Live Blog: Democrat Presidential Primary Debate #3 in Detroit (First Night)

The third Democrat Presidential debate starts in one-half hour, at 8:00PM ET. CNN says, one hopes not entirely truthfully, that the debates “will air exclusively on CNN and will stream live in their entirety, without requiring log-in to a cable provider, exclusively to’s homepage, across mobile devices via CNN’s apps for iOS and Android, and via CNNgo apps for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast and Android TV.” What next? Pay-per-view? Please, can we have the League of Women Voters back?

Here is CNN’s game show-like set:

I understand CNN intends, for the first time, to begin with the national anthem. Sadly, there will be no military fly-by.

Here is the outside of the hall:

Could there be a message here?

Please add your comments as the debate proceeds!

* * *

Of the two debates, tomorrow’s top card, Biden v. Harris, will surely be the most fun — both candidates have lovely smiles — but neither, if chosen, would change the direction or the institutional structure of the Democrat Party significantly. By contrast, Sanders v. Warren pits a democratic socialist against a candidate who is “capitalist to her bones,” and pits a candidate whose theory of change is to bring a new base of working class voters into the political process against a candidate whose theory of change is to further energize the party’s existing, professional base (see Thomas Frank). Sanders, as victor in the general, would necessarily change the structure of the Party, simply to avoid a second #Resistance. He would also change the Party’s direction, with a focus on delivering universal concrete material benefits like #MedicareForAll or the Green New Deal. Warren, as victor, could expect a much less rocky transition with the party apparatchiks. She too would change the party’s direction, but toward more “regulation” of “the market.” It’s not clear to me that “the market” has earned the deference Warren gives it, or that her theory of change is commensurate to the challenges that the country faces. (In other words, the pervasive storyline that Sanders and Warren are both in the “progressive” box — whatever “progressive” means — is a steaming load. Sanders and Warren are very different candidates.)

Then again, life is full of surprises. Perhaps Sanders and Warren will simply circle the ring, and all the action will be on the undercard. It would be entertaining and surprising to see O’Rourke take down Buttigieg, for example. Or maybe Williamson will knock out Klobuchar!

That will have to do for a cheat sheet. From Matt Taibbi for your drinking (or toking) game, a thread:

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.


  1. Synoia

    locals are looking for candidates to prove one thing: Can you beat Donald Trump?

    I’d prefer it if the locals wanted Medicare for All, a green new deal.

    1. jo6pac

      I wonder who on the stand will say they are for? Then we know the actors that are playing to the crowd.

    2. Earl Erland

      Exactly. I’ve argued against that for a week in Grand Rapids with a former Judge and State Representative and a guy who spent, rumored, 7 figures to run against Amash. Who voted Bernie in the Michigan primary. He has been tasked, and he asks the obvious, but he has no passion for Biden.

    3. Susan the other`

      Well, I was so annoyed with Biden I couldn’t watch the first “debate” so I won’t watch the 3rd one tonite – but last night’s debate was riveting, I thought. Both Bernie and Liz were great. Funny to be for two candidates who are ideologically opposites but who agree on the most sensible things. They both see the beauty in MMT – which is, imo, the exact medicine capitalism needs to survive in a socialist world. A sensible world. I thought that nitwit Delaney was almost amusing, if he hadn’t been so stupid and uninformed; I thought the others were hedging their bets. Williamson was interesting but a little too eloquent to be trusted. And I’ve decided Klobuchar, whom I’ve never disliked, is probably the candidate from the Mayo Clinic. I enjoyed Bernie and Liz immensely.

  2. jo6pac

    Thank You for doing this so I don’t have to. I’m already cooking dinner and drinking myers & ice. I’ll catch a little Si-Fi while eating. It’s safer than watching the dog and pony show. I do wonder who google(do no harm) will censor this time?


