Saturday, December 19, 2015

The Start of Dem Debate is all About Framing

It's not just what you say but how you emphasize and prioritize it, and mostly how you contextualize and frame it.

In the opening statements for Hillary, Martin O'Malley, and Bernie Sanders, it's still clear that Bernie is not that comfortable talking about foreign policy.

He did mention ISIS but only after he mentioned the issues he's more comfortable talking about-a lot on economic inequality, then campaign finance reform, then climate change, and only finally, a little bit about ISIS.

What he said about ISIS as far as it went was fine. He's right that we don''t want a return to the Bush years of perpetual war and that the ground troops will have to be Muslim.

But he went through this last and as something of an afterthought. Hillary had led off with a discussion about ISIS and had a great line that promising to make the sand glow doesn't mean you're tough but that you're in over your head-referencing, of course, Ted Cruz.

She emphasized the need to defeat ISIS without ground troops-the opposition to the GOP Neocons we saw last Tuesday night, led by Lindsay Graham who just misses George W. Bush all so much.

She right away linked the tough talk of the GOP chicken hawks and their opposition to banning those on the terrorist watch list from owning guns. Bernie, said nothing about guns in his open statement-again, he loves to shout unless it's about gun violence in his own country.

She also mentioned the 'pocketbook issues that Americans are worried about'-this is an interesting distinction from Bernie. She's not so much disagreeing with his call to fix inequality but she's framing it on a more individual, middle class basis than as a call to take a flame thrower to 'the system.'

Which for me is a good thing-change is mostly incremental and giving folks false hopes ends up leading to things like the rise of Trumpism.

I'll give credit to Martin O'Malley-he opened up well. He went right to the ISIS threat. I like his focus on tolerance for Mulsim Americans and how he's met with them after San Bernandino, getreat touch.

And yes, Hillary and Bernie cleared the ear on Berniegate-the data and the DNC. He apologized, she accepted and said it's time to move on, and, of course, Martin O'Malley got to decry about 'bickering that the American people don't want.'

Note that they all said they would 'defeat ISIS' everyone has to move a little from the President here even though he's right-you really can't guarantee there will be no lone wolf attacks. That's the difference between campaigning and governing. When you're running for President you have to promise all kinds of stuff that you'd be better not doing.

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