Sunday, January 17, 2016

Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton Come Out Swinging at South Carolina Democrat Debate (VIDEO)

It's a yawner to me.

But see the Los Angeles Times, "Sanders and Clinton bring sharp elbows to final Democratic debate before voting starts":

After a succession of Democratic presidential debates largely absent of the acrimony and personal affronts that have defined the GOP face-offs, a sharp turn in tone was expected as the Democratic candidates took the stage here Sunday.

A tight race will do that. And Hillary Clinton now finds herself in one in the crucial early states of New Hampshire and Iowa. Tonight’s debate is the final such face-off with her main rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders, before Iowa holds its caucuses on Feb. 1, and may be her best opportunity to reshape the race in advance of the voting.

Heightening the stakes, Sanders released the long-awaited details of his Medicare-for-all health plan a few hours before the debate was to start.

The plan includes significant tax increases for all working Americans. Sanders' side argues those tax hikes would simply replace the health insurance premiums that most workers and employers pay, but Clinton is likely to point to them as examples of what she says are politically untenable positions taken by Sanders, the self-declared Democratic socialist from Vermont.

Sanders’ plan would impose a payroll tax of 6.2% on employers and a 2.2% flat income tax increase that would apply to all income above the current standard deduction – $28,800 for a family of four. That would be on top of several other tax increases Sanders has already proposed, most of which target taxpayers with incomes above $250,000.

Until recently, Clinton had made only limited efforts to attack Sanders. But her approach of running above the fray has fallen short. Instead, she's in a place the Democratic establishment had not expected her to be: struggling to avoid the embarrassment of losing early states.

With polls showing the race a toss-up in Iowa and Clinton losing to Sanders in New Hampshire, she has changed her approach. Her campaign no longer looks like an operation going through the motions on its way to an inevitable nomination. It is now aggressively seeking to reestablish a comfortable lead, relentlessly attacking Sanders along the way.

Using tough words toward a rival whom Clinton barely acknowledged for months – instead directing her energy toward critiquing the Republican candidates – suggests a campaign in a state of worry. The image of unflappability it has projected since the spring is gone...
Still more.