Welcome! America is now only 461 days away from the 2020 General Election, and I for one welcome our slow, inexorable march toward
whatever fresh new chaos awaits us wait why did you strikethrough that I was making a point what do you mean I have to be positive FINE GEEZ the latest chapter in this grand experiment in democracy!
Tonight is the first second debate, which makes total sense, only because the DNC rejected the controversial “Royal Rumble” format in favor of splitting the field into ten participants per evening.
10:43: FINAL THOUGHTS:
Honestly, I don’t know that I learned anything from all this.
Williamson managed to be coherent, which is an improvement, although she didn’t show me anything that suggested someone who I would want to be in charge. (Shit, she’s going to make the next debate, isn’t she?)
Bullock, Hickenlooper, Ryan, and Delaney can all gracefully drop out any time they’d like.
Klobuchar, O’Rourke, Buttigieg didn’t really move the needle for me, but they still have time (Klobuchar possibly less so, since she hasn’t qualified for the next debate yet).
Warren and Sanders were themselves, and swatted off the attacks without much effort.
But no matter what you thought of the candidates tonight and their positions, at least on one thing, we can all agree:
We are all thankful, and better off, that Chuck Todd was not moderating tonight.
10:29: OH THANK GOD CLOSING STATEMENTS we can stop listening now.
10:22: Glad the debate is running now more than 20 minutes over so CNN can poorly try to bait Buttigieg and Sanders into a fight over age in the two-shot.
10:15: Man, that was a HARRRRD attempt to pivot to civil rights by Klobuchar. Wonder if anyone noticed.
10:08: Oh. That’s like the second or third applause line of the night for Marianne Williamson.
(To be fair, her answers are much more coherent tonight! She hasn’t convinced me that she could accomplish anything, but still an improvement, I suppose.)
9:50: Ten minutes from the theoretical end, but it doesn’t feel like we’re close, does it?
I fear this debate will go on, and on, and on…
9:33: Oh shit, real talk, I forgot Beto was here.
9:26: For better or worse, Warren seems to love this “Republican talking point” line. Feels like it might eventually lose its potency, but for now seems like a solid way to quickly try to reframe the “center” of the party closer to herself and Sanders.
9:16: Look, if you know me you know I’m probably biased, but I swear Warren grabs your attention every time she gets the chance to speak.
9:10: At the break, have we learned anything yet? (My answer: no.)
Warren again seems to be ignored somewhat. I swear Bullock is getting a lot more time than his standing might merit, although I guess that’s because he wasn’t in the first debate. Williamson also getting more time than she probably should.
9:06: Look, I know that the gun debate feels like a hopeless loop because there’s generally widespread agreement (and no real solution unless the Democrats control both houses of Congress and the White House and (probably) get rid of the filibuster) but that pseudo-debate spinning out into campaign finance reform still felt odd to me.
9:01: I don’t have any numbers to back this up, but have they been going to Bullock a lot tonight?
8:54: The immigration back and forth got pretty fuzzy to me (partially because the answers don’t seem that coherent, and partially because it’s a complex issue that can’t be easily distilled into a 60 second answer or 30 second rebuttal), so I guess my question is this: did anyone else see Tim Ryan gulp when they moved to him?
8:40: Williamson said the most coherent thing I’ve heard her say, which is good! But it was her playing pundit and asking “what will Republicans say about us?” which is not so good.
8:38: Why is Tapper’s question framed as “is Elizabeth Warren wrong?”
8:29: It’ll no doubt end up being lost in the wind, but that “This isn’t funny,” from Warren hit hard in the moment.
8:28: John Delaney going on a suicide mission trying to take on both Sanders and Warren at the same time. Seems like a bad idea, but what do I know.
8:25: TWENTY-FIVE MINUTES TO GET TO THE FIRST QUESTION DOES NOT A GOOD DEBATE MAKE, CNN
8:13: Thirteen minutes to get to
anything of substance opening statements. So this is going well.
8:10: HEY CNN FUCK OFF YOU DON’T GET TO GO TO COMMERCIAL BEFORE ASKING ONE FUCKING QUESTION
8:06: The pageantry nonsense is taking way too long, right? It’s not just me?
7:30: Welcome! Not much has changed in the field since last month. Representative Eric Swalwell dropped out, and he’s been replaced in the debates by Montana Governor Steve Bullock, who will be in tonight’s field.
Along with Bullock will be Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, three guys I still can’t tell apart, and the lady who doesn’t not believe in vaccines but you should definitely trust your feelings or something.
Honestly, I don’t really know what to expect out of tonight. I’m not sure that anyone will want to go too aggressively after Sanders or Warren, and Buttigieg and O’Rourke have already qualified for the next round of debates, so they may try not to make headlines for the wrong reasons (looking at you, Beto). Perhaps Klobuchar will try to make a splash, as she’s the next closest to clearing the requirements (she’s hit the polling threshold, but not the donor one).
As always, please be decent to one another in the comments, thank you.
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