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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

GOP presidential candidate Andy Martin offers a contrarian view of why Bernie Sanders won the CNN presidential debate

Republican Party presidential candidate and political analyst Andy Martin offers his contrarian view of why Bernie Sanders won the CNN Democratic Party presidential candidates’ debate. Andy is probably the most experienced political commentator in America today, with fifty years of national and local political experience to help inform his opinions and analysis.
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Republican presidential candidate Andy Martin on why Bernie Sanders won the CNN presidential debate

In the Seventh of his “Letters From the 2016 Presidential Campaign” Andy explains why Bernie Sanders won the CNN debate and why the pro-Clinton liberal media will distort the truth

Andy offers three reasons why Sanders was the big winner

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(New York) (October 14, 2015) Dear American:

Some of you may have watched the CNN Democratic Party presidential candidates’ debate. Actually, it was livelier than I expected. This Letter from the Campaign carries a joint masthead because I will be posting this story both on my presidential blog and my blogs.

Of course, the debate exposed the broad gap between the “mainstream” of today’s Democratic Party and mainstream, Main Street, America. Most of the liberal media will tell you Hillary Clinton “won the debate.” Actually, I have a contrarian view. Bernie Sanders won, hands down.

I entered national politics by going to Capitol Hill fifty years ago this year to write an esoteric thesis on the procedural rules of the U.S. Senate. Unlike most media “analysts,” who have little or no political experience, my life has blended independent activism as well as political involvement. I fight corruption, arrogance and abuse, but I almost always fight within the political process, government and the judicial system. So even though I am an “independent” conservative, “maverick” or whatever you want to call me, I know how the system works even if I have always stood apart from the system while fighting abuses within our society. That’s why I call my writing “Contrarian Commentary” and why I am a Republican candidate for president - to keep fighting to make the system work - for every American.

So why are my conclusions about who won the Democratic “debate” so different than the Beltway media? Because I take a broader, most experienced perspective.

There are three reasons why Bernie won. Two are obvious, but one is not. Let me start with my surprising conclusion first.

Bernie won the debate because of guns. Yes, guns. The two first states to “vote” in 2016 are Iowa and New Hampshire, closely followed by Nevada and South Carolina. Over the past fifty years the two parties have largely polarized; there are very few “conservative” Democrats left, and few “liberal” Republicans.

But although conservatives and liberals have realigned themselves, their cultures are not as fully separated. Many “liberal” Democrats in Iowa are still culturally conservative in many ways. Likewise, many “liberal” Democrats in New Hampshire are also culturally conservative. Quick question: are labor union members, who are classic “Democrats,” culturally liberal or conservative? Mostly conservative. And here is what the media missed Tuesday night.

There are a lot of Democrats in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada who own guns. After Tuesday night, they are all Sanders voters. By pounding Bernie on guns, Hillary accomplished two goals for Bernie (which even he may not realize since my views are contrarian). First, Hillary confirmed that Bernie is a candidate that can be trusted on guns. Second, Hillary showed Bernie to be a “politician,” and thus someone who is reasonable and can be trusted.

Bernie said he voted for guns because he is from a “rural state.” Of course, more people in rural areas and small towns own guns. Where do you find rural areas (Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada)? Democrats in those states who support guns, while espousing liberal policies, can safely vote for Bernie because he pays attention to the specific needs of his state (he’s a politician!) and because he recognizes cultural differences between big cities and small towns.

Very few potential Sanders voters (see my next two points) will abandon him because of his voting record on guns. But now everyone knows Bernie is capable of representing his “rural” constituents and supporting their contrarian views on gun ownership. A very big plus for Sanders. (Ironically, although Jim Webb is really the cultural conservative in the race, his performance was so weak he won’t benefit from the gun issue.)

The second reason Sanders won is because the debate proved beyond doubt that he is driving the national agenda in the Democratic Party and Clinton can’t be trusted to take decisive action. One of the critical exchanges of the debate, which will probably be overlooked by liberal commentators, is when Governor O’Malley and Sanders double-teamed Clinton on breaking up the big banks. Clinton’s response? The same old Clinton. She has a five-point (or some “point”) “plan.” In other words, mush.  When push came to shove, Clinton was “all hat and no cattle" on the need for genuine reform. She would moan about Wall Street but she wouldn’t break up the big banks. (Ironically, a lot of Republicans also agree with Sanders on the irresponsible power of big banks and Wall Street.)

Sanders supporters will pick up on the fact that Clinton is all style and no substance when it comes to taking serious stands on the issues.

Just as Trump is transforming the Republican party (I have an exciting column/analysis in the works!) Sanders, for better or for worse, is transforming the Democrats. Prediction: even after someone wins the nomination (still probably Clinton) Sanders will not withdraw as a candidate. He will stay in the race to launch a platform fight at the national convention and to take his views to the floor of the National Convention. If Hillary thinks “winning” the nomination is the end of Bernie, she is badly mistaken. Bernie is in the driver’s seat. Not her.

Finally, the third reason why Sanders was a big winner at the debate was that more than for anyone else, the debate elevated him to parity with Clinton as a candidate. After the debate, Bernie went on Chris Matthews’ show. Bernie said “five months ago you would have called me a ‘fringe candidate.’” Of course he was right. But the debate elevated Sanders to Clinton’s level.

When she shook his hand in a spontaneous act of appreciation for his support for her on the “email issue,” Clinton sealed the pact that they are equals. By elevating Bernie to her level, her handshake and the overall debate have elevated Sanders to equal status.

You may disagree with me; I respect disagreement. But I think Sanders won a whole lot more than he lost Tuesday night. He has now “rolled up” every gun owner in the Democratic Party, of which there are still many. He showed that while he is true to his agenda, Clinton will not commit to real reform, such as by breaking up the Wall Street banks, because she and her husband are still tethered to Wall Street and the “economic royalists” in the Democratic Party who support their extravagant lifestyle. And Sanders’ (misplaced) gallantry in defending Clinton on the email scandal elevated him to equal status with her in the Party.

Bernie Sanders is not going away, he is not going to end his campaign if she wins a majority of the delegates, and he and his supporters will be a major force at the Democratic National Convention. Bernie’s just begun to fight.

[To ensure no one is confused, just because I write favorably about Sanders does not mean I agree with him. When I write as a Republican, I am a Republican. When I write as an analyst and media critic, I try to be neutral and impartial.]

In closing, I have made clear that while I am a candidate, I don’t expect to win the nomination. But I still intend to influence the presidential race and I have a track record of doing so. In three of the last four presidential elections my independent conservative activism was a significant factor, especially 2000 and 2008. Stay tuned.

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Andy Martin is a legendary New Hampshire, New York and Chicago-based muckraker, author, Internet columnist, talk television pioneer, radio talk show host, broadcaster and media critic. With forty-seven years of background in radio and television and with five decades of investigative and analytical experience in Washington, the USA and around the world, Andy provides insight on politics, foreign policy, intelligence and military matters. For a full bio, go to:; also see

Andy has also been a leading corruption fighter in American politics and courts for over forty-five years and is executive director of the National Anti-Corruption Policy Institute. See also;

He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law and is a former adjunct professor of law at the City University of New York (LaGuardia CC, Bronx CC).

He is the author of “Obama: The Man Behind The Mask” [] and produced the Internet film “Obama: The Hawaii’ Years” []. Andy is the Executive Editor and publisher of the “Internet Powerhouse,” blogging at and

Andy’s family immigrated to Manchester, New Hampshire 100 years ago; today his home overlooks the Merrimack River and he lives around the corner from where he played as a small boy. He is New Hampshire’s leading corruption fighter and Republican Party reformer.


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