By Daizha Reed 10/15/2015
Democratic front runners Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders came fully prepared for anything Tuesday night when the two met in Las Vegas for the party’s first Presidential debate, also on stage where Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley , former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee and former Virginia Senator Jim Webb
Clinton and Sanders quickly established themselves as the the face of their parties early on in the night. They tried very hard to distance themselves from each other by pointing out the differences that showed flaws in each other’s past. Secretary Clinton quickly retorted after the Vermont Senator said that the United States should look more like Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. She said “I love Denmark, but we are not Denmark we are The United States of America.” The former Secretary of State also called out Sanders on his gun control record saying he wasn’t tough enough. She called into question his decision to oppose the 1993 Brady Bill and his support of a 2005 bill that granted gun manufactures immunity in lawsuits. Sanders got in some shots on Clinton by putting her in the hot seat when she was forced to talk about her changing views on subjects like Transpacific partnership trade deal and the Keystone XL oil pipeline. Clinton defended herself by stating “Everyone on this stage has changed a position or two during their political careers.”
The most talked about moment of the night was when Sanders completely diminished the issue of the emails by telling the audience “Let me say something that may not be great politics…but I think the secretary is right and that is that the American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails!” The audience cheered in agreement with Sanders. Clinton even added a “Thank you, Bernie” to totally end any thought that this was going to be a confrontational night between the two.
There was no doubt this was the Bernie and Hillary Show. While former Governor O’Malley was able to get himself noticed and made a favorable impression, former Governor Chafee and former Senator Webb pretty much faded in the background.
Hillary and Bernie put on a good show. They showed that they are pretty much on the same page on what America should look like, a very different vision than that of the Republican party whose focus was mainly on things like immigration and social issues. Anderson Cooper did a good job keeping the candidates on track and made sure the tough questions got answered. All in all it was a productive first debate, but the question remains “What is Joe Biden going to do? “ And how will that change the political landscape?