[guest post by Dana]
I was going to suggest a drinking game, but if we drink every time Hillary lies, I’ll be hammered in no time. And if we drink every time Bernie shakes his bony finger in our faces and hollers that we need to give more money to the government, I’ll be passed out on the floor from the get-go. I can’t remember, is there a third candidate???
Anyway, before the Paris attacks, John Dickerson, who will be moderating the debate, held meetings with each of the campaigns in what are being referred to as “informational in nature.” Uh-huh. You know what that’s code for… But just because Dickerson was doing “intense research”, you should not suspect him of prepping candidates so they wouldn’t be caught off guard by some unpleasant questions about, I don’t know, emails, or wigs:
“[Dickerson] and his team were very interested in getting to better know the senator’s stand on a wide spectrum of issues, what he would do about income inequality in this country,” said Bernie Sanders’ spokesman Michael Briggs. He said they discussed issues where there are real differences between the candidates — including gun control, the death penalty and raising taxes on the middle class. “John Dickerson’s a smart, impressive guy who cares a lot about the issues,” Briggs said. “I’m sure we’ll see a smart, issues-oriented debate.”
However, since the Paris attacks, CBS has been reworking the debate focus. And if Dickerson didn’t inform them of the change in plans, the NYT did:
The CBS News team immediately shifted gears and reformulated questions to make them more directly related to the attacks. Mr. Capus said it was important for the debate to go on because the world looks to the American president for leadership during international crises.
“American leadership is put to the test,” Mr. Capus said. “The entire world is looking to the White House. These people are vying to take over this office.”
“This is exactly what the president is going to have to face,” he added.
“It is the right time to ask all the related questions that come to mind,” he added. “We think we have a game plan to address a lot of the substantive and important topics.”
The Des Moines debate is scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. Eastern time and can be viewed on CBS or live-streaming here.
If you intend to watch, let us know. And kudos for your courage. (Of course, if the party of old white people is the best you can do on a Saturday night, well, I’ll also say a little prayer for you…)