President Obama Rallies Democrats Ahead of Debate: Watch
Hillary, Are You Listening to Slammin’ Sammy?
David Gergen – CNN
For Clinton, par Tuesday night is whether she re-emerges as presidential. She has lost much of that aura since her private email server as secretary of state was revealed in March. Leadership in the White House fundamentally depends on whether the public trusts a president to work faithfully on its behalf — to be its friend and protector. It is difficult to remember any presidential campaign where trust in a front-runner has eroded as deeply as it has with Clinton.
The former secretary of state, meanwhile, is under pressure to prove to progressives who have flocked to Sanders that she genuinely cares about the middle class. She’s expected to highlight her differences with her rival on gun control and to demonstrate the broad support she has among minority voters — a key sector of the Democratic coalition where Sanders is struggling.
DEBATE DAY! Hillary Clinton’s Rivals Are About to Have Their Big Moment
Colin Campbell – Business Insider
Sanders has argued that guns represent something different in rural Vermont than they do in urban environments, but the gun-control issue provides his rivals with a rare opportunity outflank the liberal firebrand on the left.
The debate stage also gives Sanders the opportunity to address one of his most glaring weaknesses: general-election viability. Many political observers — and even some of Sanders’ own supporters — don’t view the self-described “democratic socialist” as someone who would win the White House as the Democratic nominee.
But if Sanders is able to project himself as someone voters could actually see winning the November election or in the Oval Office, he may be able to walk away from the stage with a decisive boost.
Dem Fight Night—Down Goes Hillary!
Jonathan V. Last – Weekly Standard
Clinton and the Little People: Martin O’Malley, Lincoln Chafee, and Jim Webb are all going to be on stage, too, and this is terrible for Clinton.
All three of these guys will be honed in on Clinton from the start—they have no incentive to go after anyone else and no way to raise their standings except by attacking Clinton. It’ll be hard for Clinton to get the better of exchanges with these guys simply because of the stature differential: Any time Clinton has to stand there and fight off an attack from Lincoln Chafee—a man of no political consequence and with no political future—she’s already lost.
So all in all, Clinton’s downside potential tonight is pretty significant. But so is her upside.
How a Biden Bid Could Help Hillary Clinton’s Campaign
Jonah Goldberg – Los Angeles Times
After eight years of almost any president, Americans tend to want a fresh face. That seems to be particularly true this cycle. Never mind the abysmal “wrong track” polling numbers; just look at the crowds Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are attracting.
That’s why Biden’s entry might not pose a real threat to Clinton, and could even help her. Vice presidents in general, and this one in particular, are ill-suited to promise change because they have to run on their record in the incumbent administration.
With Biden in the race, Clinton could more plausibly sell herself as a “change” candidate. Indeed, most of the punditry on her recent breaks with President Obama — on Syria, deportation policies, the Keystone pipeline and the Trans-Pacific Partnership — has credited Clinton’s need to defuse the Sanders insurgency. These moves, however, also help Clinton make the case that she’s not a “stay the course” candidate.