First Democratic Debate: A Brief Summary

On Oct. 13, 2015, CNN held the first Democratic Debate at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada.

The two and a half hour debate was moderated by Anderson Cooper with Dana Bash and Juan Carlos Lopez. Cooper is a journalist, author, and an anchor for CNN, hosting the news show Anderson Cooper 360° and the daytime talk show Anderson Live. Dana Bash, CNN’s Chief Political Correspondent, was a producer for CNN on Capitol Hill prior to becoming a reporter, and was also a moderator for CNN’s GOP Debate held Sept. 16. Juan Carlos Lopez is an English and Spanish speaking reporter with CNN based in Washington, D.C. whose stories are often pertaining to trade, immigration, inflation in other countries, and political and social controversies.

Based on polls, the five candidates in the debate are Hilary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb, and Lincoln Chafee. Each candidate was given two minutes for their opening remarks.

Lincoln Chafee introduced himself first, “the only one running for President that has been a mayor, a United States Senator, and a governor,” and “believes in prosperity through peace.”

Jim Webb followed, a former author, journalist, a Vietnam marine veteran, and the former Assistant Secretary of Defense during the Reagan Administration.

O’Malley is the “former Mayor of Baltimore, former Governor of Maryland, a lifelong Democrat, and most importantly a husband and a father.” Touting 15 years of political experience, he has, “learned how to get things done” because he is “very clear on his principles.”

The remaining two candidates to be introduced and the two doing the best in the polls are Bernie Sanders and Hilary Clinton.

“I think most Americans understand that our country today faces a series of unprecedented crises,” Sanders began, speaking of the disappearance of the middle class and the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, and continued, “our campaign finance system is corrupt, and is undermining American democracy.”

Hilary Clinton, the last to speak and the highest ranked in the polls, thanked the hosts and introduced herself as First Lady, a Senator from New York, and the Secretary of State.

“Every day I think about what we need to do to make sure that opportunity is available…Hilary notes. The center of her campaign is “how we’re going to raise wages,” and she speaks of how she can use climate change to “grow our economy.”

Through the course of the debate and in regards to speaking time, Clinton spoke the most at 30 minutes and 26 seconds, followed by Bernie Sanders with 26 minutes and 42 seconds. The remaining candidates, O’Malley, Webb, and Chafee, had 16 minutes, 14 minutes and 23 seconds, and 9 minutes and 2 seconds respectively.

Both the GOP debates and Democratic debate have differed on the issues discussed. The GOP debates have by and large covered topics such as immigration, taxes, jobs, Planned Parenthood, the economy, hedge funds, minimum wage, and healthcare. The Democratic debate covered minimum wage specifically, income inequality, the wealthy, jobs, health care, poverty, college, and taxes. Both debate forums approached topics pertaining to foreign policy in the Middle East, and the appropriate course of action.

The next Democratic debate will be Nov. 14, 2015 hosted by ABC and the GOP debate will be held Oct. 28, 2015 by CNBC.

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