Well, I was wrong.
Recently, I was critical of the Bernie Sanders campaign for endangering a possible New Hampshire debate by insisting on a further expansion of the debate schedule.
And last night, the Democratic National Committee capitulated.
“Our Democratic candidates have agreed in principle to having the DNC sanction and manage additional debates in our primary schedule, inclusive of New Hampshire this week,” [DNC Chair and Representative Debbie] Wasserman Schultz said in the statement.
Mighty white of her, considering that she had stubbornly resisted any changes to the previously agreed debate schedule. I don’t know if it was Jeff Weaver’s persuasive charm, or party leaders finally realizing they’d shot themselves in the foot with a minimal and weirdly-scheduled slate of debates. But something finally penetrated the DNC’s shields.
In any case, congratulations to Weaver for taking a risk and winning. That is, assuming Wasserman Schultz comes through on the details; for now, she is promising “additional” debates with details to be announced Tuesday, after the Iowa caucuses.
More debates is good for the party and for the liberal cause. Bernie’s views will get a broader airing, and Clinton is a pretty darn good debater herself. I’m glad to see the DNC finally give in, and I’m happy to be proven wrong.
Wasserman Schultz couldn’t resist a little ex post facto rationalization, of course:
“We have consistently worked with our campaigns to ensure a schedule that is both robust and allows our candidates to engage with voters in a variety of ways, whether through debates, forums, or town halls, while also leaving them the flexibility to attend county fairs and living room conversations for the direct voter contact that matters so much in the early states. Those principles will continue to guide these negotiations.”
Ohh, so that’s why she crafted a minimal debate schedule almost entirely relegated to low-audience time slots. It wasn’t to try to shield Hillary Clinton from the rigors of the process; it was to allow plenty of time for those politically crucial county fairs!
Because you can’t expect to become President if you don’t eat your share of corn dogs and other deep-fried delicacies.