It’s very easy in looking forward to tomorrow night’s first Democratic presidential candidate debate to look at it as a one-on-one encounter between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, or even to obsess about the “candidate” not present, Joe Biden. But it’s important to remember this is a unique opportunity for the three other candidates to make an indelible mark without having to spend money they don’t have.
At WaPo Rachel Weiner speculates that Jim Webb might benefit most from a debate appearance. And in terms of boosting his ratio of popularity to campaign activity, he sets a very low bar.
If there’s any justice, though, Martin O’Malley probably deserves a post-debate bump. The guy did things the way you’re supposed to, spending many obscure days and weeks in Iowa before anyone was even thinking about the presidential race. He was probably gambling on HRC not running, and aside from that not working out, he suffered from the additional misfortune of trying to launch his campaign just as Baltimore was being wracked by citizen-police conflict and a spike in homicides. So he could really use a break about now. We’ll see if he can make one tomorrow night.