A Kinder, Gentler Trump?

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Given fears or expectations of a Biden gaffe or senior moment, he stood tall. He did talk about what he hoped to do. And on more than one occasion, when tonight’s excellent moderator, Kristin Welker, asked Biden a question he, in contrast to Trump, actually responded to the question, clearly and directly.

A Tough Two Hours…..

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At least for moderators - how to get meaningful discussion in one minute and 30 second bursts with 10 different candidates often interrupting each...

Dem Debate: Warren Debunked; Looking At Amy And Pete

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Warren's failure to answer the medicare cost issue hurts her. Her wealth tax is likewise improbable and likely unconstitutional. Time to look at Amy and Pete.

My Kingdom for a “Kill” Switch

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Most disturbing was the end when Pence dodged the question of what he would do if Trump loses the election and refuses to submit to a peaceful transition of power. Like Trump, his position is that they aren't going to lose. Not very reassuring in view of the double-digit deficit of the Trump-Pence ticket in the latest polls.

Debate Interrupted: Breaking all the Rules

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It was a traditional debate only on one side--Joe Biden's--and he won it hands down: with facts, clear arguments, apt criticisms of Trump's mismanagement, a strong voice (not a scintilla of evidence of "cognitive impairment," as Donald Trump has charged), demonstrations of compassion and calls for national unity.

A Train Wreck of a Debate

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It's certain he lost support with women, especially in the suburbs. One of the follow-up commentaries was that it was like driving down the freeway with an 8-year-old having a tantrum in the backseat.

This Changes Nothing

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Winner: Biden who nailed the last question about inaugural speech with a message of president of all America. Trump? I can’t even remember. More narcissistic BS.

Populists Versus Pragmatists: Warren Wins

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Warren won. She was disciplined, relentless, on message. And it's a simple, easy to digest populist message.

A good/bad night for Warren

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Elizabeth Warren, like Bernie Sanders, spent the evening putting herself on a distant island and pulling up the piers.

A Presidential “Debate” like No Other

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How a decent man like Joe Biden weathered the 90 minutes deserves a medal. I felt for Chris Wallace, knowing that I would not have been able to take control of Donald Trump, either.

Let’s Be Practical

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He's unfortunately going nowhere and the Thursday night moderators half the time wouldn't let him talk, but I think John Delaney made a lot...

Round 1: Who Won? Who’s Done?

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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....

Trump Do-Over Is No Better; and a few Thoughts on The Lt. Gov. Debate

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He never could say what he'd do in the next term, so busy was he in finding enemies and boasting. No empathy, as usual. Crazy attacks. The moderator saved him from going on and on, but the frothing personality was there to behold.

Biden Reasserts His Frontrunner Status

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Those who thought (as I did) that Joe Biden showed in the first Democratic debate that he had passed his sell-by date, was weak, would fade fast as front-runner—well all of us were proved wrong by his strong performance in the second.

One More Blow to the Traditions of Democracy

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This debate will be remembered as Trump v. Wallace. That takes the focus away from Biden's message and (as usual) makes the evening All About Trump. That's a mistake, since Trump is trying to make it a choice election (Trump or Biden) not about Trump's performance and personality.

The Debate Of No Trump, No Biden

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Nobody really disqualified themselves, though no one really stepped up to dominate. Inslee had a great first answer on climate change, painting his state...

Interruptions by any other Name

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Mike Pence was not as obnoxious and disruptive as his boss was in the first presidential debate, but relied on similar tactics

The Debate: Democrats Still Looking for a Unifying Candidate

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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.

Raging and Interrupting

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So Biden looks like he reaches the people and Trump at best is sending messages only to his base.

The Ninja Warriors Debate

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TV entertainment now deeply undergirds the forms of our political discourse.  In the year 2016 we had the framing power of The Apprentice.  NBC’s answer in...

Get a Grip! It’s Crucial To Get First Things First

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There has to be a better way to understand these candidates than tossing them, one by one, off the island.

Bernie Won; He Has Bloomberg to Thank for It

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Bloomberg is shaping up to be exactly what I suspected him to be from the moment he got in: a divisive spoiler candidate who will destroy any chances of the moderate progressive wing of the party to unify behind a single candidate.

Summing Up: You Know Who I Am. You Know Who He Is

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"What is on the ballot here is the character of this country. Decency, honor, respect, treating people with dignity, making that sure that everyone has an even chance. And I’m going to make sure you get that. You have not been getting it the last four years.”

Goooooooal! (Not)

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Biden talked of kids “torn from the arms” of parents; Trump went on about coyotes and cartels, murderers and rapists. Biden promised a “path to citizenship” for millions and preservation of DACA. It went downhill from there, Trump declared himself “the least racist person in the room” and appeared totally incoherent on climate change.

Disturbing and Bullying

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The pundits are predictably divided, with prominent Democrats expressing shame at the caustic disunity on display to a world worried about the future of America's democracy.

This Debate Stopped At The Border: Nothing To Say About Our Place In The...

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Apparently, for all 20 Democrats jockeying for the U.S. presidency in 2020, the world begins with sunrise on the Eastern Seaboard and ends with dusk on the California Coast.

And the MVP goes to… The Fly

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Even if boring, at least it was a debate. Both candidates made the points they needed to make. Neither committed a grievous error. If you went into it liking Biden-Harris, you were wowed by Kamala. If you went into it committed to Trump-Pence, you were happy to wear your MAGA hat.

The Trump We Always Knew

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As a journalist I viewed, sometimes covered from the studio, presidential debates, but in those four decades never encountered such a humiliation of our democracy. I even felt a bit of sorrow for moderator Chris Wallace who was simply overrun by Donald Trump’s disregard for rules

“No Matter What You Say, Republicans Are Going To Call You A Socialist.” So...

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Nobody really moved the needle. No disasters or gaffes, no big victories. No real surprises. And here's CNN at the end, hyping the "clash of ideas," and congratulating candidates on "scoring some good hits" and trying to shape it as a prize fight. Pretty tiresome.

The Fly-By-Night Debate

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Pence lost the audience, resorting to slow droning responses and adopting a tight-lipped demeanor and pained frown. He was like the juror you wouldn't select for your jury.