Who won the debate? — a week’s perspective

ColumnLogo-1By George Miller

Who won the debate?” Almost everyone knows which debate I’m talking about, just as sports fans at work or school the next morning always know which game is being discussed when someone asks “what did you think about “the game?” The debate, of course, was the first Democrat presidential candidate debate, which took place a week ago.



Democrat Candidate Signs at Vegas debate hotel on 10-13-15.  Photo: Marc Langsam/CitizensJournal.us


The time pressure was off for me, since I  had already published my article: Democratic presidential candidate debate in Vegas- First impressions,” before even leaving the media room at the Wynn’s Hotel debate site in Las Vegas last Tuesday. I’ll admit that I tweaked it a bit afterward back home at 4 A.M., after thinking about the debate and discussing it with our photographer Marc Langsam on the endless drive home through the desert and sprawling LA area metropolis. So, we waited a week to pick the victors in retrospect.

A brief outline of what I heard from others, before revealing my own thoughts:

– In the debate hall, it was clear, via applause, that most thought Hillary had won (Bernie fans say the room was stacked with Hillary supporters), with Bernie second, and only a sprinkling of applause for the other three, unless one adroitly delivered a politically correct line occasionally. That was especially true after Sanders delivered the line “We’ve heard enough about your damned emails,” when he symbolically absolved Hillary of her scandal sins, on behalf of the DNC.  At times, the audience seemed to be briefly in silent shock when Jim Webb would let loose a line better designed to fly at a Republican debate. Then a sprinkling of light applause would follow from the few surviving “Conservative Democrats.”

– In the media room, it was clear that most of the press corps who would talk thought, or at least opined- that Hillary won.

– In the street and in initial Internet reader polls, it was clear to “the base” that Bernie Sanders won.

– In the appropriately-named “Spin Room,” dominated by Hillary spin people and Big Media personalities, it was clear that Hillary won … at least until Bernie Sanders walked in and sucked up all of the oxygen in the room. He was instantly mobbed by “journalists,” their photographers, sound men and blockers. Yes, it really seemed as though they had “blockers” working for them, as they moved in and took over the most advantageous camera angle and sound bite slots.

Bernie Sanders in “Spin Room” after debate ….

– In the subsequent debate “news” and more blatant media propaganda blitz, it was clear that Hillary was the runaway winner of the contest.


Hillary did not make a grand entrance, so we’ll never be able to gauge spin room reaction to her presence. Jim Webb was the first one in and was mobbed. He made a swing through the room and and ascended to a CNN interview stage- see video: Jim Webb triumphant entrance to Spin Room 10-13-15

Unlike the spin room at the CNN/Reagan Library Republican candidate debate in Simi Valley, CA last month, the Vegas spin room was empty of most politicians and spinmeisters most of the day, but only jammed up after the debate. In contrast, the Reagan Library event had mostly unknown professional spinmeisters there earlier to answer questions and talk about issues.  For example, Chad Sweet of the Chertoff group was at the Reagan Library Spin Room representing Ted Cruz and knew the issues and candidate positions inside-out. In contrast, the Democrats tended to use celebrity politicians on the floor, such as former LA Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz and local Nevada politicians, such as state legislator Dana Titus.

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Democrat Preseidential Candidates at 10-13-15 debate

Democrat Presidential Candidates at 10-13-15 debate. Photo: Marc Langsam/CitizensJournal.us

So, who really won?

It depends on how you scored it ….

1st prize for minimizing the crushing impact of incompetent performance, shocking lack of ethics, then confidently pretending that all was well in spite of that, was garnered by Hillary Clinton.

The winner of the contest to unabashedly and openly advocate an ideology and values most greatly at odds with our constitutional republic, free enterprise and personal responsibility had to be Bernie Sanders.

The winner for sheer chutzpah to show up with so little in the way of accomplishments was Lincoln Chafee.

The award for attempting to convince us that his results in helping to destroy first Baltimore, then the State of Maryland, were qualifications to do it to our entire nation go to Martin O’Malley.

The consolation prize went to Jim Webb, the only one of the assembled candidates to support anything resembling a constitutional republic, with reasonable mores, economic sanity and an eye on legitimate national security needs. Too bad he spoiled it by excessive frowning, whining and violating too many of the Democrats’ current positions.

Some other takes:





Who won the Democratic debate: Headlines and polls …


CNN Focus Group Says Bernie Sanders Won The First …

One of the best- from SNL:

Poll: Voters say Clinton won first Democratic debate – AOL

Democratic debate winners and losers – CNNPolitics.com

Hillary Clinton Dominates First Democratic Debate, Analysts …

Who Won and Lost the Democratic Debate? The Web Has …

Elizabeth Warren Won The First Democratic Debate

Biggest Lies of the Democratic Debate Revealed Alex Jones …

Democratic Debate Revealed Sanders’ True Strength | Al …

Donald Trump Praises Hillary Clinton’s Debate Performance …

Post-debate poll: The Democratic Party won the Democratic …

Poll: Who won the CNN Democratic debate? | myfox8.com


George Miller is Publisher of Citizensjournal.us and a “retired” operations management consultant, active in civic affairs, living in Oxnard.

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