Live Blog: CNN Democratic Debate

By Mark Joyella 

New Yorkers still haven’t quite adjusted to the concept of a New York primary race that actually matters, but here we are. 2016 is an unusual and highly memorable election year. And tonight, we’re in New York–Brooklyn, New York–for the CNN Democratic presidential debate.

CNN’s Wolf Blitzer will moderate tonight’s matchup between Hillary Clinton (who represented New York in the U.S. Senate, and has her campaign headquarters in Brooklyn) and Bernie Sanders (who’s originally from Brooklyn).

Clinton, by the way, has apparently decided not to attend an announced town hall Friday morning on Good Morning America, citing a scheduling issue.

Across the river, The New York Times reports hundreds of people gathered outside the Grand Hyatt New York, to protest an appearance tonight by Donald Trump. “About 20 protesters chanted fiercely–“Hey, hey! Ho, ho! Racist Trump has got to go!”

9:05 p.m. ET: Is Clinton Qualified? Sanders is asked about a remark he made suggesting that Secretary Clinton was not qualified to be president. Clinton says “I’ve been called a lot of things, but that was a first.”

The question of qualifications quickly shifts to judgment:

9:15 p.m. ET: DAN-a, Not DAY-na A bit of housekeeping on how to pronounce Dana Bash‘s name:

Bash, by the way, is getting kudos for trying to hold Secretary Clinton to the question she asked:

9:40 p.m. ET: SHOUTING There have been some very feisty exchanges so far, many of them looking a bit like this, and forcing Wolf Blitzer at one point to lecture the candidates that if they keep shouting over each other, the viewers won’t be able to hear what they are saying.

CgDGw1-XEAA-IqR.jpg-large9:50 p.m. ET: Break It’s a break, and we’re told the reporters assembled in the press filing center are spared hearing the commercials–audio on the television monitors is muted until the debate resumes.

9:55 p.m. ET: Halfway We’re back from the first commercial break, and pundits are making their best guesses as to what–if anything–may have changed after the first hour of this debate. Has anyone landed a knockout punch? Will anything change the results in New York?

10:05 p.m. ET: Twitter Talk The talk on Twitter is close, with Clinton leading:

10:29 p.m. ET: Second Break

11:03 p.m. ET: Closing Statements Yep, we’re going over. And now, for two minutes each, the candidates will once again mention their deep ties to New York.

11:08 p.m. ET: The Debate Has Ended. Go In Peace.

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