On a night overcast by the tragedy of the Paris attacks, the second Democratic primary debate on November 13, 2015 was understandably a somber affair.
Reportedly 8.5 million viewers tuned in - that's almost half the audience of the first Democratic debate. Those who did watch got an unsatisfactory performance from the usually energetic two front-runners, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Some even noted underdog Martin O'Malley's debate performance proves he shouldn't be discounted as a contender. On social media, it was Bernie Sanders who came out ahead, gaining the most new Twitter followers.
So how did Sanders slow Clinton's momentum, at least online? After the first debate, everyone was praising Clinton's performance, even Donald Trump! Well, national security dominated the debate, as well as differences in dealings with Wall Street. Unlike Hillary Clinton's poised performance in the first debate, the former Secretary of State seemed shaken up and even delivered some questionable lines that blew up on social media.
Here is what you need to know about the biggest social media moment of the debate.
Photo Credit: Getty
The Clinton/Sanders Wall Street Debate was the top social media moment from the Iowa debate, according to Facebook. Sanders pounced on Clinton, saying "Why, over her political career, has Wall Street been the major campaign contributor to Hillary Clinton? Maybe they're dumb and they don't know what they're gonna get, but I don't think so.”
Clinton responded that she was proud to have thousands of supporters, continuing "I represented New York, and I represented New York on 9/11 when we were attacked. Where were we attacked? We were attacked in downtown Manhattan where Wall Street is. I did spend a whole lot of time and effort helping [Wall Street] rebuild. That was good for New York. It was good for the economy, and it was a way to rebuke the terrorists who had attacked our country.” Awkward, and apparently not the right thing to say in light of the Paris attacks.
Social media blew up.
RNC Chairman Reince Priebus tweeted, “@HillaryClinton, you reached a new low tonight by using 9/11 to defend your campaign donations."
Why Hillary lost the debate: there's consensus on the left that playing the 9/11 card was too Giuliani-esque. 202: https://t.co/RbBgZh94wf.— James Hohmann (@jameshohmann) November 15, 2015
This is appalling on every last level https://t.co/6u5pv0oV7O— Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) November 15, 2015
Despite the bump in the road, Hillary Clinton still appears to be the Democratic Party's front-runner according to polls, but it'll be interesting to see if more Democrats wary of Wall Street start to "feel the Bern" in the upcoming debates.
Photo Credit: Getty
The second Democratic Debate has come and gone. Here's a look at the three biggest reveals from the night.
Clinton made her case early as being the best suited for the title "Commander in Chief," citing her experience as Secretary of State as giving her the ability to coordinate between allies and undermine terrorist organizations. Despite having the most hawkish approach toward violent extremism on the debate stage, Clinton came under fire from her GOP counterparts on Twitter, many of them claiming the former Secretary was not doing enough.
Yes, we are at war with radical Islamic terrorism. #DemDebate— Jeb Bush (@JebBush) November 15, 2015
We need a President who will see and speak and act on the truth...Hillary Clinton will not call this Islamic terrorism. I will.— Carly Fiorina (@CarlyFiorina) November 15, 2015
Rather than disputing Clinton's experience in combating terrorism, Senator Bernie Sanders refocused the conversation to climate change, arguing environmental degradation is the greatest threat to our country's safety. Governor Martin O'Malley questioned Clinton's success record as Secretary of State, pointing out the deteriorating state of affairs in countries like Syria, Libya and Iraq.
While many of the attacks during the debate focused on Hillary Clinton, Senator Sanders became the target when it came to the subject of gun control.
Clinton went on the offensive to differentiate herself from Sanders by explaining, "Senator Sanders had a different vote than I did when it came to giving immunity to gun makers and sellers."
O'Malley called on his experience to indicate his record of fighting back against the gun lobby, arguing, "In my own state, after the children in that Connecticut classroom were gunned down, we passed comprehensive gun safety legislation with background checks, ban on assault weapons, and Senator, I think we do need to repeal that immunity that you granted to the gun industry."
Bernie Sanders' call for a change in what he calls a "rigged financial system" has been a message he has successfully used to galvanize his strong base of supporters.
During the debate, Sanders held nothing back as he argued: "Wall Street today has enormous economic and political power. Their business model is greed and fraud. And for the sake of our economy, the major banks must be broken up."
Both Clinton and O'Malley have accepted Super PAC donations, something Sanders has adamantly turned down. Making financial reform central to his message, Sanders is separating himself from the other candidates and painting a clearer picture of how his administration would be different from others.
In addition to an open discussion on the country's biggest issues, election season also provides some quality entertainment. We're still a year out from the next election, but we already have a great batch of videos that have come out of the election's funniest moments so far.
