The three Democratic candidates came together Monday night to make their final cases to Iowa voters, just a week before the state’s first-in-the-nation contest. While very little new content was introduced, each candidate did bring forth a new personality trait that has remained hidden on the campaign trail thus far. With the Iowa caucus within arm’s reach, each did their best to present clear contrasts from the other candidates at the town hall style meeting.
First and foremost, we saw Governor Martin O’Malley. My personal favorite part of the night was Governor Martin O’Malley’s passionate plea to the people of Iowa to “vote for Martin O’Malley.” No exceptions. When asked what he would say to caucus-goers who may be forced via caucus rules to abandon his corner and join the ranks of one of the frontrunners, the governor asked his supporter(s) to hold their ground and essentially ignore the rules. Those darn establishment types, trying to make them switch corners!
A bit of the governor’s personality did come out as he stepped aside to take off his coat and roll up his sleeves. He means business, folks! While it seemed a bit dramatic for a town hall meeting in Iowa, his point was clear: He may be the underdog, but O’Malley isn’t going to go out without a fight. Even if that fight is impossible to win.
O’Malley appears to be the most likeable of the three candidates, but can’t seem to break through their chatter this time around. I’d watch for him in the next few years, because I have a feeling he’ll soon be one of the leading voices of the Democratic Party.
The next was Senator Bernie Sanders. Ol’ man Bernie showed us a bit of a softer side to his curmudgeonly exterior when he shared an exchange he had with his wife prior to the forum: His wife wanted him to button his jacket, but he thought he was “too fat” for that, so he left it as it was. Say what you will about his policies, but I can’t help but find him a little endearing.
Senator Sanders also showed his fighting side in the forum, as he accused Hillary of inconsistency on issues that matter to Democratic voters, such as opposition to both the Keystone pipeline and the Iraq War. While Clinton has attempted to erase both of those flip-flops from voters’ memories, Bernie was there to make sure she’s never able to escape them. Sanders continued to berate “the billionauhes” (that’s “billionaires,” for those of you who don’t speak Northeasterner) who live rent-free in his head as the sole perpetrators of every economic injustice in this country.
It also looked like Bernie combed his hair last night, so we’re making some progress!
Last but not least, who could forget Hillary Clinton! Ya know, that candidate who did a whole bunch of cool stuff before any millennials were born. That was Secretary Clinton’s answer when a student asked her why many millennials view her as “dishonest” and are sorely lacking in enthusiasm for her campaign. Rather than give a concrete answer to prove her trustworthiness, Hil decided to list all the accomplishments she achieved before the rise of the Millennial Generation, somehow believing that it would convince us that she’s actually not that bad.
Newsflash, girl: if we don’t remember it, it’s not going to convince us, no matter what you say.
In an especially fun turn of events, Clinton promised that once she’s elected, she’ll actually forget about all that nasty stuff she said about Republicans on the campaign trail. Remember a few months ago, when she was asked which enemy she was most proud of making? “Probably the Republicans.” She’ll vilify them on the trail, but expects us to believe that she’s going to be a great big teddy bear (yes, she actually said that) once in office. I find that highly unlikely, and it gives millennials yet another reason to doubt that she’ll stay true to her word.
Overall, the Democratic town hall meeting was uneventful. O’Malley is struggling to play third-wheel to his fellow candidates, Bernie wants to raise taxes for everyone, and Hillary wants to hug us if we elect her. Can someone say “Help”?