Chris Cuomo’s dreadful debate performance

Chris Cuomo
Chris Cuomo

Chris Cuomo is to moderating a presidential debate what his brother Andrew is to running a state. Dreadful.

What was with his fixation on Bernie Sanders’ age–which he got wrong, in any event? First, he asks obtuse questions about the candidate’s athletic prowess as a child, making Sanders  talk about what Cuomo knew were irrelevancies–then the moderator follows it up with the suggestion the obviously healthy Sanders is too old to be president.

Sanders is 74. Hillary Clinton is 69–and so is Donald Trump. Sorry, that’s not much of a difference.

And then he makes Sanders sit down for most of his time on stage–something he didn’t do to either Clinton or Martin O’Malley. Did he think the energetic Sanders was somehow too old to stand to answer questions?

I was waiting for Cuomo to pat Sanders on the head, call him “grandpa” and offer him a walker. Cuomo’s condescension was spectacularly obvious.

And what was with the questions about whether Sanders’ long-dead parents would be proud of him? Bernie Sanders is a tough, gritty veteran of the anti-war era with an intellect that far outpaces Cuomo’s. No doddering fool as Cuomo would make him out to be.

Then this obviously non-neutral moderator allows Clinton to go off on a completely non-responsive answer to a question about income inequality. She answered the question as if she had been asked about discrimination.

“I’ve spent 40 years fighting against inequality,” said Clinton–and then she recited the sorts of inequality she battled (and admirably): racial, gender, sexual identification, religion.

But income inequality and discrimination based on personal characteristics or choices are not the same beast.

Discrimination is the consequence of hatred aimed at the different, at the “other.”  Victims of discrimination cannot change the characteristic that is used by haters to put them down or deny them their rights.

Income inequality, on the other hand, is the consequence of the maldistribution of wealth. It results from the pursuit of policies, like those favored by Wall Street, to make sure the rich get richer and the poor get shafted.

It is impossible for me to believe this Yale-trained lawyer did not understand the question.

Cuomo let her slide–on a question that clearly marks the difference between Sanders and Clinton. Her closeness to Wall Street is an issue–perhaps the most important issue–in this campaign.





  1. Chris Cuomo let Hillary Clinton slide on income inequality because his brother Andrew Cuomo is in bed with the same Wall Street hedge fund cronies.

  2. Because neo-liberals like Clinton use issues of social inequality to mask their responsibility for economic inequality.

  3. Another good one! (just catching up after being away from your site for awhile).

    Cuomo’s condescension reflects the all out attack of the liberal Democratic establishment – led by Shillary – on Bernie Sanders.

    From the overt McCarthyite Rd Bating smears to the implied racism of Ta-Nahesi Coates, it is disgraceful and pitiful.

  4. One more quick point:

    It wasn’t a dreadful performance – it was exactly what Cuomo’s corporate and Democratic party hack masters ordered.

    To them, it was well done!

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