Posted: 11:45 pm Monday, October 12th, 2015
By Jamie Dupree
From Las Vegas, Nevada
After watching millions tune in to two different Republican debates, Democrats now have their turn as five major Democratic candidates will debate Tuesday evening in Las Vegas, giving Hillary Clinton her first direct challenge of the 2016 race.
Clinton warmed up by stopping by a union organizing rally outside the Trump Hotel in Vegas, as she both praised efforts by union supporters and took some jabs at the GOP frontrunner as well.
“You have a right to organize, you have a right to a living wage,” Clinton said to cheers from a local culinary union that is trying to organize workers at the hotel that bears the name of the Republican leader in the race for President.
“Some people think Mr. Trump is entertaining, but I don’t think it is entertaining when somebody insults immigrants and insults women,” Clinton said to cheers.
Much as Republicans have attacked her in their own debates, the jabs at Trump may have only been a prelude to Clinton doing the same in this first Democratic debate, where she will be joined by Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Martin O’Malley, Jim Webb and Lincoln Chafee.
Here’s a quick review of what to look for from each candidate:
Hillary Clinton – Clinton arrives here the front runner, but she will have to share the stage with others, setting up the first chance to see her possibly clash with Bernie Sanders and others. Much as in the first two GOP debates, one might expect the CNN moderators to zero in on Clinton’s email issues and more, and also try to spur some exchanges with other Democrats.
Bernie Sanders – This is the first time Sanders gets the chance to be on the same stage at the same time as Clinton; don’t look for slashing attacks from the Vermont Senator, but one should expect him to point out areas where he disagrees with the former New York Senator. Sanders has shown he can keep up with Clinton’s fundraising – now he has a chance to shine on the same stage here in Vegas.
Martin O’Malley – Coming into this debate, Martin O’Malley probably would like to be in the spot now occupied by Bernie Sanders, but it hasn’t happened that way for the Maryland Governor. One might expect O’Malley to go on the attack in this debate in an effort to jump start his struggling campaign; but this is also the biggest audience he’s had, giving him the chance to introduce himself and his record.
Jim Webb – The former Virginia Senator may be best positioned to get some attention tonight in one area – and that’s by tapping into voter frustration with Washington and politicians in general. Just like O’Malley, Webb has not been able to get much traction in this race so far, but would certainly like to get himself involved in the debate fray tonight – in a positive way.
Lincoln Chafee – Like Webb, Chafee is regarded as a long shot for the Democratic nomination. The soft-spoken former Republican and Independent has not made much of an impact on the national race so far, but he has the chance along with Webb and O’Malley to stir things up against either Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders – or both.
About the Author
Jamie Dupree is the Radio News Director of the Washington Bureau of the Cox Media Group and writes the Washington Insider blog. A native of Washington, D.C., Jamie has covered Congress and politics in the nation’s capital since the Reagan Administration, and has been reporting for Cox since 1989.