Quick Notes On The Fourth Primary Debate
Before I get to the candidates, I must point out that I am extremely disappointed in CNN for not having a single question about climate change in the whole three-hour-long debate. Now that is out of the way, let's get into it.
Biden didn't make any sense; that's not a good sign for 'the most moderate candidate'. No one went after Biden and he still dropped the ball several times. He had his moments of charm, but they were few and far between. Every time he spoke, I became worried that he might actually be Trump's opponent in 2020. He is this party's biggest risk.
Buttigieg was aggressive and hostile to other candidates. That might have been what he needed to stand out, but it did not sit well with me personally. His approach should have focused more on policy than the other candidates.
Klobuchar got a lot of screen time but failed to make the most of it. I had a hard time pinning down any of her views.
Castro's situation was nearly the same. He shined with strong analysis of his opponents' policies but seemed reluctant to offer viable alternatives.
O'Rourke did not fully explain his plan to effectively ban assault rifles. This had to have lost him votes. His sprinkled in Spanish was rough and he failed to get me excited about any of his policies. In general, however, I still think he is a strong candidate; I just wish he would run for Senator Cornyn's seat instead.
Booker always seemed to bring the debate back to neutral. As a viewer, I appreciated that, but it doesn't win votes. A very charismatic speaker, but his policies are short of exciting.
Yang showed that he can play the politics game and make it seem like a Ted Talk. Good performance, even though I disagree with his policies.
Gabbard made ending unnecessary wars central to her agenda and I think she deserves more attention for it. Especially with her experience as a veteran to back her statements up.
Harris did better than she did in the second debate. She answered questions head-on and with a lot of passion. Her piece on reproductive rights was one of the highlights of the debate.
Warren was the target of several attacks and showed that she can take a right hook without losing any composure. This is extremely important for whoever will be facing off against Trump in 2020. However, when it came to Medicare-for-all, once again she failed to explain how she will fund it. Her supposed reason is that she does not want to give Fox news the satisfaction, but this is the third time it has come up now and I expected a stronger answer.
If this debate had a winner, it was Sanders.
Sanders reminded voters how charismatic he can be when he gets his moment. Further, he showed resilience in a tough time in his campaign. No more than a few weeks ago, Sanders had a heart attack and lost his daughter-in-law to cancer. I think any other candidate on that stage would have ended their campaign after that, as I am sure many of us would. But on Tuesday night, Sanders showed that when life gets tough, he gets tougher. He was sharp, persuasive and full of heart.
Also, it was kind of fun to see Steyer's face pop up on the screen every now and then.