Des Moines Debate: Six to Compete

The Democrats will debate tonight. You can watch at CNN. Those who will be on the stage:

Joseph R. Biden Jr.
Pete Buttigieg
Amy Klobuchar
Bernie Sanders
Elizabeth Warren
Tom Steyer

Who will glow and who will fade?
Will Bernie and Elizabeth make up?
Will Pete aim his fire at Biden?
Why are Amy and Steyer still here?

I'm glad Wolf Blitzer is moderating. [More...]

Interesting differences on whether to leave troops in Iraq. Warren says no. Biden says yes.

This was a very boring debate. I thought Pete and Amy did fine, Biden was barely noticeable, and Bernie and Elizabeth were same-old, same-old.

I think the only candidate that young people will come out to vote for is Bernie. I don't think a female candidate will bring out voters in force. It's as sexist to vote for a candidate because she is female as it is not to vote for a candidate because she is female.

On the other hand, if Trump goes down in flames shortly before the election, and before Republicans can regroup, any Democrat, even my dog, should win. (I don't really have a dog but if I did, s/he'd be a Democrat.)

< Julian Castro Endorses Elizabeth Warren | Guiliani Time: A Roast, a Strikeout or Just Toast? >
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    After the full dose, (5.00 / 2) (#18)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jan 15, 2020 at 10:45:06 AM EST
    my take is that the debate was anything but boring. I found it informative, not so much in the sense of new information, but in new understandings of the candidates.  Something more discernable with just six contenders.

    The first hour devoted, primarily, to foreign affairs was more interesting than the second, which was, owing mostly to the moderators, a redundant and tired exercise in the candidates health care positions.

    Overall, it is unlikely that the debate moved the needle in any appreciable degree in one way or another.  However, it appeared to me that the Biden we see is he Biden we will get.  He is consistent--offers experience, explanations, and little zest. Claims to understand the present state of the rancid Republican party, but cannot bring grudges to the presidency.

    Steyer's tact was to be polite and agree, by name, with the other candidates whenever he could, crafting the reasonable man persona. He did not hurt himself last night, and by keeping that cash flowing he will stay in the race a while longer, probably, until his freshness of the moment goes stale.

    Klobuchar was easy on the attack mode this time around restricting herself to the role of the wet blanket thrown on others ideas. And, by ignoring time called and continuing on with her answers she seemed impolite, if not inconsiderate. She is from the midwest, you know, and may experience a boomlet, however.

    Pete was not a target last night, as he was at the last debate. This should worry Pete, since his polling numbers must show him to be less a threat. And, too, he did not intrude much on the others positions, deftly presenting his own positions and articulately answering questions. There is a sense of confidence that whatever the question thrown at him, his answer will be a good one.

    Bernie was, as always, Bernie. He continues to provide only qualitative descriptions of Medicare for All funding, nimbly moving to the benefits rather than costs. I believe this to be a good strategy---discuss existing problems and benefits of change. Keep universal health care inspirational, the particulars will, in any event, be the result of the legislative sausage-making process.

    Senator Warren has a plan for that, but realized, afterward, that she needed to transition her plan, essentially, making it a goal and in line with the other candidates (e.g., build on the ACA).

    All of the candidates missed the boat by not contrasting more forcefully their plans with Trump's, including his DOJ presently arguing before the Supreme Court for a negative decision, but only after the election.

    It boils down to: Democrats for better health care, Republicans for taking it all away.  Of course, Trump's campaign promise was to repeal Obamacare and replace it with "something terrific." So there is that.

    Senator Warren was in good form, as usual. But she did little to disguise her pique with Bernie flat out denying that woman cannot win the presidency.

    As for that contretemps, the matter played into the media's search for sparks. Where the truth lies, will probably depend on which horse you are backing.  But, my view was shaped prior to the debate by an interview with Bernie's long-time campaign surrogate, Nina Turner. Ms. Turner never known as a delightful personality, must have gone to a Swiss Clinic to have whatever charm that remained surgically removed. Rather than trying to smooth matters over by, say, suggesting a misunderstanding or misinterpretation, continued  with Bernie's "ludicrous" irascibility.  In any event, I would guess it will blow over soon, but I got the impression that Senator Warren will have a different and new look at the Sander's campaign.

