Analysis by WorldTribune Staff, August 1, 2019
Let’s have a show of hands. Who actually watched the July 31 Democratic debate on CNN. Anyone? Anyone?
For those otherwise engaged in the “pursuit of happiness,” analysts with sharp pens such as Ralph Z. Hallow of The Washington Times and Dan Flynn of the American Spectator provided a public service.
Here’s their take:
Hallow noted that Joe Biden, who continues to lead the polls, had a “simple task: to show he has the right stuff to be president and is prepared to lead the nation somewhere specific, where Democratic voters actually want to go. He did neither. Not even close. Fire in the belly? Not even a wisp of smoke.”
Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg and the other seven in the Tuesday debate “slapped each around other over ideology, principles and the philosophy of governance, more so than on details of particular policy proposals,” Hallow noted. “Wednesday saw the contestants arguing over whose health care proposals is the worst among the 10 wannabes on stage.”
Harris, Hallow wrote, “again revealed her prosecutorial personality. She flung its jagged wrath at a withered-looking, defenseless Joe so relentlessly Wednesday that some in an NBC focus group said they had begun to resent her and sympathize with him.”
Hallow continued: “Never mind that Tweet Master Donald J. Trump can’t wait to start making minced meat out of Joe in the fall 2020 debates, should he manage to hang on through the coming Democratic debates and win the nomination.
“His flat-footed non-response to this stinger from Cory Booker hinted at the mangling Joe will be in for should he ever get to go mano a mano with the sting master himself in 2020: ‘Mr. Vice President, there’s a saying in my community, ‘You’re dipping into the Kool-Aid and you don’t even know the flavor.’ “
Booker, Hallow wrote, “finally came alive on Wednesday. His ease in the spotlight, comfort with words and African lineage should make him a valuable veep get for whoever snags the Democratic nomination.”
The biggest surprise on Wednesday, Hallow wrote, was Andrew Yang, “a marvelously articulate, mostly level-headed sounding, highly intelligent entrepreneur, attorney, philanthropist and founder of Venture for America who says he’s the opposite of President Trump — ‘an Asian man who likes math.’ ”
“Of course, we all know it’s not possible for a rich businessman with no political experience to win a major party’s presidential nomination and go on to win the White House,” Hallow wrote.
Joe Biden Won
“Biden won the second Detroit debate through effective counterpunching, parrying and dodging shots, and throwing the occasional lead right.”
“This idea is a bunch of malarkey,” Biden said in what Flynn called his “strongest point of the night, on Medicare for All.” Biden continued, “I don’t know what math you do in New York. I don’t know what math you do in California. That’s a lot of money.”
On immigration, Biden “provided a reality check to the leftists flanking him,” Flynn wrote.
Biden said: “If you cross the border illegally, you should be sent back. It’s a crime. People should have to get in line.”
“Similarly counterintuitive, the field attacking Biden does not kill him but makes him stronger. He looks like the biggest guy on stage because of the attacks from the little people,” Flynn wrote.
Kamala Harris Lost
“Tulsi Gabbard drew blood in pointing out that Harris imprisoned 1,500 people found guilty of marijuana offenses, withheld evidence from death penalty defendants, and exploited prisoners for cheap labor,” Flynn noted.
“Harris went from puncher to punching bag in her second debate. Biden not only effectively ducked her blows but he inflicted blows on her changing healthcare plan, which he mocked for not going into effect until after her two terms as president. She looked uncomfortable as a counterpuncher, responding not with words but offputting body language and face dances. She is not very likable.”
The Second Tier
“Andrew Wang seems very intelligent. Jay Inslee seems not very intelligent (‘I’ve never been a woman talked-over in a meeting’ — thank you for sharing). Michael Bennet, like Steve Bullock and John Delaney in the first Detroit debate, courageously provided reality checks to fantastic delusions, such as free healthcare,” Flynn wrote.
Bennet said: “Empty promises won’t beat Donald Trump. I can.”
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio “sounds like a desperate demagogue (‘We will tax the hell out of the wealthy’),” Flynn noted. “Tulsi Gabbard supports a sensible, restrained foreign policy but one imagines such a platform would work more effectively against George W. Bush than Donald Trump. Julian Castro talks without saying anything.”
Them’s Fightin’ Words
“Democrats insult Republicans by calling them racists,” Flynn wrote. “They insult other Democrats by calling them Republicans. Kamala Harris told Michael Bennet, ‘We cannot keep with the Republican talking points on this.’ Julian Castro announced, ‘Open borders is a right-wing talking point.’ Cory Booker told Joe Biden, ‘We are playing into Republican plans.’ ”
“Michigan, perhaps more than any other state, shocked in going for Donald Trump in 2016,” Flynn noted. “ The main reason for this — the Democratic Party’s abandonment of the white-working class — went almost wholly unaddressed in the Detroit debates. Instead, Democrats spoke the same language of identity politics that alienated these voters in the first place.”