After her outstanding performance at the South Carolina Democratic forum in November 2015, liberals and Democrats have been urging for Rachel Maddow to moderate a presidential debate. They have finally gotten their wish as Maddow will be co-moderator of the just added New Hampshire debate.
The MSNBC debate in New Hampshire will be moderated by Rachel Maddow and Chuck Todd. It seems that the Democratic National Committee is not very happy with the additional debate.
DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz tweeted:
Our next #DemDebate will be held on February 11 in Milwaukee in conjunction with @PBS: https://t.co/9IFIdKnl5V
— D Wasserman Schultz (@DWStweets) January 26, 2016
If MSNBC, all the candidates, and Rachel Maddow show up in New Hampshire and decide to hold a debate, does it matter if it is sanctioned or not? The DNC can’t penalize the entire field of Democratic candidates for participating, so there is literally nothing that they can do to stop this debate.
Maddow has been pushing Democrats hard for more debates. When she recently interviewed Hillary Clinton, Maddow called the DNC debate schedule TV Siberia, “The sparse Democratic Party debate schedule this year, particularly when compared to the Republicans, a lot of people in the political press have ascribed that to your campaign, have ascribed that decision to your campaign essentially wanting a low-profile and spare debate schedule. Whether or not now looking back you think it was a good decision, is it true that your campaign advocated for a light schedule and particularly these debates being on in TV Siberia, on weekends and holidays?”
A recent interview with Bernie Sanders contained a telling exchange:
MADDOW: Senator, I’m going to press you on this one part of it and it’s not because I’m trying to foment any sort of revolt here. I’m really not. But I’m trying to follow on what you said.
And thinking about in particular those Democratic polities in those Deep South states so many of which are going to be voting early this year, they’re going to be voting on March 1st when there’s a lot of Southern states are very early in the process because of the way the primary calendar has been changed up this year.
Given that you feel like in particular southern states aren’t getting their due from the Democratic Party, given that you feel like the Democratic Party screwed up in the way they scheduled these debates, given that you said from the very beginning that there ought to be more of these debates, I feel like the candidates are sort of more important in this process than the party is, do you and Governor O’Malley and Secretary Clinton — do you envisage the three of you getting together and telling the party to stuff it and doing it the way that I’ve heard all three of you articulate you’d rather do it?
SANDERS: Well, count me in as one person — you know, if Secretary Clinton and Governor O’Malley want to do it, I’m there.
I love debates. I think they are a way to inform the American people of our positions and our differences. So, I think that is a great idea. So, I’m in. If the other candidates are in, you count me in.
MADDOW: I’m never the one who starts these things, but I feel like I might be starting something here.
Maddow fought for more debates, and she won. Democratic voters in New Hampshire will now get a chance to see the candidates before the first in the nation primary. Viewers should be treated to one of the best debates of the year. If Maddow’s South Carolina candidate forum performance is any indication, the MSNBC host will deliver nothing less than a top-notch debate.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association