I’m grateful to the junior senator from Florida for not disrupting traffic patterns at my university. Interviewed by Kendall boy Chuck Todd, Marco Rubio looked uncharacteristically relaxed; about all he knows well is how to spot a Hialeah accent, only don’t tell the hometown crowd that hasn’t seen the Brown Wonder since his triumphant third and fourth place finishes in primary states.
But this post concerns Univision’s Democratic debate, perhaps the last I’ll cover because I’d rather read George Meredith.
10:40. Cuba and Latin America. “The United States was wrong in trying to invade Cuba,” trying to overthrow the Nicaraguan government in the eighties and Arbenz in Guatemala, Sanders says, responding to a clip of a frizzy-haired gruffer version of himself scowling at a cute young reporter as he explains how Cuba has educated its citizens. He still sticks with that line (I’m reminded of what the late Christopher Hitchens wrote about the wonders of Cuban education in the late nineties: most Cubans can read but there’s nothing on the island worth reading). Clinton disagrees: the Castros trample human rights, disappear citizens. The crowd roars. Yet because she by her admission helped Obama begin negotiations with the Castros she accepts Sanders’ claim that healed relations are ultimately good for Cubans and business. I’m not sure. They ignore Ramos’ necessary Puerto Rico question — when has that ever come up in American politics? Sanders hisses at the “vulture capitalism” responsible for raping the island. He’s excellent at pointing at the enemy, giving the enemy a name. And then?
10:27. Goodness — climate change question! Complete with map showing how Miami will disappear. Sanders calls for a grassroots revolution that will shake the GOP opposition. Clinton says she can get a “bipartisan consensus” to recognize the problem. Welllllll…those Koch brothers you decried? They don’t permit bipartisan consensus to interfere with the backbone of their company.
10:24. Their fiercest debate yet, pundits will say.
10:20. People borrowing money to pay for their education pay the highest interest rates in the country — and non-negotiable rates too.
10:17. Clinton at her worst when she thinks stentorian is synonymous with emphatic.
10:06. What is Ramos’ aim — to head off accusations of conflicts of interest? His Benghazi question had the snottiness of a FOX News weekday afternoon host asking a Democratic representative about his vegetarianism.
10:01. Jane Mayer’s Dark Money should tell you how “abhorrent” the Kochs are.
9:58. A tiff about “the transcripts,” shorthand for the ice cream socials that Hillary Clinton held with Wall Street donors. I’m indifferent. I know what they would say.
9:54. “I’m not a natural politician in case you haven’t noticed, not like my husband and President Obama,” Clinton explains without affect/effect or nervous chuckles; it’s her most genuine moment.
9:49. Confronted with a Guatemalan woman trembling with fear and panic who hasn’t seen her family in a decade, Sanders begins by reminding her that the NYT editorial board endorsed his immigration proposals. Bill Clinton, gross and oleaginous, would’ve shown so much empathy that you’d think he was being deported. Hillary Clinton actually answers her — talks to her.
9:47. “The most beautiful tall wall, better than the Great Wall of China” — Hillary Clinton mocking Trump.
9:43. The Minutemen? Bernie Sanders? Please. He looks like he bought a Blood Sweat & Tears album.
9:41. Boy, do I despise the habit — in politicians, students, bank tellers — saying, “In 2000 AND eight…”
9:36. Ramos presses Clinton on whether she’d deport children. ‘Of the undocumented people living in our country, I do not want to see them deported — I want to see them on a path to citizenship.” Sanders echoes her.
9:25. I don’t doubt Clinton was sincere in her 2007 support for legalizing some kinds of illegal immigration, so squabbling about who said what a decade ago looks petty. It reminds me of GOP smearing of Hugo Black because he joined the Ku Klux klan as a young pol on the make yet whose Supreme Court career represents a rebuke to Klannery and prejudice. By all means mention the Klan! But his career is a rebuke.
9:18. BASTA, Clinton says about Donald Trump’s demagoguery. “The American people will never elect a man who insults Mexicans, women, and African-Americans,” Sanders says. Nobody ever asked about the col-lah of my skin! Sanders barks. Wonder why? The crowd roars. The Hispanic vote belongs to the Democrats.
9:13. Silver-haired reporter Jorge Ramos, disclosing that his daughter works for her campaign, asks about the emails. Who gave her permission to own her own server — “Was it Barack Obama?”? After explaining that these emails have been “retroactively” classified, Clinton reminds the crowd that the same happened to Colin Powell. But Ramos persists: was it Barack Obama, and will she drop out if indicted? These are FOX News questions. Is he trying to show his independence from his daughter?
9:10. Why should this crowd care about why Clinton “thought” she lost Michigan?
9:09. “I’m running for president because given the crises it is too late for establishment politics and establishment economics,” Bernie Sanders says in his opening statement, in which he also squeezes Citizens United and, right, the “path to citizenship.’
9:08. Hillary Clinton’s crisp opening salvo mentions a ‘path to citizenship.’ She knows the Miami audience.