The last Democratic debate before the first primaries in Iowa and New Hampshire saw Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders engage in a heated battle of words over health care, foreign policy, and more. Adam Goodman joined fellow political strategist Chuck Rocha on FoxNews.com’s Strategy Room to discuss the debate and its potential impact on the first primaries.
“Just when you thought Republicans were having all the fun, the Democrats are starting to turn it on,” said Goodman.
“We’ve gone from a coronation (of Clinton) to a primary,” said Goodman of the tonal shift among Democrats. “It’s interesting that part of this competition is class warfare and who represents the ‘average Joe.”
Goodman compared Bernie Sanders’ strategy to that of Donald Trump, finding their “tell it like it is” demeanors to be comparable. “He’s fashioned himself into a ‘Trump on the left.”
The rising competition between Sanders and Clinton is, as Goodman noted, good for Hillary as she prepares for the general election should she become the Democratic nominee. “A coronation doesn’t really get you ready for prime time,” said Goodman.
Goodman also said that Clinton’s strategy of running on President Obama’s record is designed to help her defend her foreign policy and transfer Democrats’ support for Obama to her own campaign. “Part of what you see here is a political calculation… to make sure she doesn’t possibly lose the fervor of the President’s support.”
“I think they weren’t expecting this kind of contest in the first two states,” said Goodman of Clinton’s team. “Bottom line is that this election is a referendum on the system, and right now Hillary is defending the establishment and Bernie is taking it on, and that’s going to make for some interesting fireworks.”