Saturday, September 14, 2019

Debating the Future

Fourteen million people can't be wrong. That's how many people watched Thursday's Democratic Presidential debate. This live TV thing might have some legs after all.

It was interesting to see all of those candidates on one stage, and the moderators were good about making sure that everyone had enough time to answer questions. It's certainly time to winnow down the field even more, but the rules is the rules and as long as Andrew Yang gets his two percent, he'll be in the mix.

I still think that seriously entertaining the demise of the private health insurance industry is folly and will harm any Democratic nominee more than help them, but at least they are discussing it seriously. Much has been written about president Trump's abilities in debates and his baked-in advantage among Midwestern whites, but in a one-on-one debate about health care, he's got...nothing. Any of the Democrats should be able to pummel him about trying to take health care away from people with pre-existing conditions and for having not a clue about how to solve the problem despite his rantings about announcing a plan after the election. Real people care about this issue because it's something we live with on a day-to-day basis. Perhaps the Democratic nominee can agree on a public option as a start, with a goal of Medicare for all down the road.

The debate was notable for what it didn't do: Anoint Joe Biden as the undisputed front-runner. I would have thought that he and his advisers would have come up with some one-liners or retorts more catchy than something about record players. Biden's brain seemed to be two blocks ahead of his mouth at times and he had difficulty clarifying many of his points. At other times, it was difficult to follow his logic. Elizabeth Warren, by contrast, was assured and specific, and she spoke clearly. Amy Klobuchar also had some terrific points and I believe she would make a fine nominee, but the party is not moving in her direction. And Kamala Harris seemed a bit hesitant at times, speaking in a monotone with an inflection that clouded her positions. She's still in the top tier, but next month is her last chance to seize the day.

As long as Democrats are talking about issues that motivated people to vote for them in 2018, then they have a chance to win.

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1 comment:

  1. Will they - candidates and voters - coalesce around the Democratic nominee?