Sanders Draws Record Crowds, O’Malley Addresses Issues and Engages The Press, and Hillary Clinton Answers Questions on Facebook

Bernie Sanders Phoenix

Bernie Sanders continued to draw big crowds over the weekend. In Phoenix Sanders was once again forced to move to a larger venue, drawing twice the number originally anticipated:

Bernie Sanders drew more than 11,000 people to a rally Saturday night in downtown Phoenix — the largest crowd to date for a presidential candidate whose audiences have been swelling in recent months.

The Vermont senator, who has emerged as the leading alternative to Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic nomination, got a rock-star-like reception from supporters who streamed into a cavernous lower-level room of the city’s convention center.

Aides to the self-described democratic socialist had originally booked a Phoenix theater that could accommodate fewer than half the number of people who turned out. The crowd estimate of more than 11,000 people was provided by staff at the convention center, where Sanders also appeared Saturday at a convention of progressive activists.

“Somebody told me people are giving up on the political process,” Sanders said as he greeted the crowd Saturday night. “Not what I see here tonight.”

This exceeds his previous record in Wisconsin. The appearance in Phoenix was followed by thousands coming to see him in Texas.

While Sanders has so far received the bulk of the excitement, and media coverage, from liberal opposition to Hillary Clinton, BuzzFeed seems impressed with Martin O’Malley, calling him “the candidate who simply won’t go away: who will work harder and mingle longer, who will shake more hands, answer more questions, propose more policy, be the most progressive and most aggressive — the candidate who will always engage.”

While Clinton draws headlines about her “strained relations” with the press, O’Malley’s staff rarely turns a reporter away. (On Friday night, his super PAC invited members of the media to an afterparty with the sign-carrying field organizers. “It’s open-press and we promise no rope-lines,” an official said in an email, adding a smiling emoticon. The Clinton cheer-squad, meanwhile, said they weren’t allowed to talk to reporters.)

And while other Democrats in the race, including Sanders, don’t often go after Clinton, O’Malley makes a habit of it — indirectly, at least. (In his Iowa speech, he stressed his support for a $15 minimum wage, days after Clinton declined to endorse it, and suggested she was slow to oppose “bad trade deals” like the Trans-Pacific Partnership.)

With months to go until the Iowa caucus, this aggressive campaigning might pay off, and both O’Malley and Sanders might continue to reduce Clinton’s lead.

Hillary Clinton continues to limit access to the press but did answer some questions on Facebook. After Clinton previously received criticism for saying “All Lives Matter,” and Martin O’Malley failed to learn from this mistake, himself being attacked for saying, “Black lives matter. White lives matter. All lives matter,” Clinton finally got it right on Facebook.

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2 Comments

  1. 1
    Philo Vaihinger says:

    Winning in the crowd contest, Bernie is losing in the polls, still, by a long way.

    You're right. Not all lives matter.

    Huh?

    Has Hillary commented, yet, on Bernie's plan for higher education?

    What about O'Malley?

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    The dispute isn’t over the question of whether all lives matter but whether the candidates recognize that some lives are at greater risk than others. Clinton first made the gaffe in Missouri, after “black lives matter” became a slogan. Her coming and saying “all lives matter” was taken as a slight.

    Regardless of the validity of that complaint, after Clinton was criticized for it, O’Malley should have been paying attention to this and not risk repeating this.

    This is certainly not a major issue which should affect the outcome, but Clinton did the smart thing on Facebook and simply went with “black lives matter” and not fuel even more controversy over this.

    O’Malley has put out his own plans on education. A story with a link to the campaign pdf is here:
    http://www.msnbc.com/msnbc/omalley-rolls-out-sweeping-debt-free-college-plan

    Clinton doesn’t discuss policies with such specifics. She has to wait to see what polls best.

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