The Democratic National Committee (DNC), aided by CNN, appears to be changing the rules for the next Democratic presidential nominee debate again.
This time, apparently, so former vice president Joe Biden can sit down.
The most pertinent part of a POLITICO article about the Sanders and Biden camps clashing over the debate rules states:
The format for the next debate in Arizona — their first since Biden’s blowout Super Tuesday victories — would have the candidates seated for the first time this election cycle and take multiple questions from the audience. In the prior 10 debates, the candidates stood at lecterns and nearly all questions were asked by the professional moderators.
And while the Biden camp denies pressuring the DNC and CNN to allow Joe to take a load off, the Sanders camp outwardly objected to the rule change. Team Biden did not. Usually, in the murky world of backroom political deals, this means you’re in on it.
“Why does Joe Biden not want to stand toe-to-toe with Sen. Sanders on the debate stage March 15 and have an opportunity to defend his record and articulate his vision for the future?” quipped Jeff Weaver, Bernie Sanders’s senior adviser.
Team Biden hit back in a predictably lame fashion: “We want to have an exchange of ideas next week in Phoenix. We look forward to taking voter questions in a town hall-style setting,” said Biden’s deputy campaign manager Kate Bedingfield.
“It is odd to see a campaign that says it is based on revolution arguing for the status quo because ‘this is how every other debate has been done.’ Why is Sen. Sanders opposed to a little change?”
The DNC did a slightly better job making the whole thing seem legit.
“After 10 debates, the DNC worked with its network partners to adapt the March debate to the smaller field of candidates and to give voters more of a voice. This format provides candidates longer response times, and for the first time, will incorporate questions from undecided voters in the audience,” DNC spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa said.
In other words, March’s debate is designed to be seen by fewer people, with less action and more droning on.
The idea may seem counterintuitive at first, with 33 million people watching the debate before last, and 15.3 million watching the last contest in February.
Factor in that the DNC hardly wants more Americans watching its favored (almost entirely senile candidate) being torn apart by a communist with their logo affixed behind the two and it all starts to make sense.
Take the strain off Joe. Take the eyes off the struggle bus.
The next Democrat debate is set to take place on March 15th in Arizona and will be hosted by CNN, Univision, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.