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Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

Liveblogging the first 2016 Democratic Presidential Debate from the great Northwest

Good evening, and wel­come to NPI’s live cov­er­age of the first Demo­c­ra­t­ic pres­i­den­tial debate of the 2016 cycle. NPI staff and board mem­bers are at watch par­ties around the Sound and will be shar­ing their impres­sions of the debate as it pro­gress­es. The debate is being broad­cast by CNN, both on cable and on the Web.

Can­di­dates par­tic­i­pat­ing in tonight’s debate include Hillary Clin­ton, Bernie Sanders, Mar­tin O’Mal­ley, Lin­coln Chafee, and James Webb.

Let’s get started!

UPDATE, 5:33 PM: CNN is cur­rent­ly air­ing its preshow. DNC Chair­woman Deb­bie Wasser­man Schultz spoke to the crowd in Las Vegas and intro­duced a video mes­sage from Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma, who exhort­ed Democ­rats to work hard to elect a Demo­c­rat to the White House in 2016.

UPDATE, 5:40 PM: Here we go! Ander­son Coop­er is intro­duc­ing the moderators.

UPDATE, 5:42 PM: Final­ly, all the CNN self-pro­mo­tion­al non­sense is over…. time for the singing of the Nation­al Anthem.

UPDATE, 5:45 PM: CNN is squeez­ing in one last com­mer­cial break before actu­al­ly begin­ning the debate.

UPDATE, 5:48 PM: We’re back, final­ly. CNN’s Ander­son Coop­er is explain­ing the ground rules.

UPDATE, 5:50 PM: For­mer Rhode Island Gov­er­nor and ex-Repub­li­can Lin­coln Chafee gets to make his intro­duc­tion first. He’s tout­ing his expe­ri­ence as a may­or, sen­a­tor, and gov­er­nor. “I believe in pros­per­i­ty through peace,” he says.

UPDATE, 5:52 PM: For­mer U.S. Sen­a­tor James Webb, who rep­re­sent­ed Vir­ginia for six years in Con­gress, is the sec­ond can­di­date to speak. He’s stress­ing his non-polit­i­cal expe­ri­ence, includ­ing his ser­vice as a mil­i­tary leader in Pentagon.

UPDATE, 5:53 PM: Mar­tin O’Malley is the third can­di­date to speak. “After fif­teen years of exec­u­tive expe­ri­ence, I have learned how to be an effec­tive leader,” he says, sum­ma­riz­ing his accom­plish­ments as Gov­er­nor of Maryland.

UPDATE, 5:54 PM: “Our econ­o­my isn’t mon­ey, it’s peo­ple,” O’Malley says, mak­ing a cogent point.

UPDATE, 5:56 PM: And now, Sen­a­tor Bernie Sanders is up. He wast­ed no time in point­ing out that our coun­try is suf­fer­ing from income inequal­i­ty and the influ­ence of big mon­ey in elections.

UPDATE, 5:56 PM: “We have a moral respon­si­bil­i­ty to trans­form our ener­gy sys­tem away from fos­sil fuels,” Sanders says.

UPDATE, 6:02 PM: Last but cer­tain­ly not least, for­mer Sec­re­tary of State Hillary Clin­ton. As expect­ed, she intro­duced her­self as a grand­moth­er and an advo­cate for high­er wages for America’s work­ers. She used her time effec­tive­ly to talk about her cam­paign plat­form and values.

UPDATE, 6:02 PM: First ques­tion goes to Hillary Clin­ton — it’s a hos­tile ques­tion that boils down to, does Clin­ton change her polit­i­cal iden­ti­ty based on who she’s talk­ing to?

UPDATE, 6:03 PM: “I’m a pro­gres­sive who likes to get things done,” Clin­ton says, when asked a fol­low-up, “Are you a pro­gres­sive or are you a moderate?”

UPDATE, 6:04 PM: Coop­er turns to Bernie Sanders next, and asks how he expects to get elect­ed giv­en that he calls him­self a demo­c­ra­t­ic socialist.

