This is the last chance voters will get to hear from these candidates before Super Tuesday, 3 March…..
But first here is a thought…..our forever wars has made little appearance thanks to the corporate control of these debates….so a few facts before I go to the analysis of this debate….
Donald Trump’s tax scam will cost $2.3 trillion over the next 10 years—with the lion’s share going to the top 1%.
George W. Bush’s tax cuts cost over $4 trillion over the same time frame.
And since 2001, our forever wars in the Middle East have cost nearly $6 trillion.
You wouldn’t know any of that from watching CNN or Meet the Press. And yet every time a presidential candidate supports Medicare for All or the Green New Deal, the corporate media want to know exactly how every red cent will be paid for.
Just a thought.
Now on to the night of debate…….
And the dumbest question of the night was the one about the filibuster rule change…..(more to come)…..
Now thoughts on the debate last night…..
Seven Democrats took part in a fiery debate in South Carolina Tuesday night—one more than in last week’s primary debate. Tom Steyer joined Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, and Michael Bloomberg in the Charleston debate, co-hosted by CBS News and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute. Analysts expected Sanders, the frontunner, to be a target and in the opening minutes, the senator was attacked by Bloomberg over reports that Russia plans interference to help his candidacy, by Biden over his record on guns, by Buttigieg for being divisive, and by Warren for his team “trashing” her after she “put in the work” on reining in Wall Street, Politico reports. “I’m hearing my name mentioned a little bit tonight. I wonder why,” Sanders quipped. Some highlights:
- After Bloomberg said Russia was supporting Sanders so he could lose to President Trump, Sanders directly addressed the Russian president. “Mr. Putin, if I’m President of the United States, trust me, you’re not going to interfere in any more American elections,” he said.
- Biden was asked about polls that show his support among black voters is falling ahead of South Carolina’s Feb. 29 primary, the Guardian reports. “I’ve worked like the devil to earn the vote of the African-American community,” Biden said. Asked if he would continue his campaign if he loses the state, Biden said: “I will win South Carolina.”
- When addressing Bloomberg’s “stop-and-frisk” policy as New York City mayor, Buttigieg admitted that his own record as mayor of South Bend had shortcomings and said: “I’m conscious of the fact that there are seven white people on this stage talking about racial justice.”
- Bloomberg was visibly angry after Warren said he once told a pregnant employee to “kill it.” “I never said it. Period,” he said. Warren also slammed Bloomberg for donating to Republican candidates. “Who funded Lindsey Graham’s campaign for re-election last time? It was Mayor Bloomberg,” she said. “He is the riskiest candidate standing on this stage.”
- Klobuchar and Steyer both attacked the cost of Sanders’ proposals, saying Democratic voters would not support massive spending increases, the Washington Post reports. “The math does not add up,” Klobuchar said.
- Biden criticized Steyer for investing in private prisons. When the billionaire said he no longer supported them, Biden gave him a Trump-style nickname: “Tommy come lately.”
- Asked about his record on gun control, Sanders was booed when he tried to start criticizing Biden’s record on trade deals, the Guardian reports. Sanders admitted there were some “bad votes” on his record but stressed that he only had a D-plus record from the NRA.
- Biden vowed to take on the NRA. “If I’m elected, NRA, I’m coming for you, and gun manufacturers, I’m going to take you on and I’m going to beat you,” said Biden, who claimed, incorrectly, that gun violence has killed 150 million Americans since 2007.
- Warren and Buttigieg both targeted Sanders for his opposition to changing Senate rules to stop legislation being filibuster, the New York Times reports. “How are we going to support a revolution, if you don’t even support a rule change?” Buttigieg asked.
- Tom Steyer got some cheers when he said he was the only candidate onstage that supported reparations for slavery. The policy is one that he mentions “when he’s asked why he’s doing so well among black voters in South Carolina,” FiveThirtyEight notes.
- As the debate became increasingly bad-tempered, with candidates desperate for speaking time talking over each other, Buttigieg was asked to “honor the rules of the debate.”
- Bloomberg, seeming slightly more relaxed than he was in last week’s debate, cracked a joke when asked about New York’s anti-obesity tax on sugary drinks, CBS reports. “What’s right for New York City isn’t right for every other city, otherwise we’d have a naked cowboy in every city,” he said.
- Bloomberg said he supported decriminalizing marijuana because the “cat is out of the bag,” but said legalization should go slowly because “until we know the science, it’s just nonsensical to push ahead.”
- On the coronavirus outbreak—which Bloomberg was the first candidate to bring up, more than an hour in—Biden stressed that he had been part of the administration that dealt with the Ebola outbreak. Klobuchar advised worried viewers to check the CDC’s website.