    And, there was another, after the debate interview of note: Mayor Bloomberg was on Colbert's Late Night Show.  There is often the arrogance of a successful businessman, and Bloomberg is a very, very, very successful businessman. Although most who have $60 billion will be arrogant, too.

    But, as a presidential candidate, I would advise setting aside some of that money for humility lessons.  Bloomberg did dismiss outright, the notion of a wealth tax, because it has been tried and did not work "elsewheres".   Of course, a 2% wealth tax, kicking-in after $50 million, for a person with $60 billion would be about a $1.2 billion annual tax, less than a presidential run. However, I am glad he is in the race, baiting Trump and spending money to help rid the country of him and his undermining of the democracy.

    Thanks for writing that, KeysDan (none / 0) (#19)
    by leap on Wed Jan 15, 2020 at 12:36:03 PM EST
    A fair, well-chronicled take.

    CNN (4.00 / 1) (#12)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 15, 2020 at 08:00:14 AM EST
    The Warren-Sanders feud just got way uglier

    that's Chris Cilizza wrote that.  The irony is he is not wrong.

    The idea this is the headline the morning after (and not just on CNN) honestly should disqualify both of them.

    I am so sick of this clown show.

    Tried watching but gave up. Too boring. (2.00 / 4) (#17)
    by Abdul Abulbul Amir on Wed Jan 15, 2020 at 10:39:27 AM EST
    They all seem crazy. Below are three common sense statements that none of them could make.

    1. I'm glad that those parishioners down in Texas put a stop to a would be mass murderer.

    2. I'm happy that millions are now employed in good paying jobs that have made the country energy independent for the first time in decades. OPEC can pound sand.

    3. Only a woman can get pregnant and birth a child.

    LOL (5.00 / 4) (#20)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 15, 2020 at 01:53:27 PM EST
    Next thing you know you'll be saying it is a great thing that Trump was planning a mob hit on an ambassador.

    Do you paint houses? (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by KeysDan on Wed Jan 15, 2020 at 02:44:42 PM EST
    Perfect phone call, July 25:  "She is going to go through some things".    Open windows?    

    "Crazy" - heh (5.00 / 3) (#24)
    by Yman on Wed Jan 15, 2020 at 08:51:57 PM EST
    Trump supporters opining on what "sounds crazy" or what constitutes "common sense" is seriously funny.  Like, Rudy Giuliani offering "legal advice" level of funny.

    I am following (none / 0) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Jan 14, 2020 at 08:00:40 PM EST
    on twitter and most seem to think Blitzer is doing a horrible job.

    Blitzer does a horrible job everyday. (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Chuck0 on Wed Jan 15, 2020 at 10:16:07 AM EST
    He is the one person on CNN that I simply cannot watch. There are problems with a gaggle of CNN personalities, but Blitzer, for me is unwatchable. He grinds my gears.

    Wolf Blitzer is not so bad. (none / 0) (#23)
    by fishcamp on Wed Jan 15, 2020 at 04:34:55 PM EST
    Remember his dramatic live report from the first Kuwait war?  He had the entire world on the edge of their seats listening.  Granted he was not very good last night, but the others weren't either.  They all make mistakes...remember Brian saying they were shooting at his helicopter?  He really paid for that one.  I used to film many interviews and they all made mistakes.  Sorry to disagree but I think Wolf is quite good most of the time.

    I don't think the questions (none / 0) (#2)
    by Jeralyn on Tue Jan 14, 2020 at 08:10:20 PM EST
    are bad. At least they are spending a lot of time on war, Iraq, Iran, etc.

    I did not watch (none / 0) (#3)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 15, 2020 at 06:05:56 AM EST
    I'm over this part
    But I really am surprised  how bad it's being described this morning.
    Dull.  Plodding.  Boring.  Pointless.  

    The thing between Warren and Sanders seemed to be handled the worst possibly way by both the moderators and candidates.

