Oh, to be a fly on the wall in Hillary Clinton’s campaign headquarters. This year has not gone as the former first lady had hoped. She thought she would breeze right through the primaries to an easy nomination, face down another one of the GOP’s weak moderates in the general, and secure her spot in the Oval Office without breaking a sweat. With no Barack Obama to stand in her way, this was to be Hillary’s chance to make history.
And it’s been one disaster after another. The emails. The response to said emails. The further revelations about her private server and decidedly unorthodox approach to national security. The startling rise of Bernie Sanders. The even more startling rise of Donald Trump. If Hillary had been able to access a crystal ball back in January, one wonders if she would have put herself through the misery.
While Clintonites predict that the email scandal is getting ready to blow over, Hillary is already facing another problem. See, the DNC didn’t want a messy fight in the primaries. If they had their wish, they would have anointed Hillary from the start and skipped the whole thing altogether. At the outset, they scheduled only six debates, hoping to create the illusion that there really wasn’t any competition for their girl. And now that decision is coming back to bite them.
At a New Hampshire Democratic convention this weekend, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was interrupted repeatedly by chants of frustration from the audience. “We want debates…we want debates…we want debates.”
Finally, Schultz lost her cool. “What’s more important? Drawing a contrast with Republicans or arguing about debates?”
Well…seeing as how this is a primary, the answer is clearly DEBATES. Isn’t this supposed to be when the party decides which candidate to vote for? It’s not just a sham election is it? You’re not desperately trying to keep the threads of your battle plan together in the face of a drastically different scenario, are you? No, of course not.
The crusade for more debates has been led by Martin O’Malley, and he has a vested interest in opening up the process. A debate would finally introduce him to the world and give him a name-recognition boost against one of the most famous women in America. But even if his intentions aren’t entirely altruistic, it’s hard to argue with his logic. “It’s bad for us as a Democratic Party to act in undemocratic ways and try to limit debates in some sort of misguided effort to prop up or circle the wagon around this year’s inevitable front-runner,” he told a local TV station in New Hampshire.
With or without the debates, Hillary is losing ground fast. Bernie Sanders – a self-professed socialist – is overtaking her in several regional polls and there is still talk of Vice President Joe Biden entering the race. The DNC can’t protect her forever. And the longer they try, the more her supporters will begin to lose faith.