Based on the hour or so of watching it and the reports I’ve read about its totality, last night’s Democrat debate was, for the most part, a boring rehash of talking points.
CNN’s Van Jones compared it to “cold oatmeal”.
Deadline.com’s Dominic Patten, in his colorful style, characterized it this way:
Granted the deep pocketed ex-NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the near subzero polling ex- Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick were not present for the Des Moines gathering Tuesday, but it’s doubtful they could have turned opportunity deeper into triviality than the half dozen behind the podiums did tonight.
Poll leader Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Senator Amy Klobuchar, former Vice President Joe Biden, ex-South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and billionaire investor Tom Steyer were faced right away with the landmine questions of assuming the mantle of Commander-in-Chief, ending endless wars, Iranian nuclear weapon capacity and trade with China. Instead of cranking it up to the street level hip-hop and stadium dominating heavy metal that drowning out Donald Trump requires, the six heavily focused group contenders essentially opted tonight to play the same tedious soft rock tunes we’ve heard in past debates.
That said, however, two elements of the suddenly-developed war between front-runners Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders are worth noting.
One is that moderator Abby Phillip sandbagged Bernie Sanders by asking him whether he told Elizabeth Warren no woman could win the presidency — then, after Sanders denied making the statement, asking Warren what she thought of Sanders making the statement, as if there was no issue he had done so.
From Steven Proctor’s article at yahoo.com:
“So Senator Sanders, I do want to be clear here,” Phillip said, “you’re saying that you never told Senator Warren that a woman could not win the election.” “That is correct,” Sanders replied. Phillip then immediately turned to Warren and asked, “Senator Warren, what did you think when Senator Sanders told you a woman could not win the election?”
This garnered groans and laughter from the audience.
The other is that Ms. Warren refused to shake Mr. Sanders’ hand at the end of the debate…and the two seemed to have less than pleasant words with each other instead. Here, see for yourself:
Other than making Elizabeth Warren look bad (a more and more frequent occurrence over the past several weeks), did last night’s debate change anything? Move Democrat primary voters toward or away from any candidate?
More on this later today, as we get additional insights.