Presidential debate

Warren doesn’t shake Sanders’s hand

Featured image I watched most of tonight’s Democratic debate. It was a pretty dull affair. To the extent there were fireworks, they occurred after the debate, albeit in the form of something that didn’t happen — a non-handshake. During the debate, as expected, there was an exchange between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren about the latter’s allegation that the former told her a woman couldn’t defeat President Trump. The exchange was civil »

Biden and Yang display ignorance about immigration

Featured image Immigration was always going to be a topic of discussion during Thursday’s Democratic debate. Thus, the candidates should have been prepared to speak about immigration, if not intelligently than at least without getting basic facts wrong. As Mark Krikorian documents, Joe Biden and Andrew Yang were unable to pass this modest test. Biden claimed that during the Obama administration, “we didn’t lock people up in cages; we didn’t separate families.” »

Joe Biden, record players, and racism

Featured image Towards the end of the second hour of last night’s Democratic debate, Joe Biden delivered a rambling and mostly incoherent answer to a question about the Iraq war that hadn’t been asked. I wondered whether Biden was losing command, but I didn’t stick around for the third hour to find out. Now, I gather that Biden was, indeed, losing command. A rambling answer to a question in the third hour »

After tonight, a two-horse race?

Featured image John captured in six pithy observations about tonight’s Democratic debate what it probably would have taken me 600 words to express. So I’ll try to find 600 different words. Like John, I didn’t make it to the end. I had to stop after two hours. I’ve got the thing on tape, so if I read about any significant occurrences in the final hour, I’ll check them out. I turned on »

Dems will hold just one debate next month

Featured image Ten Democrats have qualified for the next Democratic presidential debate to be held in mid-September. The ten are: Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, Cory Booker, Beto O’Rourke, Andrew Yang, Julian Castro, and Amy Klobuchar. Because no more than ten candidates qualified, there will be just one debate. This means that, for the first time, Joe Biden and Elizabeth Warren, the two candidates most likely to »

One Democratic debate or two?

Featured image The next round of debating among Democratic presidential candidates is set for the second week of September. It’s not clear, though, how many debates there will be. The number depends on how many candidates qualify. As of last night (Monday), ten had done so. If that remains the number through Wednesday, there will be only one debate. But, as I understand things, if just one more candidate qualifies, the group »

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: »