The first Democratic presidential debate, scheduled for Tuesday, October 13th, will likely boost each of the candidates who participate — largely at the expense of Hillary Clinton.
The debate will be a contest of four vs. one as not only Senator Bernie Sanders, but also former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley, former Rhode Island Senator Lincoln Chaffee, and former Virginia Senator Jim Webb gang up on her.
But, beyond the actual content of the debate, the fact that these alternatives to Hillary — particularly Bernie Sanders — have a chance to showcase themselves in front of a Democratic electorate that does not yet know them well, will inevitably trigger a rise in their standings.
Hillary, in particular, will suffer from attacks on her very recent flip flops on the Keystone Pipeline and the Pacific Rim Trade Agreement. At the State Department, she approved Keystone and sent it to the White House for a final ruling. And, at the State Department, Hillary had a formative role in the early stages of negotiating the trade deal she now opposes.
Bernie Sanders, unlike Hillary, stands for something and does so with consistency and tenacity. He is staking out a vibrant left wing agenda for America which will be on display at the Democratic debate.
Does Social Security face financial problems? Bernie says take the cap off FICA taxes and tax the full income of rich and middle class people and use the extra money to lower the retirement age to help people facing layoffs in the late 50s or early 60s.
Dissatisfied with ObamaCare premium increases? Bernie says socialize medicine and cut out the insurance companies altogether.
Worried about job losses to foreign trade? Sanders opposes all trade deals and wants to protect American jobs by trade restrictions on currency manipulation.
Poverty? Bernie says raise the minimum wage to $15. Immediately.
The Democratic electorate will lap it up. As Sanders hits Hillary high — taking on her issue positions — her other competitors, particularly Lincoln Chaffee, will likely hit her low — taking on her email scandal and her lies and obfuscations.
The result of this four v one debate should be devastating to Hillary. Wait and see.