A Democratic friend emailed last Friday to see if I would be watching the Democratic debate that night on MSNBC moderated by Rachel Maddow with candidates Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley, and Bernie Sanders. I like Rachel Maddow — her liberalism gets on my nerves sometimes but she’s a politically savvy person with a unique and entertaining delivery — so would have liked to watch. But I told him that even though I had watched their first debate, I would be entertaining out of town visitors on Friday and would have to miss it. At the time I wondered why Democrats had scheduled such an event on a Friday.
This week there is yet another debate scheduled for … wait for it … Saturday night. Saturday? Who will be watching on a weekend night when the world takes a break from work and school to play — date night, family celebrations, college football games.
The next Dem debate is another Saturday, December 19. Can you say Christmas parties and holiday celebrations? Who even wants to be thinking about politics at that time of year? And the one after that — the last before the primaries begin — is on a Sunday when the NFL playoffs are going on.
A closer look at the debate schedule for the Dems showed this to be some kind of plot designed to keep as many people from watching as possible.
I went searching to see if others had wondered about these oddly-scheduled debates and found that Vox’s Alvin Chang, who had been picked up by Ed Morrissey at Hot Air, had indeed researched it. Chang found that Thursdays, when most GOP debates are scheduled, are the most popular for viewers while Saturday, when this week’s Dem debate will be held, is the least-viewed day.
Why would Democrats under the helm of Chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz purposely try to tamp down the number of people, Democratic and Republican, watching presidential debates? The answer may be in this from Chang:
Obama was a virtual unknown going into the 2008 Democratic primaries. But after he participated in 26 debates, he had gained unstoppable traction through the kind of exposure money can’t buy.
Remember that Obama’s opponent in 2008 was Hillary Clinton. This time around perhaps she wants to make sure her competition doesn’t have the opportunity to beat her. Or, as Ed Morrissey noted:
It’s pretty clear at this point that Wasserman Schultz wants to bury the debates to protect Hillary. But that also makes clear that the DNC chair thinks Hillary needs protecting, too — a tacit admission, at least, that she’s a poor candidate who’s likely to blow a lead like she did in 2008. Shouldn’t that be a message to other Democrats that they’re heading into disaster … again?
The oddness of 2016’s election continues….