Debate Me, You Cowards!
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.