Hillary Looks Forward, Everyone Else Looks at Hillary in First Democratic Debate

You come for the Queen, you best not miss.

Brenden Gallagher

If you were expecting fireworks, you would have been better off watching a rerun of last week’s Empire. The Democratic debate played out exactly as you would have expected, and as the Hillary camp likely wanted it: calm, civil, and with no question who was in control. While other candidates stumbled over tough questions, stretched to clarify their voting records, and strained to distance themselves from the Woman Who Would Be Queen, Hillary was poised, rehearsed, and even managed to tell a few jokes.

After the first debate, this is still Hillary’s race to lose, but she didn’t do so well as to make it feel like this isn’t still a race. Bernie Sanders continued to preach his core message of economic equality and social justice with the conviction and hair of a roadside preacher. Martin O’Malley slyly attempted to wedge himself into the ever-shrinking space on Hillary’s right and Bernie’s left. Lincoln Chaffee’s Ichabod Crane lookin’ ass seemed to be running for youth pastor instead of President, but he made you feel bad for him like you feel bad for a guy eating alone at a restaurant. Jim Webb came off as equally unelectable as Chafee, but at least we left afraid he might kill us if we date his daughter.

The first debate left the field looking much like we’d expected, and it seems likely that the only major change before the next debate will be that Chaffee and Webb run out of money and agree to star in an odd couple reality show where they travel the country trying to explain why their voting records don’t match their current opinions.

Let’s enjoy this debate before we starting talking about spin-offs and sequels. Let’s take a look at the key moments from the first meeting of the Democratic candidates.

We Are Not Denmark

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