Thursday, June 27, 2019

Quick Takes on the Second Democratic Debate

  1. As the former vice-president and the current polling front-runner, Joe Biden's big job was to shut down Bernie Sanders good and hard to clear the path ahead of himself. He didn't. On the other hand, Sanders didn't shut him down either.
  2. This was Kamala Harris's big chance to show off some redeeming persuasive quality -- gravitas, charisma, policy grasp, empathy with and apologies to the people she fed into the maw of her ambitions as a prosecutor, anything  other than a narcissistic sense of entitlement to four years at 1600 Pennsylvania as a reward for being a loyal long-time party ward-heeler while black and female. She didn't. She did, however, show some courage by going for broke, tearing into Biden in a way that eliminates any chance of second chair to Biden on the eventual Democratic ticket.
  3. Andrew Yang was never going to be the nominee, but he did a reasonably good job of selling his big issue (Universal Basic Income) to the extent that it can be sold. When that idea's time comes (and I suspect it will, although I don't support it), he'll deserve some credit for helping put it on the map.
  4. Marianne Williamson was never going to be the nominee, but if there's a casting director out there looking for someone to convincingly simultaneously reprise Gilda Radner as Baba Wawa and Marlon Brando as Colonel Walter Kurtz, her agent's phone is ringing right about now.
  5. Pete Buttigieg is another one who isn't going to be the nominee. He didn't break out, or particularly distinguish himself, but he didn't handle himself badly either. When Maddow (IIRC) threw a hardball at him about his handling of police violence in South Bend, and others piled on, he didn't fall apart and acquitted himself fairly well.
  6. No real thoughts on the other also-rans.
IMO it's still a Biden/Warren/Sanders race. Also IMO, the DNC wants a Biden/Warren ticket. These first two debates didn't really move them noticeably closer to that, but neither did the wheels come off the scheme.

It's early days.

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