If a tree falls in the middle of the forest and nobody hears it, did it really fall? That question lingers over tomorrow night’s Democrat debate in Des Moines, which was purposely scheduled by the DNC to ensure low viewership to protect Hillary Clinton.
It’s clear she needs protecting. Bernie Sanders and Martin O’Malley are ready to take the gloves off and Hillary Clinton is reeling from new and damaging developments in her growing email scandal. Not only is the FBI expanding its investigation on several fronts, but Clinton still has not had to answer for two newly unearthed non-disclosure agreements that she appears to have violated. New polls show Clinton facing general election headwinds in deep blue Minnesota and Michigan, and a new McClatchy/Marist survey released yesterday found that more than 2-in-3 Americans think her secret email server was either unethical or illegal.
But hosting a debate in Iowa on a Saturday night where the 5th ranked Iowa Hawkeyes football team will continue its march toward a national championship will ensure this debate has little impact on the state of play in the Democrat primary. Even Democrat strategists in Iowa are admitting they’ll be watching the game instead of the debate. Adding to Clinton’s fortunes are her weak sparring partners, who have so far failed to land any meaningful blows.
Democrats who wanted a real contest and exchange of ideas are being shortchanged. This has become a primary in name only, rigged to benefit Hillary Clinton. But the lack of a serious race will only hurt Clinton in the long run. Clinton won’t be tested, and she won’t be forced to defend some of her biggest weaknesses: her untrustworthiness, likeability, and the perception she’s not honest.
At the heart of Clinton’s untrustworthy numbers is her propensity to flip-flop and change positions based on the political winds. In 2008 it was to run to the right of Obama, in 2015 it’s to run to the left of the self-proclaimed Socialist Bernie Sanders. Hillary Clinton has no core principles or beliefs and it’s a key factor in why she’s not trusted by a majority of the American people.
The RNC will use this debate to target Clinton’s flip-flops to drive home that she’s a dishonest politician who can’t be trusted. Clinton has switched positions on nearly every key issue there is – she claims she’s evolved but in reality she’s jolted violently to the left. We’re going to call her out.
The DNC knows all this and wants to shield their frontrunner from scrutiny on national TV.
So while Hillary Clinton coasts towards her coronation, our slate of highly accomplished and qualified candidates will continue to debate the issues in the open – and one of them will emerge battle tested and ready to take on and beat Hillary Clinton.