    1. bruce

      Drinking port over here, preparing to warm up a duck confit leg. You mentioned dog shows. I’ve had a window into that world since the time, decades ago, when I dated a lady who bred and showed Golden Retrievers. If you have seven or eight of these dogs together in one place, it’s like an evergreen source of comedy, and I have many stories. Here’s one…

      I’m over there at her house. We notice that all her dogs are clustered in the back of her yard in one place, wagging their tails. Something is going on over there, so we go outside and approach her back fence. There’s a knothole in the fence, about dog-head high, and as we come up to it, something comes through the knothole. My lady turned to me and said “Bruce, someone on the other side of that fence is putting their penis through the knothole.” My first thought was “I’ll get a blade.” Then we approached further…

      A woefully undersupervised little girl on the other side of the fence was trying to make friends with the dogs by stuffing raw frankfurters through the knothole, one at a time. She would later co-star with me in another classic incident, but this time my inamorata told her “This is very kind of you and all, but these are my dogs and I am going to retain control over their diet.”

      1. bruce

        Another old dispatch from Retrieverland. She furrowed her brow, pointed at one of her dogs and told me “Bruce, [name of dog] is pregnant, and [pointing at another dog] he is responsible.”

        I protested vigorously. “THIS IS NOT POSSIBLE. HE WOULDN’T DO THAT, HE’S HER UNCLE.”

  3. Briny

    I like “Every time Biden invokes Obama” and “I’ll be dead in the first 10 min.”

  4. The Rev Kev

    That interior setting is, uhhh, interesting. The interior is post-Imperial while the actual stage set is red-white-and-blue glossy kitsch. It is a pity that we never get to see the back rooms though.

      1. Earl Erland

        It inspired a Tarantino movie. Would it not be interesting if all of those who are making bank on West Bank Housing suddenly realized That within a decade no Christian who loves Rapture should have used Paul (no, not that Paul) to argue that the Rapture begins with a War over Jerusalem. Nasrallah lives there, with a couple of his really smart and not greedy friends. ok TM

    1. skippy

      Same initial reaction to the architecture, especially the gold deities lit up like their power was illuminating the room.

  5. Eureka Springs

    That theater/stage is a bit grandiose. Trump would approve. I guess Dems really don’t need 15.00 til 2025. Or the blue collar vote.

        1. Patricia

          It’s the Fox Theatre, built in late 1920s. Never wrecked as so many other city theatres were.

          1. Phacops

            Yes, though it weathered waves of neglect and white flight to the racist enclaves of Oakland County. As teen I would go to the Fox when Gordy would bring his Motown Revue there over Christmas.

    1. Whoamolly

      Stage appears to be a restored movie theater from the Golden Age of Film circa the 40s and 50s.

      The red white and blue part appears to be modern TV stage set.

  6. Michael Hudson

    TheABC poll (channel 7) had Bernie polling at only 10%, in 4th or 5th place — NOT Lambert’s figures, which I trust more.
    The networks do indeed have it in for Bernie.

    1. JohnnyGL

      Bundle of national polls released today, things looking a lot closer to what they looked like before the first debate. Bernie seems to have perked up a bit, Biden showing resilience (though my gut tells me he’s a kind of default option when voters don’t know what else to pick). Harris seems to be re-starting her slow fade. I’m sure her new plans that she rolled out will only worsen that.

      1. bruce

        Beware of Mayor Pete. I just saw a clip of him that reinforced my opinion that he’s a smart guy. He does have the one potentially unfavorable demographic attribute, but it’s 2019 and a lot of us have moved beyond that. I would pay money to see his first state visit to Saudi Arabia, and his husband stretching forth his hand to shake with Mohammed bin Bonesaw. Whatcha gonna do, Mohammed? Allah is watching! Is homosexuality contagious? [If it were, there would probably be a pickup subculture on this blog]. There’s a good lad!

        1. WheresOurTeddy

          “He does have the one potentially unfavorable demographic attribute…”

          I know, he is polling at 0% with African Americans. ZERO!

  7. Michael Hudson

    I want to add a comment on Lambert’s note that Eliz. said she’s “capitalist to the bones.” If I were Bernie, I would say, “Being capitalist a century ago meant evolving into socialism. that was supposed to be the intermediate (or even “final”) stage of capitalism.
    So Bernie should say that he’s REVIVING the old-time progressive capitalism of the Elizabethan reform era.
    (But I bet he won’t.)

