Here’s What Bernie Sanders Is Like as a Debater

Mother Jones

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Forty-three years ago, moments before the final debate of his first ever political campaign, Bernie Sanders turned to one of his rivals for Vermont’s governorship, Fred Hackett, and made an unusual proposal: What if they switched outfits? The Republican could take off his tie, don Sanders’ ratty blazer, and mess up his hair. Bernie could borrow Hackett’s suit. “I tried to convince Fred that a great historical moment was at hand—that tens of thousands of people would turn on their TV sets and there, right before their uncomprehending eyes, would be a new Fred Hackett,” he recalled in an essay a few months later. “Fred didn’t take my advice—which is probably why he lost the election.” (Sanders, who was running on the third-party Liberty Union ticket, also lost the election.)

That scenario is unlikely to repeat itself on Tuesday, when Sanders faces off against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and the rest of the Democratic presidential field at the Wynn hotel and casino in Las Vegas. After four decades in politics, Sanders is as veteran a debater as they come—but is he any good at it?

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Here’s What Bernie Sanders Is Like as a Debater

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