Hillary slides triumphantly to the stage.
Hillary glides triumphantly to the stage. a katz / Shutterstock.com

Are you serious, Bernie and Hillary are having a debate tonight? Like, one night after their CNN town hall?

Yup, apparently that's how we're scheduling things these things. Well, join us yet more live mockery of the candidates. Tweet at me @mattbaume if you want to get my attention, or drop a note in the comments.

6:05 - Opening statements. "The economy is rigged!" Bernie begins. I think we've heard this song before.

6:06 - Hillary is "happy to be in New Hampshire." I wonder if she's had a chance to jump across the state line to The Golden Banana in Peabody.

6:09 - Hillary says she wants to build on Obamacare instead of starting from scratch with something better. Speaking as someone who has navigated both the Washington and California health exchanges, I kind of want to set the whole miserable system on fire. Yeah, we have lots more coverage, but the coverage itself is pretty awful.

6:10 - Question from Rachel Maddow about Hillary not being progressive enough. "I am a progressive who gets things done," says Hillary. Under Bernie's definition, "who's left in the progressive wing? Under his definition, President Obama's not progressive because he took donations from Wall Street..." and so on.

6:14 - Oh snap, Hillary says Bernie's not as progressive as he says because of all of his votes against gun control. Take that Bernie.

6:15 - Bernie and Hillary are basically saying the same stuff they've been saying for the last year of campaigning. We have, what, six more of these scheduled? Really not sure what else is left to debate at this point.


6:20 - Here's the thing. Hillary and Bernie are basically both for the same things, they just have slightly different ways of going about them. Watching them fumble around for something to disagree about it getting pretty tiresome.

6:23 - Hillary gives a little shoutout to Howard Dean in the audience. She should be careful not to make any loud noises around Howard Dean, you never know what's going to set him off.

6:25 - Hillary says she's not part of the establishment. Sure, the former Secretary of State is a real outsider.

6:28 - Hillary says that she rejects the idea that anyone who's taken money from special interests is bought. "If you have something to say, Senator, say it."

6:28 - "Let's end the artful smear, Senator" Hillary says, and Bernie goes "oooooooooh" like it's Jerry Springer.


6:30 - Hillary says that it's pointless to go after her for all the money she's taken from special interests. Bernie says that the reason our politics are so fucked up is because rich people buy politicians.

6:32 - Bernie says to go to YouTube and look up "Greenspan Sanders." I don't think this is the video he was referring to.

6:35 - On break. MSNBC is replaying a clip of Bernie explaining that nobody votes anymore because they know that the system's rigged and only rich people get to control anything. Sure, that's probably true, but what I haven't heard Bernie explain is how a president is going to change any of that.

6:36 - Having trouble concentrating on the debate because I'm feeling a lot of anxiety about how behind I am on correspondence.


6:37 - Question from Chuck about why Bernie's not using public financing. Bernie explains that the system is stupid.

6:39 - This is the debate I wish I was watching.


6:40 - Hillary says that Wall Street "is trying to defeat me in this race." Bernie makes an excellent "you gotta be shitting me" face.

6:41 - Here's a helpful transcript of the exchange that got a bit heated.


6:42 - Ughhhhhhhh more "rigged economy" business. I wish the moderators would move Bernie off this topic. A few years ago, I lived in LA and a weirdo was running for City Council whose solution to every problem the city faced was "pods." I feel like Bernie's not far off from that guy.

6:46 - Question about whether Hillary should release the transcripts of all her paid speeches. "I will look into it," she says. When I was six, I asked my parents if we could get a dog, and they said "we can think about it."


6:48 - In seriousness, Hillary says "look at my record ... we both want to reign in the excesses of Wall Street." Adds that she wants to go after other shitty companies, not just the banks. "If all we're going to talk about is one part of our economy and indeed one street ... we're missing the big picture."


6:52 - A chilling accusation:


6:54 - MSNBC is showing a clip reel of Hillary's debate moments that is really fucking awesome. She should just run this as an ad.

6:57 - Change of topic to fighting in the Middle East. Hillary supports some presence there, but not soldiers.

7:01 - The best part of this debate is the swaying and eye-widening that Bernie does whenever Hillary is talking.


7:04 - Hillary casually shows off that she knows the names of leaders in Afghanistan. This is a long way from when she called Dmitry Medvedev "whatever."

7:07 - Many Bothans died to bring us this tweet.


7:10 - Something to bear in mind when trying to distinguish between these two barely-distinguishable candidates:


7:13 - You know who's probably enjoying this debate more than anyone?


7:19 - Took about ten minutes to reach a general agreement that we shouldn't privatize the VA, so that was a great use of everyone's time

7:22 - We're in another break. Not much happened over the last half hour of the debate — Bernie and Hillary are fairly well aligned on foreign policy, so the "debate" is over small details. That's why I've been browsing jokes instead.


7:25 - Question for Bernie about whether the Iowa caucuses should be audited. Bernie's answer is basically "meh" because it's really not a big deal. One reason this debate is kinda dull is because the participants are reasonable people.

7:26 - Rachel Maddow starts, "Senator Sanders, in 1964," and he goes "ohhhhhhhhh LORD."

7:30 - Bernie and Hillary are arguing about who would do better in a general election. "I've been vetted, there's hardly anything you don't know about me," she says. Is she insinuating that there's some kind of skeleton in Bernie's closet?

7:33 - Hillary says "we've got to get to the bottom" of the email situation. All right, fine, it's me everyone. I'm the bottom of the email situation.

7:40 - Death penalty question. "Do you support capitol punishment?" "Yes," says Hillary, but she doesn't like how easy it is for states to kill people. Ted Cruz, in contrast, loves killin'.

7:46 - More boring agreement from the candidates that we need to do something about Flint's water. I'm really looking forward to the debates between the nominees — can't wait to see how Republicans try to defend the poisoning of children.

7:50 - Some rational talk about free trade. Reasonable, sensible, agreeable ... without a bad guy in the room, a debate gets kind of snoozy. This is why the Republican debates are so much more fun to cover — they're ALL bad guys. It's like a Kingdom Hearts cutscene.

7:57 - We're wrapping up, or at least I hope so. Hillary promises an "ambitious, big, bold agenda," which sounds like an ad for UPN.

8:03 - Chuck Todd asks if she'd pick Bernie as her running mate. She laughs, then says she'd give him a call to chat.

8:04 - Hillary asks voters to bring "both your heart and your head" when you vote. The rest of your body is probably good to bring too. (But not your appendix. It's a Republican.)

8:06 Aaaaaaaand we're done. Rachel holds up a stack of questions she didn't get to ask, probably mostly about air conditioning repair or veterinary science. Rachel tells the camera, "you get to vote in just five days! Don't screw up." Did RuPaul get into the teleprompter somehow?