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SamWhited|blog

Second DNC Debates

Who Stood Out?

Like the First DNC Primary Debate, Warren struck me as the clear winner on night one. She was generally clear and articulate, and had a few great moments, including a brutal take down of Delaney who should now, if he has any sense, gracefully exit the race (but he won’t). That being said, kudos to Delaney for finally being noticeable enough to have a major candidate bother to respond to his positions.

On the second night Booker wins the “most improved” award, but I still wish we’d hear more from him in the media and about policy. Gabbard was also much more visible during these debates and was clearly trying to pull off the “presidential look” (and she did a great job), though I didn’t think she had any major breakout moments.

The big name candidates on the second night mostly managed to neutralize any advantage the others might have, likely making Warren the winner of the second night as well.

What was the most valuable thing to come out of each night?

Like most people, the thing that struck me the most on the first night was the clear rift between the more progressive members of the party and those who think the way to compromise is to be as close to Republican as possible. While we already knew this was a huge problem within the party, it felt visible during the debate in a way that I hadn’t seen before, and I think it’s valuable to have this out in the open. It made me wonder which candidates would support nationally requiring ranked voting which would potentially make the split into a center-left and progressive party possible.

Unfortunately, we didn’t learn much of anything about any of the candidates policies during these debates (unless you count that Bullock is apparently willing to ignore 70 years of foreign policy and drop nukes on other countries unprovoked), so this post is going to be rather short.

What about the moderators?

Let’s never have CNN cover a debate ever again. Between the stupid framing of the questions, the ridiculous stage, and the insane amount of hype they tried to build I’m convinced they should only cover sporting events from now on. To their credit, they did try to keep the timing a little more even and rope in some of the candidates we don’t hear from as often.

Where do you stand now?

The debates didn’t really shift my current top 5 at all, but they have changed a bit from the first time I posted them, so here’s an updated list:

  1. Warren
  2. Booker
  3. Harris
  4. Buttigieg
  5. Castro

That being said, with the exception of Warren no one in this list is pushing their agenda hard enough so everything after her could shift around at any time. I can’t even find a blog for Castro where more detailed policy positions might be posted.