UPDATE, 6:06 PM: Cooper’s fol­low-up is a joke: Do Sanders’ views give Repub­li­cans ammu­ni­tion for attack ads? Sanders piv­ots to talk­ing about vot­er turnout, and notes that Repub­li­cans win when peo­ple don’t vote.

UPDATE, 6:07 PM: Clin­ton and Sanders agree: our small and medi­um size busi­ness­es are the back­bone of our economy.

UPDATE, 6:09 PM: Turn­ing his atten­tion to Lin­coln Chafee, Coop­er asks why Chafee has changed par­ties. The for­mer gov­er­nor respond­ed by describ­ing him­self as a “block of gran­ite” on the issues.

UPDATE, 6:10 PM: Mar­tin O’Malley is the next can­di­date to be chal­lenged. Coop­er asks why Amer­i­cans should trust him to run the coun­try giv­en the prob­lems that the city of Bal­ti­more, which he pre­vi­ous­ly led, has had.

UPDATE, 6:11 PM: O’Malley says under his tenure as May­or of Bal­ti­more, polic­ing improved and peace was restored in trou­bled neigh­bor­hoods. “We saved a lot of lives,” O’Malley says.

UPDATE, 6:12 PM: Coop­er asks Webb about his past state­ments con­demn­ing affir­ma­tive action.

UPDATE, 6:12 PM: “I have always sup­port­ed affir­ma­tive action for African-Amer­i­cans,” Webb says.

UPDATE, 6:15 PM: Ander­son Coop­er moves on to the issue of gun vio­lence, and asks Sanders whether he wants to shield gun com­pa­nies from legal respon­si­bil­i­ty for mass shoot­ings? Sanders replies: Of course not.

UPDATE, 6:15 PM: “Is Bernie Sanders tough enough on guns,” Coop­er asks Hillary Clin­ton. “No,” she says.

UPDATE, 6:16 PM: Sanders responds to Clinton’s crit­i­cism, say­ing all the shout­ing in the world won’t stop gun vio­lence and keep guns out of the hands of peo­ple who shouldn’t have them.

UPDATE, 6:18 PM: O’Malley’s turn. He notes he’s actu­al­ly tough­ened gun respon­si­bil­i­ty laws as Gov­er­nor of Mary­land. Clin­ton nods as O’Malley decries the influ­ence of the Nation­al Rifle Association.

UPDATE, 6:20 PM: As Sanders and O’Malley get into a back and forth over gun respon­si­bil­i­ty, Hillary Clin­ton smiles broad­ly, posi­tioned in between.

UPDATE, 6:23 PM: Ander­son Coop­er shift gears to for­eign pol­i­cy, ask­ing what the can­di­dates’ response to Vladimir Putin would be.

UPDATE, 6:24 PM: “When you’re talk­ing about Syr­ia, you’re talk­ing about a quag­mire with­in a quag­mire,” notes Bernie Sanders.

UPDATE, 6:24 PM: Sanders calls Iraq “the worst for­eign pol­i­cy blun­der in Amer­i­can history.”

UPDATE, 6:27 PM: Clin­ton admirably field­ed a ques­tion about whether her judg­ment can be trust­ed, not­ing that Pres­i­dent Oba­ma chose her to be his first Sec­re­tary of State.

UPDATE, 6:30 PM: Mar­tin O’Malley says peo­ple remain angry about Iraq because they feel that Con­gress was rail­road­ed into mak­ing a ter­ri­ble deci­sion based on war hype and polls.

UPDATE, 6:32 PM: Clin­ton cheek­i­ly thanks O’Malley for his endorse­ment in 2008 and then pro­ceeds to defend her posi­tion in favor of a no-fly zone in Syria.

UPDATE, 6:39 PM: Webb says he is the can­di­date who is most qual­i­fied to be Commander-in-Chief.

