Round 1: Who Won? Who’s Done?


An unscientific poll of the foursome that watched the first round of the Democrat’s “Debates” where I was revealed substantial agreement.
The winner? Cory Booker. Focused, impassioned and looking right at the viewer. 

The loser? Beto O’Rourke. Not that he did terribly, but even with his opening in Spanish, Beto seemed less a rising star than a guy trying too hard and in over his head.

Who’s out after Round One? Tim Ryan, Tulsi Gabbart, Jay Inslee, John Delany and Beto. Each one had good moments. Inslee’s best was when he went off his climate change script in answering the question about the greatest threat facing America. “Donald Trump.” 

But these five came in less well-known and didn’t manage to claim much more. Whether they actually withdraw or continue their quixotic quests remains to be seen.

Still in after last night? Bill De Blasio, Julian Castro, Booker, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar. 

Warren started strong, but seemed to fade. During the long section on immigration she was completely silent. She has a hard time actually smiling, though she tried hard. Given the fact that she was the front runner among these ten, she might actually have “lost” last night’s debate by not pulling away.

Amy Klobuchar and Julian Castro both grew stronger as the evening went on. Klobuchar had some of the best one liners — “all suds, no beer,” and “making foreign policy in a bathrobe at 5:00 a.m. on Twitter.” Castro projected both passion and gravity. 

Bill De Blasio, deploying the large white guy’s strategy of interrupting, did pretty well at getting some time from out on the far wing of stage left. He was compelling enough to keep his candidacy going.

Booker’s stock rose the most. From a near center stage spot he was often in camera even when not speaking. He was passionate as he repeatedly referenced his own neighborhood and community to good effect.

Anthony B. Robinson
Anthony B. Robinson
Tony is a writer, teacher, speaker and ordained minister (United Church of Christ). He served as Senior Minister of Seattle’s Plymouth Congregational Church for fourteen years. His newest book is Useful Wisdom: Letters to Young (and not so young) Ministers. He divides his time between Seattle and a cabin in Wallowa County of northeastern Oregon. If you’d like to know more or receive his regular blogs in your email, go to his site listed above to sign-up.
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