As not much more needs to be said about last week’s doubleheader debate gab-fest on the Democrat side, let’s dive right in to a discussion of who emerged the cleanest from the fiasco in Miami…
President Donald Trump: The Democrats did a fantastic job showcasing their extremism and absurdity, giving Americans a glimpse of what the alternative is to Keeping America Great. Though expected to provide a play by play on Twitter, President Trump did the best thing and simply got out of their way.
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard: She was googled heavily after the debate and ran away with the Drudge Report’s online poll but being the most liked Democratic candidates among people like me who have no intention in voting for her anyway isn’t going to help her in Iowa. While I have seen numerous pictures of the Iraq War vet surfing on social media, I have not heard any reports of a spike in donations. “Ron Paulina” had a good night on a largely empty stage.
Mayor Bill de Blasio: If there was someone who could make Liz Warren look like a moderate by comparison, it is the Sandinista mayor of NYC. He leaped upon the most leftist positions with enthusiasm and then chased his debate showing by quoting Che Guevara at an airport worker protest. His presence is going to chisel support from Bernie Sanders.
Senator Amy Klobuchar: The Minnesotan kind of got lost amongst the bland characters on the stage as she did among the more demagogic members of the Senate Judiciary Committee during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings. Seemed to be the true anti-Trump candidate if only in temperament, a contrast to those nasty rumors that have been circulated about her by ex-staffers.
US Senator Elizabeth Warren: Give the Harvard professor this much: she was cognizant of being the sequoia in the bonsai forest of second-tier candidates and kept the ball on the ground and ran out the clock. Warren went into the debate arguably the second strongest candidate and went into the weekend in the same spot. A strategic win, though a new threat is emerging in her rearview mirror.
Former HUD Secretary Julian Castro: The Jokeresque Castro truly looked the fool when his pledge of reproductive justice included transwomen seeking abortions. Politico, always seeking to give a brother Democrat a hand ran a clarifying article “What Castro Meant When He Said….”, a courtesy I doubt they’ve extended to many or any Republicans. It was a moment that should have finished off his candidacy as a laughingstock. However Castro played the solo Latinx card to ensure his continued inclusion in debates regardless of his actual viability.
Congressman Eric Swalwell: I don’t like the guy and a friend of mine who watched the debate kept yelling out “serial killer” whenever the camera panned to his face, but Swalwell understood his position and did what he needed to do: go after everyone. The bombastic gun grabbing congressman doubled down on his issue and furiously began to swing, taking shots at Biden and the mayor of South Bend. F his politics, but A for effort.
US Senator Bernie Sanders: The press let him talk figuring it would not do him any favors though they did trip the Vermont Democratic Socialist on guns. A visibly flustered Sanders managed to talk around the matter. For now. I don’t think anyone saw a future Democratic nominee at his podium but Sanders had a presence, got time, and an opportunity to push his candidacy without being marginalized.
US Senator Kamala Harris: The Californian did not so much look prepared but rehearsed. And it worked. When the desired questions were not offered to fit her memorized one-liners and barrages, Harris simply grabbed the mic and plowed through the moderators to create the opportunity. When she ran out of time, Harris held out her hand as if to challenge anyone to stop her from speaking. Harris owned the debate, the moderators, and the former vice-president. And forget Google searches, Harris now owns $2 million more than she had in her bank account going into the debate. Needing to remove the inevitability of Biden’s nomination and make the political class second-think their fealty to frontrunner, Harris was the undisputed big winner of round one.
After being rebuked in some Democratic corners for her beatdown on Biden and questions about the accuracy of the details she shared about her life, Harris managed to play the shrieking victim of the big bad Trump family and even goaded her rivals to coming to her defense. If there is anyone who understands the current sordid racket that is her party’s political culture (consider what she was willing to do to rise up in California), it is Senator Harris.