Following the 'Summer of Trump,' people were ready to see some other candidates taking jabs at the GOP frontrunner, who had spent months stealing headlines at the center of all election coverage. Hillary Clinton's impression of Trump in this SNL skit was a refreshing break from the Donald domination we'd been living under up to this point.
Jeb Bush kicked off his campaign with an announcement assist from Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show. The slow jam went viral overnight, giving the candidate an online boost that would prove difficult to recapture.
There was a lot of hype leading up to Donald Trump's hosting of Saturday Night Live. Among the many stories surrounding the GOP candidate's appearance was an offer of $5,000 to any audience member who called The Donald a racist during the show, an offer Larry David found too good to refuse.
Carly Fiorina has a lot of ground to cover if she wants to catch up with the GOP frontrunners, but her appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers definitely gave her a boost. Her relaxed demeanor and diss of the show's host gave voters a better look at one of the race's lesser known candidates.
Election season always means a new batch of entertaining content from Bad Lip Reading, a YouTube channel that's targeted everything from Twilight to the NFL. Their version of the first GOP debate gave us one of their best videos to date.
The fight for universal voting rights isn't an exclusively American story. Every country on Earth has gone through, or is currently going through; it's own version of women's suffrage.
Here are some of the women that pushed for that change and helped create a better world for women everywhere.
(Photo Credit: aucegypt.edu)
(1908-1975) In addition to storming parliament and enacting weeks-long hunger strikes to force change in her country, Doria Shafik lived out the later part of her life as a political prisoner under house arrest. Her sacrifices and bravery helped earn women the right to vote in Egypt and paved the way for modern political movements taking place in the country.
(Photo Credit: euractiv.com)
Before becoming Chairman of National League for Democracy Aung San Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest for 15 years. She's since bounced back in a huge way, announcing a run for president in Myanmar’s 2015 election.
(Photo Credit: rtve.es)
(1888-1972) An early fighter for women's voting rights in Europe, Clara Compoamor helped found the International Federation of Female Lawyers and advocated for strict child labor laws. When her own party opposed women’s right to vote, she switched sides, eventually becoming a political outcast, and fled the country during Spanish Civil War.
The biggest struggle for women's suffrage is currently happening in Saudi Arabia.
For the first time this year, women will be allowed to vote and run for office in the Saudi government.
As a highly regarded women’s rights activist in Saudi Arabia, Dr. Hatoon Ajwad al-Fassi is a leader in the country's democratic movement, currently fighting for voter education and civil rights.
Though there are a wide variety of important issues being discussed over a year ahead of the 2016 presidential elections, here are the questions that have been most prominent for millennials and young women in particular.
Those who are grouped into Gen Y are afraid to live in a world where they won’t be able to put their own children through college due to exponentially increasing tuition rates that lead to excessive student debt. With unattainable tuition rates, aspiring college students are faced with roadblocks on their path to achieving careers and lives they'd want for themselves.
Given that millennials are the products of our economic recession, they tend to feel the pressure of falling employment rates. They are instilled with the idea that the only way to ensure a prosperous career is first to attend a prestigious university, which results in a massive amount of student debt post graduation.
Certain colleges have tested out plans to prevent debt, but most of the plans limit the student's career choices, awarding those who go into public service jobs or lower paying jobs. Obama created an income-based repayment system in which the plan caps the student loan payments at 15 percent of their current income. This is great for those with a lower entry level wage. However, those who do receive a higher paying job will pay more in loan payments than those who don’t.
It’s crucial that the federal government acts on this issue and finds a way to decrease the student loan crisis while encompassing all fields of study. All students deserve the right to feel financially stable without the pressures of increasing student debt and stagnant personal income.
2016 candidates who own this issue: Hillary Clinton, Chris Christie, Martin O’ Malley, Bernie Sanders, and Marco Rubio.
"You know, today, women make up about half our workforce, but they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns... That is wrong, and in 2014, it's an embarrassment.Women deserve equal pay for equal work." - Barack Obama, 2014 State of the Union
The movement started in the 1950s when women realized their salary was lower than a man’s of equal position, enforcing the fight for equal pay. Ever since, minorities have fought for pay that will reflect their work and not their gender, sexuality, or race.
We have come a long way, but there are still battles to be won. While we have The Equal Pay Act of 1963 that says, by law, men and women must be paid equally for equal work and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that makes wage discrimination illegal, these laws have been a challenge to enforce.
According to a 2010 US Census, full-time working men earned a median salary of $47,715, compared to full-time working women who earned a median salary of $36,931. That is 77 percent of what men make, meaning for every dollar a man makes, a woman makes 77 cents.
