#DemDebate Liveblog: 2 Dem 2 Debate

It’s that time again! Tonight marks the second Democratic debate in just four days, and there’s a GOP debate yet to come this week. Are there always this many debates? The schedule feels a lot more packed this year.

I have a teensy bit of election burnout (yes, I am aware it’s only March) so I tricked fellow Skepchick writer Julia Burke into liveblogging with me. We will both be on deck to provide updates, gifs, and (obviously) shade. You can also follow along on Twitter, or tweet us questions, by following @skepchicks. Here are the deets you’ll need in order to watch the debate live:


Tonight (3/9/16), 9 PM ET

How to Watch:

  • On TV: Univision (in Spanish) or CNN (in English)
  • Livestream: Washington Post will be streaming the debate on their website and Apple TV app, and CNN will be streaming it on their site and mobile app (iPhone & Android)

Tonight’s debate is taking place in Florida, a swing state with 214 delegates at stake. Florida’s primary is less than a week away, meaning candidates will be vying for every last vote (so business as usual).

Sanders will likely be on the defensive here, as pointed out by the Washington Post, who is co-hosting the debate:

Univision chairman Haim Saban has contributed $2.5 million to Priorities USA Action, a super PAC backing Clinton. Ramos’s daughter, Paola Ramos, works for the Clinton campaign’s communications team. And in January, Sanders memorably unloaded on The Washington Post editorial board for criticizing his “fiction-filled campaign.” The dynamics among the candidates and sponsoring media outlets could provide intriguing subplots.

Immigration reform should be featured heavily, given both the location & host of the event. It will be interesting to see how the two candidates seek to distinguish themselves on this issue, as there’s seemingly very little light between them (according to their official platforms). Here’s Sanders on immigration:

Beginning in the first 100 days of my administration, I will work to take extensive executive action to accomplish what Congress has failed to do and to build upon President Obama’s executive orders.

And here’s Clinton on her steps to immigration reform:

Defend President Obama’s executive actions to provide deportation relief for DREAMers and parents of Americans and lawful residents, and extend those actions to additional persons with sympathetic cases if Congress refuses to act.

The Democratic candidates were also finally asked abortion questions earlier this week, after not being asked at seven debates. The questions came about at a Fox News Town Hall, so perhaps we’ll get to see more of that in a formal debate setting, since there seems to be a bigger difference between Clinton’s & Sanders’ answers than some previously thought.

Here goes nothing!

11:00 PM: 

That’s a wrap, folks! Thanks for joining us tonight for #DemDebate 2 Dem 2 Furious! Here’s our final gif recap for the night. Join us tomorrow night for the GOP Debate!


10:57 PM: 

Alex: Closing statement time. I would rather just hear more questions, honestly.

Clinton: “Tonight reinforced my strong commitment to breaking down barriers that prevent people from realizing their full potential. ”

Sanders: “If we stand up, fight back, we can do a lot better. That’s why I’m running for President.”

As always, Clinton’s answer was extremely polished, but to be honest I zoned out a bit. Sanders had a passionate response that hit on all his key issues, without being too repetitive.

Julia: Agreed, he’s doing VERY well tonight. However, I would have liked an affirmation from him on reproductive rights.

10:50 PM: 

Last commercial break, and Clinton definitely had a solid answer on the SCOTUS vacancy. This gif recap is for you, Clinton!

10:50 PM: 

Alex: If you blinked, you may have missed it, but Clinton just gave a shoutout to abortion while talking about the Scalia vacancy.

10:49 PM: 

Alex: I could listen to Bernie saying “vulture capitalists” all day long.

10:47 PM:

Alex: Going back to what we said earlier, Clinton just said “When I become President,” but then caveated with “If I’m so lucky to be President” which I’ve heard her use before. Seems to reiterate what we were saying about not seeming to entitled or aggressive.

Julia: I picked that up too; she’s always on eggshells about seeming too confident. Maybe part of her campaign’s effort to “humanize?”

Alex: Yep, it definitely feels that she’s been coached here.

