Presidential debate

After the debates, Democratic race not shaken, but slightly stirred

Featured image After last week’s Democratic debates, I predicted that the face-offs wouldn’t alter the race much, but that Elizabeth Warren might get a bounce and Kamala Harris would take a slight hit. I also said that Marianne Williamson’s position would not improve significantly, notwithstanding all of the Google searches that her new age preaching generated. Now we have a survey taken during the days following the debate. The poll, by Quinnipiac, »

A question CNN didn’t ask Elizabeth Warren

Featured image CNN conducted the latest round of Democratic presidential debates. Dana Bash, Jake Tapper, and Don Lemon did the questioning. One type of question was off the table — the show of hands (as in “raise your hand if you favor free college education for illegal immigrants”). Democratic cheerleaders like E.J. Dionne had objected to this sort of inquiry — employed during the Republican debates in 2015-16 — which forces candidates »

The Democratic debate, Night Two, where mediocrity is good enough

Featured image In a general sense, the theme of tonight’s Democratic presidential debate was the same as last night’s — skewer the the frontrunner[s]. Last night, the frontrunners were Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. They came under attack from four no-hopers: John Delaney, John Hickenlooper, Tim Ryan, and Steve Bullock. Tonight, the frontrunner was Joe Biden. He came under attack, at one point or another, from Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Kirsten Gillibrand, »

Non-leftist Democrats, they only look dead

Featured image I like this discussion of last night’s Democratic debate by Daniel McCarthy. His main point is that, although the less radical participants — John Delaney, John Hickenlooper, Tim Ryan, and Steve Bullock — have no chance of being the Democratic nominee, they typify a certain type of congressional Democrat (though only Ryan serves in Congress) with whom a Democratic president would have to work. McCarthy says: Congress is full of »

The debate that was and the debate that wasn’t

Featured image Of the ten participants in tonight’s Democratic presidential debate, only two — Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders — have a realistic hope of being nominated. Thus, we might have expected that these two would clash, the way we expect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to lock horns tomorrow night. But that didn’t happen. It was the debate that wasn’t. The debate that was turned out to be Sanders-Warren versus three »

No fair asking Democratic contenders to take a position

Featured image Yesterday, Steve and I wrote about how Democrats are starting to worry that the leftism that infects their party may cost them dearly in the 2020 elections. Such worrying is on display in this column by E.J. Dionne. The veteran cheerleader pleads with Democrats to fight President Trump rather than each other. If you think about his column, however, Dionne is really calling on his Party to hide the ball. »

Second night

Featured image Kamala Harris was the hands-down winner of night two of the Democratic debates, in my opinion. She was ahead on points even before she went after Joe Biden for waxing nostalgic about his collaboration with racist Senators on anti-busing legislation. With that attack, she clinched her victory. I’m not sure any other candidate helped himself or herself appreciably tonight. However, I think Pete Buttigieg got himself back on track. He »

Setting the tone

Featured image The first question posed at last night’s Democratic debate came from Savannah Guthrie. It was about the economy. Guthrie prefaced the question by noting that the vast majority of Americans think the economy is strong, and even a majority of Democrats hold that view. In light of this fact, Guthrie wanted to know whether it made sense to disrupt things with big spending programs like free college for all. Guthrie »

Opening night [UPDATED]

Featured image I played a different drinking game than the ones Steve recommended for tonight’s Democratic debate. I filled my Power Line mug with tea and took a sip every time one of the candidates said something I agree with. Had it not been for John Delaney, the former Maryland congressman, I would have ended up with a full cup of very cold tea. But the question isn’t whether I agreed with »

Trump debates well, but is unlikely to move the needle

Featured image I’m not sure what it means to “accept” the results of an election, but after tonight’s debate I’m more convinced than ever that this election is unacceptable. In this corner, wearing the nauseating grin, is Hillary Clinton. She delivered a lengthy oration about the Supreme Court without ever mentioning the Constitution (which Chris Wallace specifically asked her about). Instead, she said she wants the Supreme Court to take sides. To »

Tonight’s debate

Featured image Here’s what to expect from tonight’s debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump: Fireworks from Trump. The fireworks probably won’t differ significantly from the ones we saw at the second debate, though we may hear more about “rigged elections.” Perhaps Clinton will goad Trump into taking things to a new level. If so, the debate will be worth watching. Otherwise, not really. Here’s what not to expect from the debate: »

Trump bounces back, but back to where?

Featured image My view is that Donald Trump won tonight’s debate. He dominated the stage and landed shot after shot on Hillary Clinton. Hillary, meanwhile, struggled to say much that will connect with voters except perhaps Muslim-Americans. This was the performance Trump’s supporters wanted to see in the first debate. If the Access Hollywood tape had not surfaced, Trump might be well on his way to pulling back to even, or close »

Lester Holt’s blatantly biased performance

Featured image Donald Trump can’t blame his poor debate performance on Lester Holt. Nor would it be wise for him to try. Biased moderators usually win twice when the victim whines. That’s why Kellyanne Conway shrewdly praised Holt’s performance after the debate. But Holt’s performance was not praiseworthy. Rather, it was a nakedly biased effort to aid Hillary Clinton. The mischief began with the very first question. Holt proclaimed the state of »

Two polls have Clinton winning the debate

Featured image In a CNN poll of debate-watchers, 62 percent thought Clinton won the debate compared to 27 percent for Trump — a 35-point margin. According to Nate Silver, that’s the third-widest margin ever in a CNN or Gallup post-debate poll, which date back to 1984. Only a 1992 debate between Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush and the first Obama-Romney debate were viewed as more one-sided. Meanwhile, a PPP poll had »

Glenn Kessler illustrates why moderators shouldn’t “fact check”

Featured image In advance of Monday night’s debate, Hillary Clinton’s cheerleaders in the media have been encouraging moderator Lester Holt to contradict, during the debate, candidates whose assertions of fact they disagree with. Glenn Kessler, the liberal “fact-checker” for the Washington Post, even compiled a list of assertions he says don’t withstand fact-checking, the vast majority of which are by Donald Trump. He urges the moderator to “clip and save.” It is »

A Trump-Sanders debate?

Featured image There’s talk of a debate between Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders. It would occur before the California primary. Sanders says he’s up for it. Trump said so too, but now it seems he may have been joking. For Sanders, a successful debate against Trump could propel him to victory in California, something he dearly would love to achieve. However, it wouldn’t propel him to the nomination. Hillary Clinton has that »

Tonight’s GOP debate — basically a non-event

Featured image Tonight’s Republican presidential debate produced virtually no fireworks and nothing that is likely to change the trajectory of the race. In other words, it was a good night for Donald Trump. The mild tone of the debate was due, in part, to CNN’s approach. Perhaps feeling embarrassed by their previous outings, Jake Tapper and Dana Bash asked policy questions almost exclusively. Food fight questions were left for near the end, »