You will hear from the pundits that Hillary Clinton won last night’s Democratic debate. But in my opinion, the real winner was Bernie Sanders.
I concede that Hillary was poised, informed, and all the other adjectives the pundits are showering on her. And she was tough as nails when it suited her.
But it was Bernie who showed the audience what good, old-fashioned class is all about.
Right after Hillary skewered him with a somewhat unfair attack on his gun control record, the senator from Vermont gallantly came to her rescue, his guns blazing.
Anderson Cooper was badgering Hillary about those official emails she sent on her private computer – and Hillary was beginning to look a little uneasy – when Bernie intervened.
“The American people are sick and tired of hearing about your damn emails,” he said. “Let’s talk about the real issues.”
Afterwards, Bernie was asked why he came to his political rival’s defense instead of joining the assault on her.
“It was the right thing to do,” he said.
No doubt about it, Bernie Sanders’ heart is in the right place. In the ugly politics of today, he is a shining exception to the rule.
Actually, all of the presidential candidates in last night’s debate acted with decorum and respect for each other – even when they disagreed.
And I thought they all showed a depth of information and understanding that was sadly missing from the Republican debates.
If I had any doubts about the Republicans’ lack of class, they were dispelled by the vulgar tweets from Donald Trump and Mike Huckabee during the debate. Trump mocked Lincoln Chafee’s appearance, for example. And Huckabee made such racist tweets as:
I trust @BernieSanders with my tax dollars like I trust a North Korean chef with my labrador! #DemDebate
In my view, any one of the Democrats would be a far better president than any of the Republican candidates. Even Jim Webb, whose views are so different from my own.
At least he arrives at his conclusions through an intellectual process, not through prejudice and pandering.
Of course, Hillary showed who was the boss. She displayed the competence and comprehensive knowledge that she has acquired over four decades in politics, sometimes serving at the highest levels. And I am as convinced now as I was before the debate that she would be the most effective president.
But I have to say Bernie is a nicer person.