Highlights from 3rd Democratic Debate

121915_ABC Debate sneak peak_frame

ABC News Moderators: David Muir (anchor), Martha Raddatz (chief global affairs correspondent)

Location: Saint Anselm College, Manchester, New Hampshire

Highlights included: All the candidates shared inspiring anecdotes. Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont talked about his humble beginnings in Brooklyn, NY growing up in a rent-controlled unit. Later he mentioned his wife’s work in foster-care. Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley talked about his understanding of the challenges middle class families face today in sending his daughters through college, and about his wife’s volunteer work in anti-bullying campaigns. Former U.S. Secretary of State Clinton talked about a courageous comeback in playing a new role at the White House, along with her devoted family.

Foreign policy: Senator Sanders is following President Obama’s policy of recognizing the need to fight ISIL, but contends that we need to cooperate with Russia; Former Secretary of State Clinton recognizes the latest Syria U.N. peace accord negotiated by Secretary of State John Kerry, but maintains the importance of planning for a transitional government in Syria; meanwhile Governor O’Malley believes we need to begin to ask more questions about why US foreign policy insists upon regime change.

Moderators David Muir and Martha Raddatz emphasized foreign policy more in last night’s debate with questions regarding ISIL, Libya, and specific questions aimed at the former Secretary of State. More than anything else it conveyed underlying concerns regarding a new prolonged war in the Middle East.

Economic policy: Mr. Sanders put forth proposals such as tuition-free college education, taxing Wall Street speculation to support things such as a single-payer medical plan, and creating more green jobs. Ms. Clinton echoed the need for investing in infrastructure, protecting social security, and elaborated on how affordable health care can be improved. Mr. O’Malley suggests that diversity, supporting small businesses, and growing infrastructure have created a healthier economy in Maryland.

Campaign financing: Bernie Sanders emphasized that he does not accept money from corporations. Hillary Clinton countered that the majority of her supporters and donors come from the middle class. Martin O’Malley stood alone in his commitment to reinstatement of the Glass-Steagall Act.

Black Lives Matter: Hillary stated that it was important to create more conversations between police authorities and people of color; this would include hiring more people of color in the staff; Bernie talked about the need to appreciate and welcome people from all religious backgrounds and also the need to pass a national gun control law; O’Malley pointed out how in his state the crime rate and incarceration rates have been lowered dramatically and that this helps diffuse tensions.

The Democratic candidates presented a united front in espousing the need to protect social welfare programs, leniency with regard to drug addiction, support for raising minimum wage, and keeping college affordable for middle and lower income families. Together, with the help of the moderators, they exhibited the sort of grace, charm, and exuberance one expects close to the holidays.

Both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders invited voters to visit their websites:

Hillary Clinton: https://www.hillaryclinton.com/

Bernie Sanders: https://go.berniesanders.com/page/content/splash   &   https://berniesanders.com/?nosplash=true/

Martin O’Malley: https://martinomalley.com/

Rewatch the entire 2-hour debate: Full Video: Watch the ABC News Democratic Debate

<http://www.uspresidentialelectionnews.com/2015/12/full-video-watch-the-abc-news-democratic-debate/>

Image from http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/abc-news-democratic-debate-hampshire-edition/story?id=35853257

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Addendum on Fact-checking:

1) Hillary Clinton: President Bashar al-Assad did not personally kill over 250,000 people in Syria; rather, these people perished amid the civil war from fighting from all factions.

2) Bernie Sanders: Jordan is not a democracy, rather it is a constitutional monarchy much like how Iran was once ruled by a Shah with pro-Western foreign and economic policies.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~