There is, apparently, a debate. Open Thread.



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54 Responses

  1. Avatar Jaybird says:

    And Julian Castro looks like Tim Curry.Report

    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Jaybird says:

      “I don’t believe only in reproductive freedom. I believe in reproductive justice. Just because a woman, or let’s also not forget someone in the trans community, a trans female, is poor doesn’t mean they shouldn’t have the right to exercise this right to choose.” – Julian Castro during the debate.

      Abortions for trans females. Hrm…. Yeah, I’m willing to fund those 100%, Julian. Even pro-lifers will get on board with that.

      When Elizabeth Warren explained that insurance companies try to charge as much as possible for premiums and pay out as little as possible in expenses, I thought “I’m sure glad no other businesses in America try to buy low and sell high, or we’d all be screwed!”

      Not the brightest tool in the shed.Report

  2. Avatar Jaybird says:


    • Avatar George Turner in reply to Jaybird says:

      Ha. Drudge’s poll also has Tulsi crushing them, at 39%, compared to second place Elizabeth Warren’s 12%.

      Drudge poll results

      I’ve been a Tulsi fan for years because she’s a combat vet who surfs. Of course Democrats tried to deep six her after she criticized Obama’s Middle East policy, but she stuck to her guns. Prior to that magazines like “Vanity Fair” were saying she was the next JFK and an upcoming leader of the party.Report

      • Avatar Jesse in reply to George Turner says:

        When I think of polling that will match the Democratic primary voter, I think of people who will go to Drudge in 2019.Report

        • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Jesse says:


          Obviously Democratic primary voters are entitled to nominate the terrible candidate of their choice (see 2016) but the Drudge poll should give some indication of who has cross-party appeal and y’know, more chance of actually winning.

          I certainly don’t know enough about Gabbard that I would consider voting for her yet, but she impressed me on foreign policy, so that’s a good start.

          I remain very interested to see who Dem primary voters choose. If they select an uber Progressive then that will prove that the Left is really having a Tea Party moment. I suspect that will strengthen the Center in the longrun. If they repudiate the SJ crowd and select a moderate, that will also be good because it might weaken the Woke caucus within the party.

          My money is on Dems selecting a moderate because you have a ton of Dem voters that are actually pretty conservative (see most of the black and Hispanic communities).Report

          • Avatar Jesse in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

            Do you think if Trump loses in 2020, the GOP should care who HuffPo users thought did the best in the 2024 Democratic debates? Because that’s what Drudge is – a clickbait site for (old) right-leaning people.

            I’m pretty sure, for example, Drudge users probably didn’t like much of what Obama said in 2008.Report

            • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Jesse says:

              I think you mean the 2024 Republican debates in order for your analogy to work…

              I do think it’s important to see how your message actually plays on the other side of the aisle unless we’ve just accepted a polarized electorate forever. In case you forgot, the majority of Americans have an (I) next to their name.Report

          • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

            FWIW, I try to keep my grimy thumb on the pulse of Dems online, and the consensus takeaway from the 2018 victories is that the key to success is boosting our own turnout and enthusiasm, not begging for Republican crossovers.Report

            • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Chip Daniels says:

              So just driving more polarization? No interest in the middle huh?Report

              • Avatar Chip Daniels in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                Dems come in lots of flavors,, from Biden to Warren from Dianne Feinstein to AOC.

                So contrary to some of the extremely online folks like me, there is plenty of centrism alive in the party.

                But the mood right now, the agenda setters and opinion shapers, is with the AOC/ Warren/ Bernie crowd.

                My sense (an YMMV) is that the shock of 2016 has caused a lot of Dems to feel like our backs are against the wall, and we have no more compromises left to give.

                That is, the battles which are being fought- over Roe, over white supremacy- are existential, i.e. binary, without a middle.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Chip Daniels says:

                I remember in past elections there was a similar conversation on the Right about how we needed to forget compromise and stick to first principles and let the chips fall where they may. That got us the Tea Party and then Trump. Now I have a robust affinity for compromise.

                As previously said, I’m fine with the Dems going full Progressive. It would be an interesting referendum on that ideology. Unfortunately I also believe it will give us four more years of Trump.Report

              • At least for the West, I’ll disagree with Chip. What I think happened in the West is that enough suburban voters changed their vote from the R to the D. And it was largely policy things: the attacks on Obamacare didn’t play well, the structure of the tax cuts didn’t play well, the immigration stuff didn’t play well, and Pruitt/Zinke were a disaster.

                Here in Colorado I believe Cory Gardner will lose his Senate seat for those same reasons. He voted to kill Obamacare, he voted for the tax cuts, he voted against the environment every time. He thinks that saying positive things about marijuana (and passing nothing) will save him — he’s wrong.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Michael Cain says:

                Don’t get me started on Zinke and the environment…Report

    • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird says:

      Interesting for what it suggests about Booker and the South… if Booker’s going to make a move on Biden it will be signalled by black voters in the south.