10:44 PM:

Alex: I have to say it again: the moderator questions are absolutely the best I’ve seen thus far. Pressing Bernie on how Democratic Socialism is different from the socialism/communism of Cuba is important to Americans.

Julia: Agreed. Such educated questions; the anti-intellectualism in GOP debates is a joke in comparison.

Alex: Not one person has talked about a penis tonight!

10:41 PM:

Julia: HRC says there are “No better ambassadors for freedom and democracy than Cuban-Americans.”

Alex: Except Cruz and Rubio.

10:35 PM:

Commercial break! Gif time!

10:35 PM:

Julia: Hillary doesn’t talk like she’s already President – she talks like she’s Secretary of State. She doesn’t say “when I’m president,” doesn’t say “as commander in chief.” She says, “I will introduce,” “bipartisan approach,” “reach out and ask for advice,” etc.

Alex: I see what you mean. I wonder if this is out of respect for President Obama, or because women are always viewed as “entitled” or “aggressive” when they’re confident?

Julia: I think it’s both. She’s trying to align herself more with Obama but it’s customary for candidates to say “when I’m president” so I think it’s also that she’s a woman. Sady Doyle’s “you always smile for the job interview” essay comes to mind.

10:33 PM:

Alex: Moderator challenges Clinton on whether she can address climate change without bipartisan support. Hillary promises to maintain executive actions on this front if she can’t get bipartisan support. Also challenges Sanders on his climate change record. Bernie is TURNT and the crowd is digging it.

10:28 PM:

Alex: Glad to hear climate change at two debates in a row!

10:26 PM: 

Clinton: Sanders’ promises are too good to be true from a monetary perspective.

Sanders: So the American people should settle?

10:19 PM: 

Alex: Ride that applause wave, Sanders.

10:17 PM: 

Alex: I’d also say that Sanders seems more prepared this time around – he seems more relaxed and much less defensive. Almost like he’s having fun?

10:14 PM: 

Alex: These moderators have been absolutely fantastic overall. They’re doing a much better job than any of the moderators I’ve seen in all seven previous debates.

10:14 PM: 

Alex: This is an absolutely fantastic question for Sanders from the moderators: “Why should voters prefer a career politician, to an establishment politician?”

A lot of folks call Bernie “establishment” because of his tenure in the Senate. There is a difference, although acting like he’s an outsider is a bit of a stretch.

10:12 PM: 

Annnd, we’re back from commercial break! I’m only telling you this, because it’s an excuse to use this Christine Baranski gif:

10:06 PM: 

Commercial Break! This seems to sum tonight up perfectly:

10:06 PM: 

Alex: This Benghazi section seems like a good time to take a pee break.

10:04 PM: 

Alex: Whether you’re a Clinton fan or a Sanders fan, you have to admit this Benghazi shit is played out.

Julia: Look I watch House of Cards, I get what Clinton is saying about info changing by the hour.

10:02 PM: 

Alex: Boos from the crowd at the mere mention of Benghazi. They are as tired of Benghazi as the rest of us.

9:57 PM: 

Alex: Sanders says, “There is nobody in the US Congress who has taken on the Koch brothers more than Bernie Sanders.”

Julia: Has Bernie always referred to himself in the third person?

9:57 PM: 

Alex: Sanders to Clinton, summed up in one gif:

9:57 PM: 

Mods: “Senator Sanders, do you think Hillary Clinton is a lying liar from Lie-ville?”

Sanders: “I’m not saying that, exactly, but…”

9:55 PM: 

Alex: “I am not a natural politician” might be Clinton’s most laughable moment, especially when she’s contrasted with Sanders who is much less polished.

Julia: “I’m not sure if I’m more sad that a female politican has to act like a not-politican or that HRC thinks she’s not one.”

9:53 PM: 

Alex: Sanders’ answer seems stronger when he talks about uniting families, don’t you think? Felt more passionate.

Julia: Hillary is connecting directly,  so I can’t tell yet. But Bernie had more emotion. I think Hillary lost it with the Obama plug.

