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Liveblogging The First Democratic Presidential Debate (Wednesday Edition)

By Dan Hamamura | Politics | June 26, 2019 |

By Dan Hamamura | Politics | June 26, 2019 |


Did you know we’re (here in the US) only 496 days away from the 2020 General Election? Naturally, that means that we’re close enough that it’s definitely time for the first of eight thousand twelve DNC-sanctioned debates, on virtually every topic (except climate change, apparently) over the next year.

Anyway, for some reason I asked Dustin if he wanted me to liveblog it, and here we are. (Newest posts will be at the top.)


11:00: And it’s over! Before I go tend to this sudden headache that came from who knows where…

- Warren impressed as expected, especially early, but she didn’t get many questions as the night went on, and seemed fine with hanging back while the others went back and forth.

- Castro probably raised his profile the most tonight, as he impressed on a number of answers - and was helped by the contrast with Beto, who definitely looked and sounded out of his depth.

- Klobuchar and Booker had some good answers and held serve, but I don’t know that they did anything that would vault them into the upper tier just yet.

- There were five other people on the stage. I have already forgotten their names.

See you tomorrow night!

10:49: Finally a break! Sorry, I kind of glazed over a bit in that last round, but honestly it felt like the answers were a little less substantive generally.

Still closing statements left, but right now Beto still falling the hardest. Klobuchar hasn’t had much opportunity in the second half of the night, but right now the also-rans (De Blasio, Gabbard, and Rylanlee) are proudly proving that they’re not gonna be around long.

10:40: Ryan is losing to Gabbard, who is losing to almost everyone else, which is kind of impressive in a way.

10:37: I’m not sure what De Blasio was saying there (I heard something about the Battle of Okinawa), but I’ll say this: he knows where his camera is.

10:22: Pretty sure Jay Inslee just memed himself.

10:20: Is John Delaney just bald Joe Biden?

10:17: Strange that they pivoted away from guns so quickly, although Booker and De Blasio used most of their time on McConnell to talk about it.

Meanwhile, Chuck Todd talking about how they have no time, but sure taking his fucking time folksying his way to the question.

10:02: Nice of NBC to try to have the most embarrassing gaffe of the evening with their mic issues. Let’s see if it holds up!

10:00: Oh good, Chuck Todd! That means it’s softball hour with no follow-ups!

(Maddow will probably do her job.)

9:57: Second break! Warren hasn’t been all that involved for a bit. Castro and Klobuchar probably scored the most in that section. Beto was dunked on the hardest.

Ryan, Inslee, and Delaney are a surprise, in that I’m surprised to see they’re still on stage when they get called on.

9:55: Klobuchar wasn’t going to be cut off until she got her bathrobe zinger in, so congrats to the staffer who wrote that one for her.

9:50: John Delaney trying to talk about his grandfather in relation to immigration is a swing. Or it would have been, but thankfully they pivoted to a new topic.

9:45: Castro scoring a lot of points against Beto. He must have been psyched when he saw they’d share the stage tonight.

9:42: Bill De Blasio comes in HARD with the “AS A…” construction (in this case, “father”), which means we all need to take a drink.

Also why did the moderator (sorry, I don’t know his name) ask Beto a question in Spanish?

Castro coming at Beto hard (well, hard for Democrats).

9:38: After taking a LONG moment to compute, Booker decides to try some Spanish. I don’t speak Spanish, so I don’t know what he said, but the rest of his answer was pretty generic.

9:35: First commercial break!

So far, Warren’s been given the most opportunity to speak, which probably makes sense. Klobuchar, Castro, and Booker have gotten in some good points.

Everyone else feels not ready for primetime.

9:29: Inslee (and Beto before him) have both talked about abortion without saying the word, instead talking about choice. Is this some kind of DNC talking point that was passed around?

Also, Inslee trying to pivot in that direction gave Klobuchar the easiest applause line of the night, that the women on the stage have been fighting pretty hard for women.

9:26: First direct shot from another candidate is from De Blasio at Beto over health care, and then Delaney jumping in to try to get screen time, although I honestly zoned out when he started talking about his dad or whatever.

9:20: This might be obvious (and slightly unfair, given that the lesser candidates have only spoken once) but so far Warren is lapping the field in terms of her poise and specificity and actually answering the question asked.

9:18: If you’re interested in the candidates who won’t win and how they’re trying to position themselves:

Castro: Inclusion!
Gabbard: I served in the military!
De Blasio: New York is cool, guys!
Delaney: I started a business!
Inslee: Unions and green jobs!
Ryan: I’m from Ohio and Ohio used to be a bellweather state!

9:06: Beto jumping immediately into Spanish is a bold strategy, Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off.

9:00: I’ve been sitting here waiting for something of value to come from the MSNBC pre-game coverage, and I’m pretty sure they just made me dumber. Hopefully the debate is better. Here we go!

8:30: Welcome! Tonight’s debate features Elizabeth Warren and a bunch of people who will drop out after Iowa several other interesting candidates, a few people looking to raise their national profile, and at least two I got wrong on Dustin’s quiz.

If you’re here, I hope you find this an entertaining and modestly informative space to discuss how the debate is going. Let’s try to be decent to one another in the comments, please and thank you.

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Dan is the Comedy Editor and Podjiba Host. You can listen to him scream into the void on Twitter, or listen to him host the weekly TV podcast Podjiba.

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