This wasn’t the debate the Democratic Party wanted and the party can blame itself for that.

By blocking Bernie Sanders from a Democratic computer that contained information about voters, the party, and its apparent help for Hillary Clinton, became a big story. Bringing a lot more attention to a debate that was timed to be missed.

Bernie Sanders won this debate by doing what he does best: being honest and passionate, plus gracious. He apologized to Clinton for his staff’s role in the data breach, but accused the Democratic Party of "crippling" his campaign. By extension, that’s a charge against her too.

Hillary Clinton is the Democrats’ most experienced candidate, so she’s the favorite the win every one of their debates, which she usually does. But not this one.

Clinton lost because she did nothing to separate herself from the Democratic Party’s leadership. Going along to get along made her look less independent and less likeable. She’s formidable, but flawed, and both were on display.

But the biggest loser was the Democratic Party. It may have burned the Bern for awhile but it also burned itself. Questions about integrity are the last thing the party wants when there are similar questions about its leading candidate.

You may notice I didn’t mention former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley. That wasn’t a mistake. O’Malley trails Bernie Sanders by more than Sanders trails Clinton and this debate won’t change that.

(Copyright (c) 2015 Sunbeam Television. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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