary. My virus-addled brain can’t stay focused on these dudes meandering words.

  16. janicen says:

    Yay. A commercial. I need more tea.

  17. Fannie says:

    Some interruptions from the kids……..what are you watching, oh yeah, can we do????, I need a note book, do you have a pen? ……….My goodness.

  18. roofingbird says:

    Price gouging in meds need to change.

  19. janicen says:

    I wonder if O’Malley is going to mention that MD now has a Republican governor BECAUSE of all of the taxes they put on people.

  20. roofingbird says:

    Sanders- trillion on infrastructure. Tax on wall street speculation. Will be more than 50% but less than Eisenhower at 90%, the last socialist.

    • Fannie says:

      Had to laugh with the audience on that one.

    • bostonboomer says:

      That was a good line. The woman who asked the question obviously has zero knowledge of modern political history. She looked stunned when she heard the 90% number. Of course no one actually paid that percentage because of all the deductions.

  21. Fannie says:

    The middle class: Tick, tick, tick.

  22. roofingbird says:

    Border debate. Trump as carnival barker. O’Malley-the net immigration was zero last year. Get people out of the shadows.

  23. bostonboomer says:

    Nice response from O’Malley on immigration.

  24. roofingbird says:

    Clinton, agrees 11 million dreamers move toward full citizenship. doesn’t say how.

  25. roofingbird says:

    Sanders-$15 wage do it.

    • roofingbird says:

      If person works 40 hours they should not be in poverty. Unemployment is really around 10%

      • List of X says:

        Minimum wage $15 should be a great retort to the “those people on welfare should just get jobs” argument – you want people to get off welfare and get jobs, then let’s pay for these jobs significantly more than what they get by not working.

  26. roofingbird says:

    O’Malley we did it and it worked at $10.10 we would have gone farther. 2 counties went 12. Sanders

  27. bostonboomer says:

    I get so tired of hearing O’Malley talk about what he did in Maryland.

    • dakinikat says:

      And see what Janicen sez about how Maryland feels about him.

      • janicen says:

        O’Malley couldn’t run for another term so the Lt. Gov ran and got beat by a Republican, Larry Hogan. MD is one of the most liberal states in the union so for them to elect a Republican says a lot about how much they hated O’Malley. Two of my brothers and two of my nephews live there. All Democrats and they all bitch about the taxes.

  28. roofingbird says:

    Clinton -$12 but index.

  29. Fannie says:

    They could barely give Hillary a minute on minimum wages. All of them talking over her head.

  30. bostonboomer says:

    O’Malley claims Hillary is quoting “economists on Wall Street.” The guy she was quoting is Alan Krueger, a Professor at Princeton, who, according to Wikipedia has been recognized as one of the best economists in the world.

  31. bostonboomer says:

    Bernie now personally attacking Hillary, claiming Wall Street knows she won’t keep her promises.

  32. roofingbird says:

    Clinton how will you affect wall street? 2 Big Pac’s are against me. Sanders 6 financial institutes – I will break them up. I am not relying on Pacs.

  33. roofingbird says:

    Clinton pushed back hard. Reinstating Glass Steagal in not enough.

  34. janicen says:

    hah! Hillz burned O’Malley for picking an investment banker as financial advisor.

  35. roofingbird says:

    O’Malley how many wall street people would you have in your staff. blah
    Clinton returns.

  36. bostonboomer says:

    Clinton says the majority of her donors are women.

  37. roofingbird says:

    Well that was pretty socialist albeit true, “Wall Street is based on fraud”

  38. List of X says:

    Thank you for liveblogging this – I can’t watch the debate so this is as good as I can get, probably.

  39. janicen says:

    John Dickerson is an ass. He wants them to snipe at each other rather than discuss issues.

    • dakinikat says:

      Seems that way but at least they aren’t whining about tough questions.

      • bostonboomer says:

        He isn’t allowing Hillary to respond to the attacks very often either. She has managed to do pretty well anyway. Hillary has actually consulted with real economists on her plan. The other two don’t seem to have read it and don’t seem to know any real economists.

    • Fannie says:

      He is a Dick.

  40. Fannie says:

    Wait a frigging minute……..Hillary you said his vote to protect gun manufacturers have prolonged affect, how about your vote on Iraq? Whut………….

  41. roofingbird says:

    Guns. the whole argument is beyond the pale. We don’t have decent nation wide reporting or controls.

  42. janicen says:

    OOOOOHHHH! Berns just said, with all due respect, I think Baltimore is not one of the safest places in America! Hahaha!

