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Democratic Debate: No Tens, But Eights and Nines
October 16, 2019
by William P. Meyers

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My reactions to the October Democratic Debate held last night in Ohio:

Joe Biden had his best debate. He did not melt down, the heat was off. He reminded me of the good things he did without reminding me that he is the Senator from the Corporate State of Deleware. He reminded Elizabeth Warren that he helped get the votes to get her Consumer Protection Agency, but she could not just thank him, she had to attribute the help to Obama. Score: 8

Elizabeth Warren had a bunch of bad moments, but not so bad as to knock her out of front-runner status. She really came off badly refusing to admit that the Medicare for All program that she is pushing will require substantial taxes on the middle class. It was weird, like her candidacy depended on her talking point. She could have diffused Joe Biden, Klobuchar and Buttigieg easily by saying "A middle class tax will help pay for it, but middle class people will be better off because they will save more than they are taxed by not having to pay for health insurance." But that brings up the problem: if you pay more taxes, and your employer was paying for your insurance, what happens? Many times in the night instead of graciously conceding a point, she made herself look like a pedantic professor instead of a font of wisdom. Score: 3

Bernie Sanders was calmer fallowing his heart attack and rest. I appreciated his honesty on the Medicare For All Tax question. Still think he should pick a female candidate and support her. Score: 8

Kamala Harris was looking like she was having a perfect night, then blew it when she kept pushing at Warren after she had made her point [or not] about Trump and Twitter. The health care debate exhausted, she pivoted to the issue of women being denied their rights in some Republican dominated states. She was strong on national policy. I just thought I saw a little too much prosecutorial joy in pinning a witness to the dissecting board when she kept pushing Warren to join her in saying Trump should be denied access by Twitter. But she made good points about his obstruction of justice, more clearly than the other candidates. Score: 8

Pete Buttigieg came off creepy as usual. He called his own ideas bold as he floated on a see of corporate money. He attacked Warren effectively, and he is a smarty pants, but he cannot point to any accomplishments of his own. He thinks he is the smartest person in the room, but then he has not been in many rooms. Score: 3

Beto O'Rourke presented nicely for a failed rock star with a billionaire father-in- law. Forgettable, but no obvious errors. Score: 5

Amy Klobuchar got a lot of air time. Who decides who gets air time? I like her, but my wife pointed out how much she waves her hands around in the nordic pattern, which distracted me. It is only the next morning, but I can't remember any particular point she made, except not thinking the electorate is ready for Medicare for All. Score: 7

Cory Booker was the peacemaker, which was a better roll for him. Looking for VP, or a cabinet post? Anyway, scored a 9.

Andrew Yang was his usual self, had a nerdy data debate, politely, with Elizabeth Warren. They and several other candidates reminded me why I hate American nationalism. If a Mexican can do the job, and be uplifted by it, why should a corporation not put the factory in Mexico, or Vietname for that matter? If we are so effing great, why do we need trade barriers to compete with other nations? Scored a 2.

Julien Castro took cover, probably looking to be VP to bring in the Hispanic vote. Too bad, really one of the better candidates, but scored just a 5.

Tulso Gabbard, who I find creepy in many ways, really is the Peace Candidate. She is much more honest about the Middle East situation than say Biden, who is stuck with the Obama failures in the region. Score: 7.

Tom Steyer should not have been on the stage. He should pick a candidate to support. But I agreed with most of what he said. Score: 3

Advice: do some research. Fact check. Know how you think the country should be governed, then pick a candidate to support. Send them some money so they don't have to get it from the usual suspects.

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