Slugfest in the midwest
The gloves were off at the fourth Democratic Debate held in Westerville, Ohio. CNN’s split screen added to the contention as lips pursed and eyes rolled with the one-on-one rebuttals. Somebody was mouth breathing into the mic, which gave it all a seething undertone. I thought it might be Joe or Bernie but it continued while those two were talking. Who knows, maybe it was Erin Burnett. But things got ugly for newly anointed front-runner, Elizabeth Warren. I think she’s fair game on the question of how she plans to pay for Medicare for all. But as the night went on, it became a full-on pile-on. I sort of felt like crying and pleading into the TV, “LEAVE ELIZABETH ALONE!”
So let’s start with Lizzie. Yes she continues to be my current front-runner, but the bob and weave over whether or not she’ll raise taxes on the middle class is wearing me down. She’s not stupid, so I’m assuming she’s trying to give herself some wiggle room in the general election. The question is not going away and if this evasiveness hurts her, well she needs to come up with a plan for that.
Joe Biden had a pretty good night but continues his clumsy word dance. In ten seconds Joe went from “I’d eliminate capital gains,” to “I’d raise capital gains,” to “I’d double it.” More importantly, he wasn’t strong enough on the whole Hunter Biden thing. He seemed uncomfortable and didn’t help by repeating his “my son’s statement speaks for itself” line over and over. Joe’s had plenty of time to prepare and yet fell short.
Bernie Sanders was great. He seemed healthy, strong, and a little less yelly. He changed the subject at one point in the debate which seemed to help Joe Biden get off the hot seat. It reminded me of the time with Hillary when he said he didn’t care about her “damn emails.” But then he mildly went after Biden because he was for the Iraq war that Bernie opposed. I liked seeing the softer side when Bernie took a moment to thank people for the love he received through their get well wishes.
Pete Buttigieg was combative with Warren and O’Rourke. He told Beto he didn’t “need lessons from him on courage.” I thought that was an overreaction to Beto’s comments but maybe it was the only opportunity Pete had to get the prepared line in. I’m tired of him throwing in the constant “in my lifetime” references. Peek-a-boo, young Pete. We see you.
Cory Booker is a really good guy. He reminded us all we have one shot at taking out Trump and he didn’t think tearing each other down was the way to do it. Cory stood up for Biden and said the only one who enjoys attacking a statesman like Joe is Donald Trump. I got a chill when Booker shouted that women’s reproductive rights are not only a woman’s issue. He somehow managed to end on a note of love, even when he identified Chris Christie, Jim Inhofe and Ted Cruz as some of his most surprising friendships.
Tulsi Gabbard, in her Fantasy Island pantsuit, went after hosts, CNN and The New York Times, for smearing her calls to end regime change wars. Things got weird when she called out Elizabeth Warren to join her in her quest. Then, out of nowhere, she blurted she doesn’t see deplorables when she looks at America. Gabbard sealed the deal when she responded that her most surprising friendship is the one she has with Trey Gowdy. Check please.
Julián Castro learned his lesson. He didn’t age-shame Joe Biden. He was one of the few who left Elizabeth Warren alone. I felt sorry for him when he was the first to get the final question about revealing his most surprising friendship. He rambled a bit. I think he did come up with somebody but I went to get a snack.
Kamala Harris notably left Joe Biden hangin’ during the handshake opening. She was the first to bring up women’s health care issues and our right to choose. She had a decent night. But then she attacked Elizabeth Warren over her unwillingness to join Harris in calling for Twitter to take down Trump’s account. Really, Kamala? His Twitter account is your Waterloo?
Poor Beto O’Rourke. He is never going to dig out of the “hell yeah we’re coming for your guns” hole and he’s not going to be the Democratic nominee. Yet O’Rourke said he won’t challenge GOP Senator John Cornyn for his seat. WTF, Beto?
Andrew Yang. MATH.
Tom Steyer. RICH.
Amy Klobuchar got some pre-debate help from Bill Maher who had her on his show and fawned over her as the centrist alternative. He named her the possible dark horse. But I just don’t see it. During the debate, Amy used her mean girl voice and told Elizabeth Warren, “Your idea isn’t the only idea.” Klobuchar said, “at least Bernie’s being honest about raising taxes on the middle class.” I concede Klobuchar had an excellent spontaneous zinger when she told Elizabeth “nobody on this stage wants to protect billionaires, not even the billionaires.” But then Soundbite Sally reverted back to her standby, “I’m going to build a blue wall around (the Midwest swing states) and Trump’s going to pay for it.”