I thought the debate tonight was excellent, and I'd be proud to support any of the three candidates on the stage as my candidate in the general election. It was chock-full of substance and policy, with sharp disagreements on how to approach policy questions.
There were a few personal attacks, but most of them were the result of moderators trolling the candidates for some drama, and were still handled with class.
But I have to wonder why on earth NBC ended the debate 7 minutes early with all those commercial breaks, without asking about some critical issues. There were no questions on education, immigration reform, and there wasn't even one single question about the poisoned water in Flint, Michigan.
For all the fearmongering about ISiS, why on earth weren't the NBC moderators concerned about the mass poisoning of an entire city by a Republican governor and his administration? I don't understand why they think this is a non-issue (I really do understand, but still...) when it's really a horrible, awful thing that's worse than any terrorist act in this country in the past 10 years!
At the end, the moderators asked each candidate whether there was something they wish they'd been asked and weren't.
Both top candidates have been concerned with Flint's crisis this week. Bernie Sanders called for Governor Rick Snyder's resignation over the weekend. Clinton also was working on some solutions to help the people of Flint immediately, and this is how she answered Lester Holt's question (transcript via Washington Post)
CLINTON: Well Lester, I spent a lot of time last week being outraged by what's happening in Flint, Michigan and I think every single American should be outraged. We've had a city in the United States of America where the population which is poor in many ways and majority African American has been drinking and bathing in lead contaminated water. And the governor of that state acted as though he didn't really care.
He had request for help and he had basically stone walled. I'll tell you what, if the kids in a rich suburb of Detroit had been drinking contaminated water and being bathed in it, there would've been action.↓ Story continues below ↓
So I sent my top campaign aide down there to talk to the mayor of Flint to see what I could to help. I issued a statement about what we needed to do and then I went on a T.V. show and I said, "it was outrageous that the governor hadn't acted and within two hours he had."
HOLT: And that's time.
CLINTON: I want to be a president who takes care of the big problems and the problems that are affecting the people of our country everyday.
Good for her for bringing it up, and framing it in the context of how kids in Bloomington Hills would have been treated, had they been poisoned by Republican politicians more interested in money than safety.