      I haven’t watched anything yet… but am surprised to keep hearing Tulsi this and Tulsi that… this google search thingy is kinda interesting because she shows as the most searched person in terms of consistency throughout the night… usually #1 or #3. Of course, she might be among the least known…but it suggests that whatever she was saying was more “buzz” worthy than the other unknowns.

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Marchmaine says:

        Her website is woefully thin on policy proposals. It is literally just a vision statement but it gives a vibe as a pragmatic and compromise-oriented politician. So of course she has no shot in hell at the top spot.Report

    • Avatar Marchmaine in reply to Jaybird says:

      Also interesting is trending issues:

      1. Healthcare
      2. Wages
      3. Immigration
      4. Unemployment
      4. Abortion

      1. Health Care
      2. Immigration
      3. Wages
      4. Abortion
      5. Economy

      Healthcare is a winner, Immigration is a loser (I know, I know, but you all are wrong), Wages is the biggest winner, Abortion is Neutral (every vote won is a vote lost)… the interesting thing is that old stand-bys like Economy and Unemployment are losers (for now).

      A Healthcare/Wages Solidarity campaign could win if executed properly.

      On the touchpoint of Immigration, a humane Immigration campaign would score points, if restrained from Open Borders and expanded Asylum campaign… I’m not sure team Blue can exercise that restraint… so I’ll call it a loser until I see otherwise.

      Edit to add the link:

  3. Avatar Mike Dwyer says:

    I was also impressed with Tulsi, who I knew nothing about prior. She was my surprise favorite of the night, at least on foreign policy.

    Still like Klobuchar.

    Stayed neutral on Beto.

    Castro is such a douche. Every time he over-pronounced a Spanish word I cringed.

    Booker was so vanilla…he would make a great VP.

    Warren did fine but I would never vote for her.

    Inslee was interesting at times.

    Ryan was laughably bad and Tulsi ate his lunch on Afghanistan.

    I thought Delaney actually did okay but my wife said he interrupted too much (not sure why she gave Booker a pass on that).

    Also thought DeBlasio was pretty lousy, and leveraging his black son was gross.Report

    • Avatar J_A in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

      Every time he over-pronounced a Spanish word I cringed.

      OK, time for the most important question in the debate. Who has the best (the least worst??) Spanish?

      And the results are:

      #3 Julian Castro. His Spanish is very basic. And had basic mistakes even in stock phrases he should have memorized by now (See #2). In his defense, his accent is not offensive (See #2, again). It’s plain gringo Spanish High School teacher accent.

      #2 Corey Booker. He had, surprisingly, the most grammatically correct Spanish (See #1). He used, again, surprisingly, complex sentences and high level, long, specialized words that would normally show full bilingualism. And he said them in an absolutely horrible accent, so bad, that would flunk your High School Spanish grades. Which made me think he has just committed to memory several stock responses, and delivers them if the occasion rises. Which, if true, would speak very highly of his commitment and readiness. And of his pandering.

      #1 Beto. Not surprisingly, Beto has quite a good accent. You can’t really take the gringo accent of a guy named Francis O’Rourke, but it’s not a grating thing, and you can clearly hear a heavy Mexican Beto accent lurking behind every word. He can, clearly, construct paragraphs and think on his feet in Spanish, and maintain full conversations in that language. But surprisingly, it’s clear his Spanish has become very rusty. He makes lots of silly gender mistakes (or he is too woke to judge whether “gobierno” identifies as male or female), and, he has a tendency to drop articles and prepositions altogether, which is a big no-go in Spanish, and it shouldn’t happen because articles and prepositions work exactly the same in English and Spanish. The preposition think was really grating. He sounded like he was reading a telegram aloud, and the sender tried to save words (people under 40, please google “telegram”)Report

      • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to J_A says:

        My wife didn’t see the harm in Julian Castro over-pronouncing ‘El Salvador’ and ‘Guatemala’. I posed the question to her that if my grandparents had come here from France and I was a second-generation American and I pronounced every French word commonly used in America with a heavy French accent… would she have gone on a second date with me? I’m all for respecting your heritage but man, that is so gross.Report

      • Avatar George Turner in reply to J_A says:

        The First Lady speaks to world leaders in English, Slovenian, German, French, Italian, and Serbo-Croatian. Bad high school Spanish isn’t going to cut it.Report

  4. Avatar Marchmaine says:

    Comment in Moderation.

    Looks like after I edited to add the forgotten link it got nabbed.Report

  5. Avatar Jaybird says:

    And, tonight, we find out if this debate was the kiddie table debate or not.

    If someone crushes it, like *CRUSHES* it, crushes it, then we get to forget about this debate entirely.

    Which leads us to ask whether Warren broke out or if she’s just another politician at the kiddie table.Report

  6. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Andrew Yang is, apparently, lackluster. Too bad.

    I heard a theory that he should answer every question with “One. Thousand. Dollars.” That would probably have been better than being perfectly forgettable.Report

  7. Avatar Jaybird says:


  8. Avatar Will Truman says:

    My view:

    1) I was right, Warren got screwed.