    With some credit being given to Warren for redirecting the Bernie question.

    Overall the impression given none of these people are ready for prime time.  Forget being ready for Trump.

    The time stamp here is off (none / 0) (#4)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 15, 2020 at 06:06:39 AM EST
    It's 6:30 not 6:05

    My question would be (none / 0) (#5)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 15, 2020 at 06:08:53 AM EST
    With the incredible news day yesterday how could a democratic presidential debate be boring.  It is quite an accomplishment

    It appears the absurdity was not lost (none / 0) (#7)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 15, 2020 at 06:38:25 AM EST
    On everyone.

    Lots of head scratching about the flurry of comments from his new campaign account.  And no, it was not hacked.

    A couple of my favorites

    Team Bloomberg
    Mike's house is designed to look exactly like the interior of the Millennium Falcon. #BloombergFacts #DemDebate

    Team Bloomberg
    In lieu of an inaugural address, Mike plans on singing "Shallow" with Lady Gaga. #BloombergFacts #DemDebate

    Team Bloomberg
    Mike has a deep respect for facts and science, except for the ridiculous "round Earth" conspiracy theory. #BloombergFacts #DemDebate

    It goes on and on and on

    Like much else about this it is clearly brilliant or completely nuts.

    Opinions may vary.


    Considering (none / 0) (#6)
    by Ga6thDem on Wed Jan 15, 2020 at 06:27:48 AM EST
    what a crap show IA and NH have now turned into Bloomberg and Steyer may have been smart to skip those two states.

    Face (none / 0) (#9)
    by FlJoe on Wed Jan 15, 2020 at 07:07:36 AM EST
    it, the whole genre had become dull and pointless.

    Politics is NOT supposed to be show biz no matter how hard the info-tainment industry(and tRump!)try to make it so.


    Not supposed to be (none / 0) (#11)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 15, 2020 at 07:24:12 AM EST
    But it is.  Sadly.  It is and saying it shouldn't be won't make it so.
    That's the first thing
    The second thing is there was SO MUCH they could have discussed that would not at all have been dull or pointless.

    How about we vote (none / 0) (#8)
    by CST on Wed Jan 15, 2020 at 06:42:43 AM EST
    For one of the female candidates because they are so clearly superior to the other candidates running.

    Tired of being told gender has nothing to do with it.  Gender is the only reason why 3 of those candidates are even on that stage and money is the 4th and thats not a description of Warren or Klobacher.

    Hard to believe he said that... (none / 0) (#10)
    by NoSides on Wed Jan 15, 2020 at 07:14:42 AM EST
    Biden said his mistake of voting for the war in Iraq was erased by President Barack Obama, who, despite that 2002 vote, picked him to be vice president.

    "He turned to me and asked me to end that war," he said.

    That didn't seem to have worked out so well.

    To whom do we turn?

    The only one of the field that gives me any sense of hope is Sanders.

    Serious question, why? (none / 0) (#15)
    by cpinva on Wed Jan 15, 2020 at 09:45:57 AM EST
    "The only one of the field that gives me any sense of hope is Sanders."

    what is it that you see in Sanders, that gives you this "sense of hope"?

    as well, I note your nic, NoSides, which causes me to wonder if you're actually just a troll bot. if not, my apologies in advance.


    Sorry (none / 0) (#13)
    by CaptHowdy on Wed Jan 15, 2020 at 09:16:19 AM EST
    I am often grumpy before the daily dose of caffeine (etc)

    I feel much better now.

    I have decided last night performance was a clever plan to make the performance we just saw by Nancy look even more like a superhero by comparison.

    Clearly that.  It worked

    Also (5.00 / 2) (#14)
    by FlJoe on Wed Jan 15, 2020 at 09:27:03 AM EST
    reading Cilizza at any time is hazardous to one's mental health.

    Warren or Sanders? (none / 0) (#22)
    by hilts on Wed Jan 15, 2020 at 03:28:21 PM EST

    Who do you believe is telling the truth about their private conversation, Warren or Sanders?