The Trump-Sanders Debate: Ah, What Might Have Been

We'll miss out on another great opportunity to entertain ourselves to death.
The Huffington Post

As further proof that 2016 is perhaps the most insane campaign year since -- oh ... 1876, or 1824, or maybe even 1800 (check 'em out) -- Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders have been talking, with some seriousness, about debating each other before the June 7 California primary.

But it seems this is not going to happen: Friday afternoon, Donald Trump put out a barely coherent statement in which he announced he was declining to participate in any such event:

A debate between a "presumptive" nominee of one party (Trump) and the second-place candidate in the other party (Sanders) is definitely an idea without precedent. But let's face it, it nevertheless befits the random, demolition-derby tenor of American politics today. And at first glance, it has some obvious appeal to both Trump and Sanders: Some debate-stage "presidential-ness" practice for The Messhugah-Don, and more free air time for the Birken-Stalker. And both men love the idea of erasing Hillary Clinton from the picture.

But the calculus would have been more complicated for the three remaining candidates -- and for the other major players in this pre-convention phase of the 2016's political psychodrama.

In all likelihood, most of them are feeling relieved that Donald bailed on the debate. On this week's First to Last, we run down how all the prominent characters on the main stage might have gained or lost in what could have been another election-season sideshow.

Photos: Getty, Associated Press

Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.

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