Ordinarily you’d throw a guy like O’Malley a bone and do this. Not the “front runner”.
A hastily scheduled town-hall-style event, announced Wednesday by CNN and scheduled to take place just one week before the Iowa caucuses, could be a saving grace for Hillary Clinton, whose presidential campaign has faced an unexpectedly formidable challenge from Democratic rival Bernie Sanders.
The prime-time gathering will air Monday at nine P.M., a huge change from the three debates that the Democratic National Committee scheduled on inconvenient weekend nights. The odd scheduling and limited number of debates provoked criticism from Sanders and fellow candidate Martin O’Malley for giving them inadequate time to make their case to the American public, especially in comparison to the numerous Republican debates that have drawn record-breaking numbers of viewers.
Clinton largely abstained from weighing in on the call for more Democratic debates, prompting accusations that D.N.C. chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz was strategically scheduling the debates to give Clinton the best possible chance of coasting to the nomination. (A town-hall event—which is technically not a debate, since the candidates do not have to address each other—does not need to be sanctioned by the D.N.C.)