9:05 PM: Listening to these two candidates, it's very clear that one candidate has a very clear theme and the other doesn't. To be clear, I think a campaign theme is very low on the list of what makes a successful president. But Sanders has two or three interlocking points that set out a worldview, a definition of the problem and an argument for how to solve it.
9:12 PM: Here's our article on Sanders' role in writing Obamacare.
9:13 PM: This progressive/progress/results line reminds me of Bush's comeback when McCain had him on the ropes in 2000: "reformer with results".
9:18 PM: One of the sidenotes to this "progressive" fight is that the word itself has been highly malleable over the last generation. During much of the 90s "progressive" was as often as not embraced by New Democrats, the center or even center-right Democrats. For instance, remember the now defunct Democratic Leadership Council? It's house think tank was called the Progressive Policy Institute. For others it was a new label to get away from "liberal", which was seen as simply damaged goods after the 1980s. Now, in a sense, this is sort of neither here nor there in terms of what Sanders is getting at - he's talking about labor/liberal Dems vs establishment/pro-business Dems, a very understandable difference. Still, it adds an element of fuzziness to the argument.
9:25 PM: Okay, I think is getting pretty intense.
9:28 PM: "Artful smear"
9:29 PM: You can tell that both of these two are getting under each others skin. A lot is on the line. But I think it's also clear that Clinton came into this debate wanting to shake this up. I think there are two reasonable ways of looking at it. One is that Sanders is been sort of lo-fi saying Clinton is bought and paid for. And Clinton is saying, if you want to smear me, get it out in the open. On the other hand, at some level, she needs to shake up the tone, shift the dynamic, get under his skin and throw him off his game. I think it's a mix of both. I also think this is more familiar terrain for Clinton. Sanders hasn't been in this kind of campaign before.