Fresh off the shellacking of a political lifetime, Democrat Hillary Clinton needs a serious comeback debate performance Thursday night in Milwaukee. The PBS-sponsored debate will be last one-on-one forum between Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders before the Nevada caucuses (2-20) and the South Carolina primary (2-27). (PBS is allowing CNN to share its feed so it can be seen either on the cable news network or any member PBS station. 9 p.m. Eastern).
Sanders has a huge head of steam heading into the next contests. He’ll want to do well in Nevada with its large Hispanic and labor populations. If there are still questions about Sanders, it could be how he will perform in states that are not lily white like Iowa and New Hampshire. South Carolina has a substantial African American population which has traditionally been a strong constituency of Clinton.
Clinton may want to be careful who she trots out as surrogates this time around. Bringing in Madeleine “Special Place in Hell” Albright and Gloria “Girls Going to Sanders’ Boys” Steinem to New Hampshire proved to be a bad move. She lost women to Sanders. She cannot afford any mistakes in the next few weeks.
Sanders may already coughed up the ball in the African American community. His first visit to a black “leader” was to perpetual opportunist, carnival barker, tax deadbeat and reputation destroyer Al Sharpton. Sharpton is a joke, and should be criminally charged.
True, dedicated, accomplished African American leaders abound both in New York and South Carolina. Making Sharpton his first stop was not a smart idea by Sanders and may speak to his tone-deafness to the African American community.
Another fertile ground for Clinton to contrast is on gun control. The Charleston shootings are still fresh in the mind of voters in South Carolina. Sanders voted against the Brady Bill five times and voted to give gun manufacturers immunity from lawsuits (although he’s back-tracked on that one).
Judy Woodruff and Gwen Ifill moderate tomorrow night.