CNN hosted a town hall meeting with the three democratic presidential candidates on Monday night in what was the last chance for each to reach out to the voters in Iowa before the state’s caucus kicks off the election season on February 1. The town hall format was an interesting shift from the debates that have largely defined the race so far. Each potential nominee took a turn on the stage with moderator Chris Cuomo fielding questions from the audience while the other two remained back stage. CNN selected the questions prior to the meeting but did not share them with the candidates, meaning that they did not have time to work on their answers before going on stage (though they had likely spent countless hours preparing for what might be asked).
Senator Sanders was the first to take the stage and was relatively candid about his policies and the differences between his campaign and that of Hillary Clinton. While his statements regarding the latter’s political history were not as pointed or combative as commonly seen in the Republican debates thus far, he was also very clear on the reasons why he believes himself to be better equipped to serve as the next President.
For her part, Clinton did not seem nearly as concerned with differentiating herself from Sanders, instead attempting to paint herself as someone who shared many of his ideals while being better equipped to implement them. Still, the different approaches taken by each were telling, and it will be interesting to see what happens with the Democratic nomination process going forward.
Clinton and Sanders were not the only ones on the stage Monday night though. Former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley was also granted some time with the prospective voters. However, given that he received about ten minutes less than the other candidates and was essentially asked by the moderator whether he will support Clinton or Sanders when he fails to get enough votes to remain in the race, his time is probably drawing to a close.
But while Cuomo’s question regarding who O’Malley will support seems a bit harsh and certainly caught the former governor off guard, it may end up being the most important thing that was asked that night. The race between Clinton and Sanders is so close at the moment that those voters currently supporting O’Malley could be the deciding factor on the Democratic side of the election. It’s a good reminder that you don’t need great power to have influence in our political system.
The same is true in the Kingdom of God. Whether it’s naming the youngest son who was not even deemed fit to be among those presented to be Israel’s greatest king, a fisherman who could hardly get his foot out of his mouth long enough to say the next foolish thing to help start his church, or that church’s greatest enemy to become one of its greatest missionaries, God has a habit of choosing surprising heroes to help further his cause. Perhaps part of the reason that he so often uses the foolish to shame the wise, and the weak to shame the strong, is that doing so leaves little room for us to think people accomplished great things without him (1 Corinthians 1:27).
This side of heaven, we will never fully understand the degree to which the Lord has used us to further his kingdom. Your influence may seem small now but it just might be that last bit needed for God to accomplish something truly amazing in the world around you. If so, will you let him? How you answer that question today could have consequences that stretch on for eternity.