Applying race to the equation increases the wage gap even further. African American women earn 60 cents on the dollar, and Latin women earn 55 cents on the dollar.
For young women, equal pay does not mean taking down men and stripping them of their jobs and income, as it is so perceived, but instead it offers a workplace that tells its employees that everyone will receive equal opportunity no matter their identifiers.
The main reason behind unequal salaries is the secrecy around compensation data. How do we know we are being underpaid if we don’t know what our colleagues of equal work are making? According to a recent study by the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, 60 percent of private sector employees work in an environment that frowns upon an open salary information discussion.
This is why it’s important for 2016 candidates to push for salary transparency as well as the Paycheck Fairness Act, which will make it much more difficult for businesses to implement unequal pay.
2016 candidate who own this issue: Martin O’Malley, Bernie Sanders, and Hillary Clinton.
Health care is a highly stressed election issue that includes female-focused topics such as access to reproductive rights, more funding for cancer screenings, and access to organizations like Planned Parenthood that provide reproductive and maternal health services.
Candidates are acknowledging a generation that lives on immediacy and technology and would like to see their health care take that route as well.
Lengthy processes to learn more about their health care options or even get a doctor appointment leaves the younger generations discouraged, minimizing their desire for regular physician visits. Young adults between 18 and 34 are the most likely not to go for checkups, wellness visits, and screenings, and 93 percent avoided scheduling doctors visits, according to a survey by ZocDoc, an online medical care scheduling service. Due to this young adults end up in urgent care more than any other age group other than the elderly. Instead of primary care, they opt for emergency care when a health issue arises.
Before the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as Obamacare, many young adults could afford health coverage. This has improved since the implementation of the Act, but still needs some add covered services like preventative care.
The Act continues to be hotly debated among the parties and has evoked outrage over its substantial addition to the deficit. Tax credits that lower the rates of health care coverage help millennials most of all because they are the one’s who can reap the most benefits, being fresh out of school and entering into low-income entry level positions.
Organizations like Young Invincibles are a product of health care neglect in younger generations and work to provide them information regarding insurance options. The 2016 presidential candidates could take some notes from these organizations.
2016 candidates who stress this issue: Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Bernie Sanders, and Donald Trump.
It’s hard to accept, but millennials have grown up with acts of terror such as school shootings and have reacted to them in the only way they feel reachable— by pushing for stricter gun laws.
The saying “guns don’t kill people; people kill people" makes sense in common terms. However, one of the only resources in which Gen Y feels it has control over these situations is through law enforcement, such as limiting access to guns through plans like stricter background checks.
Millennials have to try their hardest to gain control in acts that are so out of our control and have asked for the government to react firmer gun laws. Younger generations urge the federal government to make noise for these shooters to hear.
2016 candidates who own stress this issue: Martin O’Malley, George Pataki, and Hillary Clinton.
Millennials have realized that as employment rates rise and fall, they need to find other venues or resources for employment. The traditional 9-5 corporate job is no longer the one and true route to career success.
The younger generation is consistently reminded of the competitive nature of today's job market and is doing everything in their power to differentiate themselves from the crowd of incoming graduates, mostly by building impressive resume's, personal presentations, and LinkedIn profiles. However, they also can't deny the all-important factor of networking that seems to be giving job opportunities only to those applicants "who know somebody who knows somebody." Sadly, this has created a marketplace that has become very reliant on the status and less on personal achievements.
Nearly 14 percent of recent graduates are still unemployed, according to a Generation Opportunity study. Yet, Millennials have reacted to the unnerving job market by seeking alternatives, specifically by creating jobs for themselves— taking the negative and turning it into something positive.
This is why many members of Gen Y have become their bosses, creating startups, apps, inventions, blogs, and freelance opportunities to name a few. According to The Harstad Strategic Research, Inc.'s survey, 78 percent of young adults voted for more government involvement in creating jobs.
Many Democratic candidates have proposed plans such as creating more infrastructure projects to generate jobs and offering more job training.
2016 candidates who own this issue: Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton, Jim Webb, and Marco Rubio.
According to a 2014 survey conducted by the Pew Research Center, millennials are more burdened by financial hardships than previous generations being that they are the first in the modern era to have higher levels of student loan debt, poverty and unemployment and lower levels of wealth and personal income. So it only makes sense that the majority of the most important issues for young women are those of economic stance.
What candidates need to realize is that majority of millennials desire more government involvement, assuming that on these issues of importance they have no way to execute change without the help of the federal government to implement reforms. They can’t introduce bills or plans to help student debt, job creation, health care, gun laws or equal pay.
But they can surely tweet, share, and make their issues go viral until something does happen.