Finally, the Democratic presidential candidates get their opportunity to mix it up on the political debate stage. And yes, Sen. Bernie Sanders will be there, facing off from the Wynn hotel and casino in Las Vegas against former first lady, New York Sen., and Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, former Virginia Sen. Jim Webb and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee. It will be interesting to see who wins, but for sure, the loser has to change parties and serve as the Speaker of the House of Representatives. (Couldn’t resist.)

The first Democratic debate airs tonight at 7:30 pm CDT on CNN and CNNgo.

As democratic socialist Sanders gets ready to be asked again whether he is a capitalist (a question not asked of GOPpers – why?), and with pundits across the country calling him unattractive to voters of color, (tell that to this group) there is good news for Feel the Berners. Minnesota US Rep. Keith Ellison is endorsing the Vermont senator for president.

From Ellison’s campaign website:

“I am happy to support my friend and colleague Senator Bernie Sanders in his candidacy for president. For decades, Bernie has demonstrated a willingness to push for progressive ideas that will help American families and restore balance to our economy, which has favored the millionaires and billionaires for way too long. A founder of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, he is committed to investing in our education system and infrastructure, raising the minimum wage, addressing climate change, fixing our criminal justice system, reforming our financial markets, and pushing for peace and diplomacy abroad.

“Bernie knows that the power ultimately lies with the American people. And in a time where voter participation is at an all-time low, Bernie has shown that he has the ability to create a renaissance in civic participation by exciting those who are least likely to vote.

“Having stood with Bernie over the years on many different issues, including the Fight for $15, the effort to ban private prisons, and calling for the end of subsidies for Big Oil, I am proud to stand with him now.”

Interested in joining a debate watching party? I’m heading to the Lipstick Lounge in East Nashville (1400 Woodland St., 37206) to see how Bernie fares. Come join us — RSVP here or find another with a more convenient location for you.

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