UPDATE, 6:40 PM: Sanders: “I am pre­pared to take this coun­try into war if necessary.”

UPDATE, 6:42 PM: CNN heads to its first mid-debate com­mer­cial break.

UPDATE, 6:48 PM: Clin­ton calls the House Select Com­mit­tee on Beng­hazi an arm of the Repub­li­can Nation­al Com­mit­tee — which we all know is true.

UPDATE, 6:49 PM: “The Amer­i­can peo­ple are sick and tired of hear­ing about your damn emails,” Sanders says, get­ting a big smile out of Clinton.

UPDATE, 6:50 PM: Sanders and Clin­ton shake hands, smil­ing, after Sanders goes after the media for not talk­ing about the real issues. Many Democ­rats in the audi­ence jumped to their feet.

UPDATE, 6:53 PM: O’Malley refus­es to take Ander­son Cooper’s bait, and instead seizes an oppor­tu­ni­ty to crit­i­cize DNC Chair Deb­bie Wasser­man Schultz regard­ing the 2016 Demo­c­ra­t­ic pres­i­den­tial debate.

UPDATE, 6:58 PM: Ander­son Coop­er asks Bernie Sanders about one of the issues he talks about often: income inequal­i­ty. What would Sanders do about income inequal­i­ty that Oba­ma hasn’t done? Sanders notes that when Oba­ma took office, he inher­it­ed a hor­ri­ble mess left by George W. Bush.

UPDATE, 6:59 PM: O’Malley cov­ers a pre­vi­ous cam­paign trail gaffe by show­ing his under­stand­ing for the need to bring atten­tion to insti­tu­tion­al racism in his response to the ques­tion “Do black lives mat­ter, or do all lives matter?”

UPDATE, 6:59 PM: Mar­tin O’Malley calls for the restora­tion of Glass-Stea­gall. We need a fire­wall between com­mer­cial and invest­ment banking.

UPDATE, 7:02 PM: Clin­ton says her plan to hold big banks account­able is more com­pre­hen­sive than that of the oth­er can­di­dates. She notes there are large finan­cial insti­tu­tions like AIG that need to be reined in as well.

UPDATE, 7:03 PM: “If you only look at the big banks, you may be miss­ing the for­est for the trees,” Clin­ton says. Sanders retorts by declar­ing, “Wall Street reg­u­lates Congress.”

UPDATE, 7:07 PM: Sanders clear­ly doesn’t regret his vote against the 2008 bank bailout.

UPDATE, 7:14 PM: Bernie Sanders calls for scrap­ping the cap on tax­able earn­ings for social secu­ri­ty, while Clin­ton avoids specifics on social secu­ri­ty expansion.

UPDATE, 7:16 PM: Sanders acquits him­self well in response to a ques­tion about why he vot­ed against a Bush error immi­gra­tion pro­pos­al in 2007, not­ing that he was opposed because the South­ern Pover­ty Law Cen­ter ana­lyzed the bill’s guest work­er pro­vi­sion to be equiv­a­lent to wage slavery.

UPDATE, 7:17 PM: “I am for a gen­er­ous, com­pas­sion­ate Amer­i­ca that says we’re all in this togeth­er,” Mar­tin O’Malley says, artic­u­lat­ing a strong pro­gres­sive posi­tion of immigration.

UPDATE, 7:18 PM: Hillary Clin­ton notes that there’s a huge dif­fer­ence between what the Demo­c­ra­t­ic can­di­dates are say­ing on immi­gra­tion ver­sus the Republicans.

UPDATE, 7:19 PM: O’Malley slams Trump as “a car­ni­val bark­er in the Repub­li­can Par­ty”. Was hop­ing some­body was going to do that.

UPDATE, 7:21 PM: Asked about the Patri­ot Act, Lin­coln Chafee replies, “That was anoth­er 1999–2001 vote…” He’s not doing very well tonight.

