Democrats debate. I don’t watch, either in June or July. This is a terrible admission for a political science major to make. As I said six months ago, I’m not ready to commit to a candidate until the list of candidates has been winnowed down.
Some of my friends are grousing, “We’ve got to cut this roster NOW!” I’m thinking, “All in good time, grasshopper.” The Republicans had their 17 candidates – and THAT’S the best they could come up with?
You will remember that LOTS of folks believed, not without cause, that the 2016 democratic party process favored one candidate (Hillary) over another (Bernie), and some of the latter either stayed home or incredibly, voted for the other guy. This tedious process is the result.
Of course, I read ABOUT the debates I’m not thrilled with the format of these things. When NBC wanted a “show of hands” about complex issues, I cringed. CNN sought conflict, even when there was none.
I was GOING to write about each of the candidates, but – and this is true -I see a few of them on the screen and say aloud, “Which one is he, again?” And I was going to redo this online poll, which I did in February, but it reflected only about half the candidates. Still, the percentages listed reflect how much I purportedly agreed with each.
Elizabeth Warren (93%) always seems prepared. Her answer about the aspirational nature of running for President resonated. The bluster of Bernie Sanders (92%) has been fodder for the late-night comedians, but I don’t doubt his sincerity.
Kirsten Gillibrand (92%) is my US Senator. I voted for her more than once for that job. But she will not win and is only still in this race because she got money early. But she can come by and, in her words, “Clorox the White House.”
I’m glad Julian Castro (92%) is faring OK. I liked his answer about the economy: “There are a lot of Americans that are hurting. Just go and ask the folks that received notice they’re getting laid off by General Motors, or ask the folks sleeping on the street in big cities and small towns across the United States.” I’d like him for the Cabinet.
I expected the prosecutorial background of Kamala Harris (92%) to come back to bite her, and, apparently, it did. With Beto O’Rourke (91%), I’m STILL not convinced there is substance there. I gather Pete Buttigieg (91%) overhyped his youth, and the last debate-style did not play to his strength. Tulsi Gabbard (90%) scored points at Harris’ expense.
Amy Klobuchar (90%), er… she also wore a red jacket, like Warren? Andrew Yang (89%) may have ideas other than his one-note giveaway. Cory Booker (87%) was trying to be so nice the first time, he almost disappeared; I gather he fared better in round two.
Joe Biden (83%): beyond being the guy with a target on his back, he’s got to figure out how to say, essentially, “We did the best we could, based on what we knew then.” LOTS of people supported the crime bill that led to mass incarceration. Some seemed peeved at his mentions of personal loss and his Obama connection.
Marianne Williamson (83%) had been so portrayed as a dangerous flake, I was shocked about her cogent comments on race. She was correct that the Flint, MI water crisis would not have taken place in well-to-do Grosse Pointe, where she had lived.
“If you think any of this wonkiness is going to deal with this dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred that this president is bringing up in this country, then I’m afraid that the Democrats are going to see some very dark days.” In other words, those MAGA hats won’t go away on January 20, 2021, even if the donkeys win.
John Delaney (69%) -meh. Jay Inslee has made his environmental pitch; someone should pick him to run the EPA. Bill DeBlasio and Tom Steyer: I’m annoyed they’re running.
And there are others.
My friends ARE correct that whatever these candidates say about each other, or Obama, the incumbent (15%) will use against the eventual winner. The process will be sorted out soon, with only seven to ten candidates likely to be on stage in Houston in September.