Live Blog: The PBS NewsHour Democratic Debate

By Mark Joyella 

Well, this promises to be an interesting evening. For the first time since his big win in New Hampshire, Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders will face off with longtime presumed Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, who is very much on the defensive.

Not only did Clinton suffer a big defeat on Tuesday, but as Chris Cillizza writes at The Washington Post, her bad week got even worse today. Earlier today, WaPo reported that the State Department had opened an inquiry into the activities of the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation during her time time as Secretary of State.

This just might come up tonight.

The #DemDebate (that’s your hashtag for the evening, by the way) will be moderated by PBS NewsHour co-anchors Gwen Ifill and Judy Woodruff.

Screen Shot 2016-02-11 at 8.54.03 PMIf you’re watching the PBS debate via the simulcast on CNN, you will also see Anderson Cooper during the intermission.

8:50 p.m. ET: Happy! CNN’s pre-show coverage included a full panel of politicos, while on PBS, a choir sang “Happy.”

9:00 p.m. ET: This… Is PBS Compared to the high octane opens produced by the cable news networks, PBS opens its debate with a very PBS NewsHour-y tone.

9:08 p.m. ET: Opening Statements, Then a Break

9:15 p.m. ET: Mics a Poppin’ The lectern mics are popping like crazy, and for those folks (me) who can’t stop obsessing over it, it’s very difficult to know what the candidates are saying.

9:34 p.m. ET: A Question About Race And NBC News senior political reporter Perry Bacon notes:

And then there’s this:

9:55 p.m. ET: Nearly Halftime How is PBS doing? Some on social media have credited the moderators and their questions, while some have expressed frustration that the fireworks have been few and far between.

10:05 p.m. ET: No Ties. CNN’s halftime features Anderson Cooper with a brief recap of the debate so far, and then a reminder CNN will have two hours of live debate coverage at 11 p.m. ET. At PBS:

10:53 p.m. ET: And That’s It The debate, after some strong back-and-forth on foreign policy and the legacy of President Obama, ends early.