- When asked whether she would allow China to build parts of America’s infrastructure, Warren pivoted to attacking Bloomberg. “We know that Mayor Bloomberg has been doing business with China for a long time, and he is the only one on this stage who has not released his taxes,” she said.
- Asked about his remarks on Fidel Castro’s education policy, Sanders said he rejected authoritarianism and he had merely been making the same point Barack Obama did, the Times reports. Biden said his former boss “did not in any way suggest that there was anything positive about the Cuban government.”
- Sanders, who would be the first Jewish president, called Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu a “reactionary racist” and said he would consider moving America’s embassy back to Tel Aviv. US foreign policy should ensure the “independence and security of Israel, but you cannot ignore the suffering of the Palestinian people,” he said.
- The final question was a two-parter: Candidates were asked what the biggest misconception about them was, and what their motto is. Klobuchar said the biggest misconception about her is that she is boring. Warren said one misconception “is that I don’t eat very much because I eat all the time.” Bloomberg joked about his height, while Biden promised to put a black woman on the Supreme Court.
All in all the game plan that the media had set about to create was followed to the letter by the candidates.
The night was a waste of time…..but the moderators did what they set out to do….have the candidates assassinate their opponents….the voter learned nothing new or for that matter anything at all. I am still waiting for a substantial conversation n immigration…..a little in Nevada but now…..(sound of crickets)….
I did like Biden’s Reagan-esque attempt to look tough…..it failed.
But if you need a winner and losers then this should help……
- Joe Biden. The former vice president was among the winners, analysts say. South Carolina is a must-win for him, and he “kept his hopes alive with one of his strongest debate performances,” writes Niall Stanage at the Hill. Biden—”sharper and more vigorous” than in previous debates—sought to portray himself as someone with the political and strategic chops to get things done rather than merely talk about aspirations,” Stanage writes.
- Bernie Sanders. This was not the senator’s strongest debate performance, but facing a barrage of attacks from rivals, he held his own well enough to be considered a winner. “As the primary’s commanding frontrunner, Sanders’s chief objective Tuesday night was to exit with only mild bruising and limited blood loss. And he met that goal,” writes Eric Levitz at New York. “The sheer messiness of the proceedings … allowed the Vermont senator to escape without suffering any viral humiliation or headline-worthy blow,” he writes.
- Elizabeth Warren. The senator made it into most lists of debate winners with a performance considered strong, but not the game-changer she needs. “She was dominant in last week’s debate “but she did not replicate that performance, and some strategists criticized her decision to once again focus on Mr. Bloomberg instead of the front-runner, Mr. Sanders,” writes Maggie Astor at the New York Times. “But she did have several strong moments, and commentators praised her ability to cut through the free-for-all onstage.”
- Pete Buttigieg. The former South Bend mayor received mixed reviews, though Chris Cillizza at CNN ranks him among the winners. “He found several occasions to make direct contrasts with Bernie Sanders—most notably on the dangers for Democrats of nominating a democratic socialist and the differences in their health care plans—which is a win in and of itself,” Cillizza writes
- Amy Klobuchar. Klobuchar had a reasonably good night, analysts say—but not on a par with her New Hampshire debate performance, and probably not good enough to keep her campaign alive for much longer. “Klobuchar had a good night,” Geoffrey Skelley writes at FiveThirtyEight. “She looked competent and knowledgeable about a host of issues. She also made some appeals to the African-American community, which were very important given her almost nonexistent support among that voting bloc.”
- Michael Bloomberg. The former New York City mayor turned in a slightly better performance than last week—but it wasn’t enough to keep him out of the losers’ column. “Bloomberg did little to make an affirmative case for himself, even on the electability front,” writes Aaron Blake at the Washington Post. And he offered mealy-mouthed rebuttals to some of the attacks against him, including again downplaying the women who complained about their treatment at his companies.
- Tom Steyer. “The commentariat didn’t have much bad to say about Mr. Steyer,” Astor notes at the Times. “But the hard truth was that they didn’t really have much to say about him at all.”
For me the biggest loser was Bloomberg…he still cannot grasp the idea of a debate.
The winner was Bernie….he took flak all over the stage and still did not lose his composure….the rest were just typical blah blah blah…….
Not to worry there is more to come.
A thought–the whole debate process should be reformed to the point of outlawing slogans and theatrics…..to a real debate not a regurgitation of talking points.
Saturday’s South Carolina vote and then next Tuesday is the Super Tuesday vote…..
Watch This Blog!
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”