One thing the forum run by Rachel Maddow demonstrated that a forum is a much better way to learn about the candidates. Instead of the 3 ring circus the republicans call debates which in fact are nothing more than gotcha sessions where we learn next to nothing of what the contestants have to offer us.
As with all things political winners and losers must be chosen and I have come to the conclusion you just can't leave that up to the political talking heads as they can't seem to get past choosing the one they have predetermined the winner.
Such is the case weighing this forum. I was surprised how few folks commented on the event. Those that did say Hillary was the clear winner with O'Malley second and Bernie last . I can only think they watched a different event than I. Sanders was the clear winner (wait dammit , sure Bernie is my man) but I tried hard to not let that influence my pick.
O'Malley did well and does have a decent track record as Mayor of Baltimore and Governor of Maryland. He showed he knows we are heading down the wrong track but didn't present a full package of how to fix it.
Hillary, I thought , didn't do a good job in outlining her programs and didn't come across as strong. She did little to dispel the doubts of her honesty or trustworthiness. In an answer to her Wall Street ties all she could offer was she went down to Wall Street and told them to square away, well we know how much good that did. With all the big money flowing her way from the street folk one can easily guess who she will take care of.
Sanders on the other hand answered question after question with a well though out solution to the problems presented to him. In depth programs that have left most talking heads simply ignoring his offerings. Overall at the end of the day only Sanders laid out his plans to right America. To a man the talking heads have come to the conclusion that Bernie cannot be elected. Perhaps they should look at and listen to the crowds the man is drawing at every event.
To justify my pick of Sanders as the winner I simply ask you to listen to the forum and listen to the response from the audience. Hillary and O'Malley got applause some luke warm others somewhat better. Sanders on the other hand turned the crowd on and they responded enthusiastically to the programs he outlined. If audience reaction is any indicator of who was the winner , clearly it was Bernie. He has a long hard pull to win the South and he knows that and will work hard to win them over. The early primaries in the South will probably end up telling the tale on his candidacy . The problem with that is the South and the middle of the country have shown many times in recent elections they will vote against their own self interests. Perhaps this time will be different.