Wild & Wacky Democratic Debate
Updated: Sep 27, 2019
While I watched the two nights of the Democratic debates, I can’t say I learned a lot new. I found the debates were more of a personality contest. I wasn’t happy with the clear favoritism by the journalists as to who were asked questions or were allowed follow-up answers. The first night most of the questions went to Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker and Beto O’Rourke. I give kudos to Julian Castro who broke through and showed that he has significant experience and real smarts. He definitely moved up on my list. I enjoyed the tenor of the debate and the lack of Trump talk.
Then we get to the second night. Wow. It couldn’t have been more different. The group came out fighting and talked about Trump constantly. Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders got the most questions, but they could have done better with their answers. Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg were the other media favorites. Harris got more time than her programs warranted (perhaps you could have explained them rather than just emoting about the subject). And why were we talking about busing? What a waste of time. I don’t agree with the pundits about Harris’ performance and in fact she fell lower on my list.
Obviously, some of the candidate’s including Harris and Swalwell had the goal of trying to bring down the leaders (Pass the torch! No, it’s mine! Lord of the Rings maybe?). Other candidates were looking to show differences in their approach to key issues like healthcare and get top-tier candidates to be more forthright about their approach such as Michael Bennet did to Sanders. I feel that was a better tactic and Bennet is moving up my list. Buttigieg is still coming off the shooting in his city that has erupted into racial problem for him and I don’t think he did much to improve people’s perceptions of him. I still like Mayor Pete, but I didn’t see someone that should be at the top of the ticket.
John Hickenlooper and Andrew Yang didn’t get many questions which was too bad. Yang obviously has a game plan but like most tech guys needed a white board to explain it. Hickenlooper answered his few questions well, but he will have to be more aggressive in any debate to increase his air time assuming he makes it to the next round. Kirsten Gillibrand should receive the award for most interruptions but I’m not sure how much good it did her. She used the time to talk about credentials when she could have talked about plans and policy.
Obviously, we need to start reducing the list (can we begin with Marianne Williamson please). Until then we need a better managed debate and more fair questioning.