About Last Night…

Debate Me, You Cowards!

(Courtesy of seekrit scissorhead @NamelessCynic of the Tweeters)

Last night’s 3-freaking hours debate was the first time the top contenders met on one stage. It was better than the previous double-headers, but that ain’t saying much. Well into the second hour, I walked away for dinner and took my usual postprandial stroll to return to see the media’s hot takes, which were not particularly brilliant. Rahm Emanuel? Gimme a break.

Who did well?

My own confirmation bias, I thought Sen. Professor Warren did well cutting through the crap and reminding us all that she might be a Senator and a Harvard professor, but she also came from humble background and only ever wanted to be a teacher. She connected on a human level with the audience. “I’ve never actually met anyone who likes their insurance company,” was probably her best line. Fact check: TRUE!

Sen. Kamala Harris did an amazing job of turning all of her answers into an attack on Trump and thus elevate her position in the so-called “electibility” question that the press keeps yammering about. It was a smart move.

Rep. Beto O’Rourke finally stopped his ersatz Rubio-robotic impersonation, and when he said, “Hell, yes, we’re going to take your AR-15,” I almost cheered. The audience certainly did.

Sen. Corey Booker was on fire during the race-related questions.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar knows how to deliver a punch as well as a punchline. She’s very funny.

Who did less well?

I was not expecting to see nice guy Julian Castro take old Joe Biden to an assisted living facility, so that came as a shock.

Aside from Andrew Yang offering 10 viewers $1K Ameros a month (and then a strange joke about being Asian and therefore knowing a lot of doctors), I cannot recall a thing he said.

As usual, Mayor Pete managed to say nothing in 3-hours. “Medicare for all who want it” is not a position, it’s an empty slogan.

ABC News was better than CNN, but George Stephanopoulos was still framing questions from the GOP perspective. Univision’s Jorge Ramos was excellent. They should have turned the whole thing over to him.

The last word: It was a heated night, but nothing fundamentally changed the dynamics of the race.

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8 Responses to About Last Night…

  1. laura says:

    Totes agree on Jorge Ramos! Gravitas, relevance. More Jorge, less George and NO Rahm thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. purplehead says:

    I understand that Sen Klobuchar said something like this (but I’m not willing to listen to three hours of “debate” to find it):

    “People need to elect me because I am from the middle of the country and represent America and grace.”

    Gah. Nope.

    Liked by 1 person

    • R White says:

      That’s like her saying previously and I’m paraphrasing, that she’s a real progressive b/c she makes progress with voting on bills. Really? Also why she doesn’t poll over 1%.

      Expect her to be VP material from either Biden or Harris.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. julesmomcat says:


    Liked by 2 people

  4. My take-aways are: O’Rourke bumped up on my list to join Biden and Warren as top contenders … then I used a slightly abrasive eraser to fastediously rub out Castro and Yang, completely (and pretend they were never on it).
    Yang’s doctor comment was both awkward and disturbing and Castro proved to be a desperate asshole (-see follow-up interview with Chris Matthews to dispel any doubts).
    Harris, Buttigieg and Klobuchar are extremely likeable and are excellent V.P. material.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. paul fredine says:

    couldn’t help but notice you had nothing to say about biden (or bernie, for that matter? i found both exclusions puzzling) except for saying castro took on ‘old joe’. as one who has yet to pick a side other than anybody-but-trump (as long as they’re blue) but being a proud, voting 70 year-old i’m sad to say i found this bit of ageism directed at joe (and by extension bernie’s exclusion?) unsettling. not really looking for a response just felt i had to express my opinion.


    • tengrain says:

      Paul –

      No ageism intended. In the part of the debate I watched I didn’t see anything notably different from Biden or Bernie, and they continue to hold the #1 and #2 spots.

      I hate the meme from the press about Biden’s gaffs, but he did give them plenty of material, and I hate to see that the press is running with that. But I didn’t see that as new.

      Bernie had one great moment, though it was really hard to hear (his voice was so raw from attending a protest earlier in the day) and it was his answer about democratic socialism. But he’s answered that question so many times, I didn’t think of it as new.

      I was not trying to make a comprehensive assessment of all the candidates. These were only my strongest impressions from the part of the debate I watched.

      I apologize if my omissions came off as ageist. And trust me: I’m getting along in years, too.




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