42.7 F
Seattle
Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Dem Debate: A House Divided?

It would be a lot easier to say which Democratic presidential contenders shone in the Thursday night debate if there were only one or two existential crises to talk about.

But with so many threats to American security and democracy that every one of the 10 candidates was able to plant his or her flag on a vital issue — healthcare, gun violence, climate change, criminal justice and immigration reform. On America’s role in the world, on bringing U.S. troops home from Afghanistan, on uniting the country and educating our young.

Winners: Elizabeth Warren on Medicare-for-All and student loan forgiveness, even though she twice dodged the question of how to pay for those bennies. Cory Booker on recovering the soul of the country, rising to the moral challenges of the moment and curing inner-city ills like he has prioritized in New Jersey. Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg and Beto O’Rourke should see a boost in their lagging poll numbers after articulate, moderate and high-road attempts to urge national unity and differentiate themselves from the pack. Joe Biden managed to act like the front runner, with minimal misspeaks and spirited retorts to tough questions about soft spots in his long public service record.

Middling: Bernie Sanders stands by his socialist agenda, less of a problem than his railing at the audience like a mad professor. Kamala Harris delivered a clever challenge to Trump in her opening remarks, then told him to go back to watching Fox News. Her hearty laughter seemed inappropriate at moments that weren’t really funny. Andrew Yang came off as quirkier than usual, but whip-smart and likely to retain but not expand his niche of supporters.

Low blow: Julian Castro broke from the we’re-all-on-the-same-side posture of the debate with his hit at Biden’s age, accusing him of forgetting what he’d said two minutes earlier. Post-debate review showed Castro was wrong about what Biden had said. As Klobuchar interjected in a bid to corral the candidates back into the big tent: “A house divided cannot stand.”

Carol J Williams
Carol J. Williams is a retired foreign correspondent with 30 years' reporting abroad for the Los Angeles Times and Associated Press. She has reported from more than 80 countries, with a focus on USSR/Russia and Eastern Europe.

1 COMMENT

  1. Great analysis. What do you think will happen when there are even fewer candidates left standing on the debate stage? Will attack’s tuen more venomous or will candidates start seeking the high road?

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

LATEST

Back To The Future: What’s The Holdup On A Lake Washington Passenger Ferry?

Service would run from Renton's Southport to MOHAI on South Lake Union -- a one-hour trip on a fast ferry running hourly, competitive with the already congested routes to South Lake Union but with spectacular views, time and space to work.

Thanks, GOP: More in Washington are Without Health Insurance

Statewide, Medicaid enrollment continued to fall in 2019, and coverage via individual plans also fell, OFM says, which signals that the uninsured rate probably continued to rise last year.

70 Ex-US Senators Sign Letter Rebuking Present-Day Senators

It was heartening to see all four living ex-senators from the Northwest—all Republicans—on this list.

Washington’s Structural Inequality – To Fix It We Need An Income Tax

“It is literally true, and I dare someone to contradict it, that if we reformed our tax system, it would do more to help the poor in the immediate future than anything else.”

Architect Rem Koolhaas, Restlessly Voyaging into the Future

It's interesting to note that Seattle, not particularly known for its architecture, showcases four famous and influential architects. The Dutchman Koolhaas, a former journalist and compelling writer, has forged a new kind of boldly engineered third-wave, ironic modernism.

TRENDING

70 Ex-US Senators Sign Letter Rebuking Present-Day Senators

It was heartening to see all four living ex-senators from the Northwest—all Republicans—on this list.

Thanks, GOP: More in Washington are Without Health Insurance

Statewide, Medicaid enrollment continued to fall in 2019, and coverage via individual plans also fell, OFM says, which signals that the uninsured rate probably continued to rise last year.

Back To The Future: What’s The Holdup On A Lake Washington Passenger Ferry?

Service would run from Renton's Southport to MOHAI on South Lake Union -- a one-hour trip on a fast ferry running hourly, competitive with the already congested routes to South Lake Union but with spectacular views, time and space to work.

Washington’s Structural Inequality – To Fix It We Need An Income Tax

“It is literally true, and I dare someone to contradict it, that if we reformed our tax system, it would do more to help the poor in the immediate future than anything else.”

The Debate: Democrats Still Looking for a Unifying Candidate

All the candidates think that they are the best equipped to beat Trump in November. But pointing out the stakes might concentrate Democratic voters’ (and Independents’ and moderate Republicans’) minds on the imperative of defeating Trump.