9:50 PM: 

Sanders: “The essence of what we are trying to do is unite families, not divide families.” Also calls separating families “wrong & immoral.”

9:49 PM: 

Julia: “All in all, are you in fact just another brick in the wall?” – Moderators

9:45 PM: 

Alex: I can’t tell if the audience is laughing at Clinton or with her, when she describes how her wall is totes different than Trump’s.

9:45 PM: 

Julia: Big cheers for the auto industry bailout; bigger cheers for Sanders calling it the Wall Street bailout.

9:42 PM: 

Alex: Sanders calls the Minutemen “vigilantes.” #Fire

9:40 PM: 

Alex: I gotta say that I had bought into the idea that Univision might softer on Clinton, due to Haim’s & Ramos’ connections to Clinton. I was certainly wrong there.

9:37 PM: 

Alex: Bernie gets huge cheers for stating Obama hasn’t done nearly enough on immigration.

9:37 PM: 

Julia: HRC has refused twice to say outright she won’t deport children. When pressed for a yes/no answer, she says, “I will not deport children or family members.”

9:34 PM: 

Alex: Jorge is bringing it hard, asking Clinton if she will be the next Deporter in Chief.

9:33 PM: 

Commercial Break! That means it’s time for a gif recap:

9:27 PM: 

Julia: As usual white liberals are having trouble moving past the “I have brown friends” defense.

9:24 PM:

Julia: I need Sanders to evoke slavery less, tbh.

9:22 PM: 

Alex: Hillary says she’s always supported immigration reform, but:

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that unaccompanied minors who crossed the border illegally in a massive influx over recent months “should be sent back” to their native countries, but also that they should be reunited with their families — which sometimes requires them to stay in the United States.

9:22 PM: 

Alex: Clinton is rightfully asked whether she’s flip-flopped on immigration. Moderator uses the term “hispandering” which I absolutely love. Portmanteaus are my favorite.

9:19 PM: 

Julia: Oh shitttt is Trump a racist??? What a question! Clinton answered, “You don’t make America great by getting rid of everything that made America great.” Winning line for the crowd!

9:17 PM: 

Alex: Clinton straight REFUSES to answer whether she’ll drop out if indicted.

9:15 PM: 

Julia: HRC is so over this email thing.

Alex: Yep. I’m not sure how many times we can rehash this.

Julia: Even Bernie is done.

9:13 PM: 

Alex: Clinton is quick to point out that she still got more votes and delegates than Sanders last night. Still, that Michigan upset was quite the surprise for Sanders.

9:10 PM: 

Julia: Hillary’s opening statements: Jobs, Immigration Reform, Education.

Alex: Sanders leads with Wall Street. Duh.

9:09 PM: 

Alex: Went to Google Sebastian de la Cruz, and apparently racist assholes harassed him after he sang the national anthem. WAY TO GO, AMERICA.

9:06 PM:

Alex: And we’re off! Sebastian de la Cruz is lovely, I want to hear him sing the anthem again! The candidates are walking in now. Univision is reporting that the cheers for Sanders are significantly higher than the cheers for Clinton.

Courtney Caldwell

Courtney Caldwell is an intersectional feminist. Her talents include sweary rants, and clogging your social media with pictures of her dogs (and occasionally her begrudging cat). She's also a political nerd, whose far-left tendencies are a little out of place in the deep red Texas.

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One Comment

  1. TBH, Bernie never cared about the email thing. Now some of his more, ah, passionate supporters…(I should make a bot to immediately shut down any alleged Sanders supporter talking about emails or Benghazi.)

    On Saban, yeah, that surprised me. He’s close to the Clintons, and so far it sometimes feels like the Church of Clintonology, with the Clintons getting far more civil rights credit than they should (e.g., overtly racist Democrats had started defecting under LBJ, but everyone now credits Clinton).

    “Hispandering” is my new favorite word.

    FWIW, Bernie’s moved the Overton window leftward. That’s his goal in this campaign, more than beating Clinton. When you don’t even bother to do that, eventually even Trump becomes a serious contender.

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