Yesterday, the Democrats held their random draw to determine which presidential contenders will participate in which of the two debates to be held on June 26 and 27. The draw produced lopsided fields. The second debate will feature four of the five top contenders (according to the polls). Elizabeth Warren is the only top-five candidate who will debate on opening night.
She will be joined by Cory Booker, Beto O’Rourke, Amy Klobuchar and no-hopers Julian Castro, Bill de Blasio, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Jay Inslee, and Tim Ryan. On the second night, Joe Biden, the frontrunner, will be up against Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, and Kamala Harris. Making up the numbers in that field are Michael Bennet, Kristen Gillibrand, John Hickenlooper, Eric Swalwell, Andrew Yang, and spiritual adviser Marianne Williamson.
Most of the commentary I’ve read argues that Warren made out best in the draw. Maybe. But expectations will run high for her.
The bigger opportunity lies, I think, with Booker, O’Rourke, and maybe Klobuchar. Given the absence of stronger challengers in the first debate, they have a golden opportunity to stand out. I think Booker is the most likely of the three to do so.
The draw also went well for Sanders. He gets to attack directly the one candidate who is ahead of him. Other candidates may help Sanders’ cause by piling on Biden, though I suspect that Buttigieg’s goal will be to stand out as a fresh face, rather than an attack dog.
My goals are to be entertained and maybe get some free spiritual advice.