  43. roofingbird says:

    O’Malley just lost it when he used Obama’s phrase and called her Annie Oakley. Sanders talked about shouting again.

  44. janicen says:

    Oh fer fucks sake, now they’re getting the questions from twitter?

  45. Fannie says:

    Go Hillary, I want to changes to Glass Stegal, and strike at the overall diseases that hit us the hardest. Go Hillary, you have the best economist who stand pat with you! She’s not talking about a quick fix, but an entire fix. She is not wishy washy, and is steadfast in her plans for overall improvements, and crack downs where needed.

    Can’t wait to tell you what my grand son said.

  46. Fannie says:

    sorry for typos….I want to make changes.

  47. janicen says:

    I’m heading to bed. I’ll turn on the dvr and record the rest. I need to lie down. Night all. I call Hillz the winner.

    • bostonboomer says:

      Take care, Janice. I’m sorry you’re sick. I hope it’s not the flu.

      • Oooh…me too Janice. Feel better.

      • janicen says:

        Thanks. Actually, I got my flu shot a week ago Friday. One week later I’m sick as a dog. Same thing happened to me last year so I asked my doc about it. She said the flu shot won’t give you the flu, but it makes your immune system go a little crazy and if you have any little niggling infection in your body (which for me and my allergies, I’m frequently fighting off a sinus infection) your immune system is all pumped up so it attacks it with a vengeance. So she said that’s prob what’s happening with me. I’ll still get my flu shot every year because as bad as I feel, it’s not as bad as influenza, but it’s still a pain in the behind.

  48. bostonboomer says:

    The two men are tag-teaming Hillary. That didn’t work so well for Obama and Edwards in 2008. It will be interesting to see the reactions to it tomorrow.

  49. roofingbird says:

    Clinton- Democrats… support Obamacare and improve it. Sanders… change it to Medicare.

  50. Fannie says:

    Hell yeah, we waited for the revolution and we got the scars to show. We were activist on the campus, fighting against racism, sexism, and war. And I am a woman, if I live I fight, and if I fight I contribute to the liberation of all women, and so VICTORY is born even in the darkest hours.

  51. roofingbird says:

    All, how will you lead? all pretty clear.

  52. bostonboomer says:

    O’Malley: We can’t solve our problems by returning to “polarizing figures from the past.”

  53. roofingbird says:

    Closing..O’Malley- memorized speech. he needs a better speech writer. Clinton-thank you CBS for this evening. worked all my life for you. Sanders, his points, medical care, take back out country

  54. Fannie says:

    I don’t think O’Malley did a good job…………Hillary #1, Sanders #2, O’Malley #3.

  55. Fannie says:

    Sanders: Invites you to join the revolution. Hillary invites to test drive her plans for a new America.

  56. NW Luna says:

    Thanks, all, for live-blogging this. I wasn’t able to watch/listen in real time.

  57. Fannie says:

    My youngest grandson, my baby, knew that I controlled the bedroom t.v. and the computer/study room. He was very curious as to why I would leave the bedroom and go to the computer room. He stuck his head in the bedroom and asked is it because of a commercial. Hee Hee. He asked me if this all about a new president. Yes, I said. He said, well my Daddy said everybody gets a chicken in their pot when they vote. I laughed, and asked what if they don’t get that chicken for their pot? He said then they better start making some food, and growing it. Followed up by saying selling something to get some food. This from a 7 year old!

    • bostonboomer says:

      So cute. Seven is a wonderful age.

    • janicen says:

      It’s amazing how aware they are. I remember when my daughter was 7 during the election of 2000, she was counting up the electoral votes she could depend on when she ran for Pres. She figured she had Virginia sown up because she was born there and Wash State because we lived there at the time and then she asked me if I could deliver New York State since I came from there. I assured her I could deliver NYS when she ran. Then 2008 happened and she saw what they did to Hillary and she gave up on her Presidential aspirations. Maybe after 2016 she’ll reconsider.

  58. janicen says:

    My opinion on the debate, the other candidates and the moderators roughed up HRC a little bit, but that’s a good thing. She needs to get prepared to answer tough questions and cheap shots because you know that’s what the Republicans will do. She did very well as far as I could see. I’ve read where people were miffed about her invoking 9/11 in her answer about Wall St. I think she was clunky, but there is a point to be made that, love them or hate them, Wall St. is a part of America too. Wiping them off the map is not an option. They need regulation not sweeping declarations to appeal to the masses.