Debate Tonight

I’m going to be out and cannot watch the third (or fifth, depending on how you count them) Democratic debate. Feel free to comment here if you are watching. I’ll check in when I get home.

Tonight’s debaters, in no particular order, are Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Andrew Yang, Cory Booker, Beto O’Rourke, Amy Klobuchar, and Julián Castro.

In case you care, the candidates who didn’t make the debate “cut” but have not yet dropped out are billionaire vanity candidate Tom Steyer, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, author Marianne Williamson, Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, former Maryland Rep. John Delaney, Miramar Mayor Wayne Messam, and former Pennsylvania Rep. Joe Sestak. It is not impossible that some of these lower-tier candidates will make it to the October debate, and indeed, according to Vox, Steyer has already qualified for October.

The debate is being billed as the long-awaited matcup between the two top guns, Joe Biden and Liz Warren. I predict the other candidates will be piling on both of them. Biden still leads in the polls, but there are indicators Warren may be the stronger contender over the long haul.

Update: Also, over on the right sidebar of the home page I have added a widget for my new book, The Circle of the Way: A Concise History of Zen from the Buddha to the Modern World. You can pre-order it now; it will be published November 12. If you don’t like Amazon you can order from an independent book store owner at this link.

5 thoughts on “Debate Tonight

  1. The opening remarks played like an ensemble performance. Each candidate emphasized distinct ideas. One could easily imagine a test audience wired to galvanometers, response dials ready to twist at:

    Castro: new ideas, diversity, Texas
    Klobuchar: Trump, Midwestern earnestness, centrism
    O'Rourke: Trump, guns, unity
    Booker: cities, vision, unity
    Yang: corporatism, Basic Minimum Income, individualism
    Buttigieg: war, unity, new ideas
    Harris: Trump, government paralysis, character
    Sanders: Trump, oligarchy, progressive ideas
    Warren: education, family, progressive economics
    Biden: Democratic tradition, health care, climate

  2. I watched some of the debate and got frustrated. Today I read some of the summaries of the debate. Different talking heads are pushing different realities. I agree that there are three frontrunners and everybody else. IMO, the race is between Biden, Sanders, and Warren. All the other candidates at 0 to 3% are trying to sell books or jockey for a cabinet position.

    Since I'm 66, I can say this – Sanders and Biden are both too old. (So is Trump.) If you can't keep pace, you HAVE to delegate the decision process. Your deputies wind up making policy choices you are too old to be bothered with. Trump has selected advisors many of whom are as cold and malicious as he is. They are the architects of policy. Biden (if he's the nominee) will go to the tried-and-true list of Obama-era moderates. That would be stable, but not progressive. Sanders would bring in some new blood, real progressives and he's got a network to draw from. I'm concerned that some of those people would govern past Sanders, taking advantage of the limitations of Sanders being near 80.  Maybe I'm wrong, but I think Warren would go off (privately) on any cabinet person who starts to hold back info and go rogue with their assignment. 

    I also don't think anyone without federal government experience – Congress or Cabinet Level – has any business running for president. It's not a learn-as-you-go job. If you have no idea what the government does, how it's funded, and who's in charge of what, you'll be led around by your Chief-of-Staff to a degree that's horrifying. It's good that all three frontrunners (even Biden) qualify and the good news for us is that they each have a list of qualified people to draw from for key positions.

    What did NOT get said at the last debate was that Biden is on the same well-worn path that HRC pounded in 2008 and 2016. That was drawing from theWall Street and Big Money Corporate well. Obama was too moderate in policy, but at least he drew his money from the average voter. Clinton was a wh*re and some Democrats in November couldn't see the difference between her and Trump. (Look at the USSC, chumps.) Biden will drive away new voters who delivered the House in 2016. 

    Somebody needs to pull up Biden's calendar of events, compare it to HRC, and call Biden out for who he's promising to serve. It's not progressives. 


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