UPDATE, 7:23 PM: Con­tin­u­ing a dis­cus­sion about the Patri­ot Act, Sanders says he would absolute­ly shut down the NSA’s uncon­sti­tu­tion­al mass sur­veil­lance pro­grams, which vio­late the Fourth Amendment.

UPDATE, 7:27 PM: “I think being the first woman pres­i­dent would be quite a change,” Hillary Clin­ton says with a broad smile, when asked if she is run­ning for Obama’s third term.

UPDATE, 7:29 PM: Sanders explains that by rev­o­lu­tion, he means peo­ple par­tic­i­pat­ing in our democracy.

UPDATE, 7:35 PM: Ander­son Coop­er veers away from the issues again and asks why Democ­rats should embrace an insid­er like Clin­ton. Stu­pid question.

UPDATE, 7:36 PM: “I would not ask any­one to vote for me based on my last name,” Clin­ton says, deliv­er­ing a great response to Mar­tin O’Malley.

UPDATE, 7:37 PM: “I think there is pro­found frus­tra­tion all over this coun­try with estab­lish­ment pol­i­tics… I do not have a Super PAC,” Bernie Sanders notes, men­tion­ing that his cam­paign has orga­nized thou­sands of watch par­ties all over the country.

UPDATE, 7:38 PM: In response to a ques­tion about com­bat­ing the cli­mate cri­sis, Mar­tin O’Malley says he has a plan to move Amer­i­ca to a com­plete­ly clean elec­tric grid by 2050.

UPDATE, 7:39 PM: James Webb par­rots a talk­ing point from the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion and starts talk­ing about an “all of the above ener­gy strat­e­gy”. An old and tired phrase.

UPDATE, 7:41 PM: Sanders says he agrees with Pope Fran­cis that com­bat­ing the cli­mate cri­sis is a moral issue. He notes that fos­sil fuel com­pa­nies are financ­ing Repub­li­can can­di­dates, and that mon­ey in pol­i­tics is thus a relat­ed problem.

UPDATE, 7:45 PM: Clin­ton hits a home run with her answer defend­ing paid fam­i­ly leave.

UPDATE, 7:45 PM: O’Malley, Sanders, and Clin­ton all agree: We should have paid fam­i­ly leave.

UPDATE, 7:46 PM: It’s time to rethink the failed “war on drugs”, Bernie Sanders says.

UPDATE, 7:47 PM: Sanders offers luke­warm endorse­ment of recre­ation cannabis when asked about Nevada’s legal­iza­tion ini­tia­tive. Clin­ton declines to take a stance.

UPDATE, 7:54 PM: Final ques­tion: Which polit­i­cal ene­my are you most proud of? Chafee: The coal lob­by. O’Malley: The Nation­al Rifle Asso­ci­a­tion. Hillary Clin­ton: The drug com­pa­nies, the Ira­ni­ans, the Repub­li­cans. Sanders: Wall Street and the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal industry.

UPDATE, 7:55 PM: Chafee reminds us again how proud he is that he has had no scandals.

UPDATE, 7:56 PM: In his clos­ing remarks, Webb says he’s always been will­ing to take com­pli­cat­ed, dif­fi­cult issues and work them through to find a solution.

UPDATE, 7:58 PM: O’Malley says he’s grate­ful for the chance to stand on a stage with oth­er qual­i­fied and dis­tin­guished can­di­dates for President.

UPDATE, 8:00 PM: Sanders says there’s no way just one per­son can address the tough chal­lenges fac­ing Amer­i­ca… it’s going to take a move­ment. And he’s cor­rect on that score.

UPDATE, 8:02 PM: “My mis­sion as Pres­i­dent will be to raise incomes for mid­dle Amer­i­can fam­i­lies,” Clin­ton says in her clos­ing remarks.

UPDATE, 8:10 PM: And we’re done with all the clos­ing state­ments! Thanks for fol­low­ing along with us tonight for the first Demo­c­ra­t­ic debate of 2016.

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