    2) Harris may have set herself up as the anti-Biden. That’s a good place to be.

    3) She took the best shots at Biden I think anyone can make. This could be the beginning of a ground shift. But if that shift doesn’t happen here – if we don’t see discernible change at the top that lasts more than a week – then as far as I’m concerned it’s over.

    4) I thought Gillibrand was pretty impressive. But I’m going to go right back to mocking her tomorrow.

    5) I wish Buttigieg were qualified.

    6) Warren got screwed.Report

    • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Will Truman says:

      Harris attacking Biden was hard to watch but probably necessary. It felt like someone beating up my grandpa. He literally seemed frail up there.Report

      • Avatar Will Truman in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

        Oh yeah

        3b) It is good for the Democrats to get this out of the way early. Harris did them a solid. If Biden isn’t the one, it’ll provide a clearer race to see who is. And if he is, then we’ll know.Report

        • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Will Truman says:

          She was Chris Christie killing Marco Rubio.Report

        • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Will Truman says:

          Yeah, it needed to be done but man it was hard to watch. It felt like she was channeling HRC in full attack dog mode. I also agree it kind of feels like she is falling on a grenade for some of the other candidates.Report

          • Avatar InMD in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

            It was absolutely necessary but… I don’t think it did the damage people seem to think it did. Biden’s responses were a cringe which is unfortunate because I don’t think her attacks were that hard to parry by an actual elder statesman type, as opposed to someone who just plays the part on TV.

            Buttigieg came off great, I don’t know what Will is talking about with Gillibrand though. To me she is by far the most offputting candidate in the whole thing and nothing she did last night served to change that impression.Report

            • Avatar Will Truman in reply to InMD says:

              She might have benefited from low expectations, but she was loud in a way that came across more passionate and played the part of genuine well. Under different circumstances I think it might have really mattered.

              Regarding Biden, I don’t know if it did damage or not. That’s what I’m waiting to see. But it was as an effective attack on that aspect of Biden as I can imagine, and if it doesn’t do damage then that’s that. (And even if it does do damage, Biden still has a good chance.)Report

              • Avatar George Turner in reply to Will Truman says:

                Regarding Gilibrand’s performance, last night someone posted a GIF of Reese Witherspoon’s Tracy Flick (from The Election (1999) shoving a VOTE FLICK cupcake towards another student, probably taken from the very last scene in the trailer.Report

              • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Will Truman says:

                Based on my focus group of one (my wife) I think Harris can access most/all of the true-blue HRC supporters from 2016. She seems to check enough boxes to capture their attention. My wife was open to criticism of pretty much everyone up there until I started getting digs on Harris. Then I saw the same looks i received in 2016 that said, “Keep it up and you can sleep on the couch.”

                I will say one of my favorite zingers of the night was Biden reminding her he was a public defender not a prosecutor. That’s inside baseball that some people might have missed but you could tell it ruffled her feathers for a moment.

                * Side note – my favorite favorite was Mayor Pete talking about how he will be the same age as the president in 2055. It also worked as a subtle dig at Biden and Sanders, which was awesome.Report

              • Avatar DensityDuck in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                I really think, after last night, that Kamala Harris is HRC 2.0

                Which, given that the primary thing that stopped Clinton winning in 2016 was that her baggage kept people from going to vote, means that if she runs against Trump she’ll win.

                I mean, Clinton-style governance is what people want–tough on crime, bossing around the Rich Fat Cats, keeping the Enemies Of Freedom running scared, staying out of the way of businesses making money so long as enough of that money stays home. Harris is pretty definitely gonna be that.Report

              • Avatar InMD in reply to Mike Dwyer says:

                And this is the route Biden should continue. Subtle but also a reminder of ‘I’ve been around these problems, moving the ball forward when the world was a very different place.’Report

  9. Avatar Jaybird says:


  10. Avatar Jaybird says:

    In case you thought that anybody has called for open borders:


    • Avatar Mike Dwyer in reply to Jaybird says:

      That’s complete BS. Seriously. I was about as mad as I get watching these sorts of things when they asked every candidate point blank tonight if they would deport someone who came here illegally and they all said No. That is Open Borders folks. The vast majority of the electorate does not support it. i honestly don’t even think a lot of these candidates do but they have been pushed into a corner in roughly a week-long news cycle. Biggest winner is AOC. Talk about an influencer.Report

    • Avatar Gary Kemper in reply to Jaybird says:

      They have called for open borders but they haven’t used those words to describe their agenda. They are against everything that the Trump administration has done to make the border more secure. They are also against deportation of those that have crossed illegally.Report

  11. Avatar George Turner says:

    A proper debate review can’t start until someone posts a link to Senator Mike Gravel’s Twitter feed.Report

  12. Avatar Jaybird says:

    The numbers are in:


  13. Avatar Jaybird says:

    Good news!

    Tom Steyer might announce on Tuesday! (Looks like he’s frustrated with Jay Inslee’s failure to make a splash.)Report