September 13, 2019

TGIF 9/13/19

I hope you're all having the best kind of day you can have today, given the date and everything.

For today's good week/bad week recap, I'm focusing on last night's debate. Winners to the good week side, losers to the bad week side, and the rest of them? They'll have to decide themselves where they fall, or wait for the polls to tell them how they did, I guess.

First, some general impressions, starting with giving the DNC credit for having rules for debate qualifying. I know they're taking heat for it, but honestly, if you're polling below 2%, do you really think you're going to win?  Consider your failure to qualify as a sign. Take it to heart. Run for a different office (hint, hint) or keep doing what you love, or throw yourself into something completely different. But stop running for president.

I also think the moderators deserve a lot of credit, particularly Jorge Ramos, for the questions they asked and the lack of look-at-me-ness they displayed. And while I appreciate the importance of talking about issues important to he Latinx community, what about Asians? Muslims? Who's making sure we are addressing their issues with immigration, assimilation, racism and so on?

So: who do the experts think won the debate? Here's a scoreboard from CNN, Fox News, USA Today, Business Insider, Salon/Alternet, and the WaPo, as well as the top three and bottom three identified in the rankings used by the NY Times Opinion writers and their guests.
  • Joe Biden: 3 wins, 1 lose, 1 neutral
  • Cory Booker: 2 wins, 1 neutral 
  • Pete Buttigieg: 2 wins, 1 lose
  • Julian Castro: 1 win, 4 lose
  • Kamala Harris: 3 wins, 3 lose
  • Amy Klobuchar: 3 lose
  • Beto O'Rourke: 2 wins, 1 neutral
  • Bernie Sanders: 1 lose, 2 neutral
  • Elizabeth Warren: 3 wins, 2 lose, 2 neutral
  • Andrew Yang: 1 win, 3 lose
Others receiving votes: President Obama got three wins, while voters, the gun debate, health care, Jorge Ramos (for his effective questioning), and the Democratic Party all received one win.  

The economy, reproductive rights, those not on the stage, and TV viewers all received one 'lose' vote - the first two because there were no questions about them; the folks not on the stage because it's going to be even harder to get on it going forward, and TV viewers because there weren't enough breaks and they didn't happen soon enough.

And my take?

On the good week side, in alphabetical order, I have Booker, Mayor Pete, and Warren. She's not my favorite candidate, but she and the other two were sincere, they spoke clearly about what they stand for and they had no gaffes that I heard. And, they stayed out of the mud and out of the fake stuff (see losers).

Neutral: Klobuchar and Beto fall in this bucket. Klobuchar's a moderate, steady Midwesterner and Beto is Beto; he got to curse, he threatened to take guns away (which was harmful overall), but I think they held their ground on some things where others failed to do so.

And the bad week folks?

Honestly, Biden did not do well. He continues to struggle with tough questions on his record, and on being his own man, vs. being Obama's veep. He started better than in the prior debates but lost ground, particularly under questioning by Ramos and Linsey Davis. Castro - his attacks on Biden were blatant,  as if that's the only thing he has going for his campaign.One was a swing and a miss; the other paled in comparison to how Jorge Ramos handled the same basic question. Harris I think came off fake in many ways, which was disappointing. Examples include her 'come hither' response to Biden, her crack about Trump's 'size', and so on. To me that stuff overshadowed her opening statement which I thought was pretty good.

Yang was the gimmick man last night, with his contest for a Freedom dividend and his 'democracy dollars.' He also played an Asian race card. All of this takes away from his attempts to be considered a serious candidate. And finally Sanders. You all know I'm not a fan of his, but setting my bias aside, he simply comes off as a grumpy old man, a caricature. Honestly, other people pitch his plans better than he does - I don't care if he wrote the damn bill.

I'll be paying attention to what lands in my inbox from the candidates - if I had to hazard a guess, I'd say there's more winners in my email than there were on the stage last night.

TGIF, everyone.


  1. Replies
    1. I agree on Biden for sure. The bar is low for him -"don't do as badly as you did before"- heck of a standard, right? I didn't want him to run, and I'm sorry that he did. Mayor Pete did well, again, and I hope he gets a boost from last night to keep him in the middle of the stage.