    1. The Rev Kev

      From my Antipodean seat, I always thought that it a weakness on Bernie’s part that he never says that he stands for traditional American values. Stuff like being able to give your opinion, the right to vote and have it counted, not to be harassed by a militarized police, having an opportunity to get a decent paying job and be protected by a union, being able to earn enough to have a home, to seek education without being subjected to a lifetime of debt enslavement for your choice. Stuff like that.
      Not so much a Norman Rockwell version of America but making America a land of opportunity for all and not just a wealthy minority. That would grab a lot of people’s attention. Maybe he should come out and say; “Hey, wages in this country have not gone up in forty years. So just where exactly did all those trillions of dollars go that should have gone into your pockets over all those years?” Put his opposition on the spot trying to defend the indefensible.

      1. Inode_buddha

        I think that’s pretty much what he *has* been doing, via new/online forms of media, with “non-traditional” audiences

    2. dk

      Yes agreed, one of his weakest points is being dogmatic about his terminology on this. Than again it’s kind of part of his consistency…

      1. mejimenez

        It’s a tough call. Bernie has been hugely successful in moving the Overton Window much further to the left in 4 years than I thought possible. That progress is at least partially due to his consistent dogmatism about terminology. For a good analysis of how that works, see

        But I wonder if the very important work of educating the public via a reframing of fundamental concepts is the same work as getting elected and actually leading the country. Bernie on occasion explains that what he means by socialism is close to FDR’s vision, but that’s not how the vast majority of the electorate understands the term. It’s unlikely that there is enough time before the 2020 election to change the typical voter’s default definitions for that and related words.

        Map/territory confusion is the root of idolatry. Getting stuck on the word comes off as stubbornness, or worse. AOC, for example, is much looser when pressed with the typical neoliberal talking points and quickly shifts to the underlying policies and values.

        There are aspects to the M4A disagreements among the Democratic candidates that seem to revolve around a similar confusion, that between the destination and the path.

    3. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      F yeah, Doc Hudson! Preach!!

      Someone needs to tell Bernie Michael Hudson is giving campaign advice!!!


  8. JohnnyGL

    A lot of people might be tempted to make a fuss about the low favorability ratings of ‘the squad’. They’re all in the net -15 to -20 range. However, it’s worth pointing out that the ratings for Pelosi, Schumer, and McConnell are all quite similar, as is congress on the whole. Trump’s -9 approval looks quite good, by comparison.

  9. cripes

    Does anyone know if the damn thing can be streamed on internet?
    Turned on ABC which is sponser and they have Bachelorette?

    CNN has some rigamarole about apps and ROKU?

    Are there any laws that protect right of general public to view ELECTION DEBATES without paying silicon valley? I dont have cable either.

  10. Paul

    As someone who lives in the D burbs, I’ve been to the Fox theater many times. It was refurbished to its original turn of the century (19-20) glamor a couple decades back. It really is beautiful if you enjoy that style.

    That red white and blue stage setup just clashes, however. Boo on the stage designer.

  11. Monty

    Liz Warren and Mayo Pete didnt seem to know the words to the anthem.

    Time 4 a break already!

  12. Librarian Guy

    We show we’re a commercial “Republic” by making it Silicon Valley– CNN controlled. Pretty sorry intro– marching ’em out like pro athletes, Military hooha, support the empire, and now commercials while they walk into the debate spots.
    Pure Amerikka!!

  13. JB

    so to kick off the debate, the Democrats walk out a bunch of old guys with guns inside a crowded theater in Detroit? I would’ve walked out right there.

  14. Librarian Guy

    Starting with poor Bullock, he’s “populist” but Red State– yeah, sure . . . populist to voters, Red State, “Americans left behind” (the 1%) could he get elected. (He won’t)

  15. Librarian Guy

    Delaney– Progressives = McGovern!! and Dukakis . . . yeah, right. “Youngest CEO to head the stock exchange”– thanks, I know who’s back you will have.

  16. Librarian Guy

    Frackenlooper– Colorado has “most successful economy in the US”– he really thinks the audience is stupid.

    1. Librarian Guy

      Beto seemed “Kennedyesque” to me, but with no content. I guess he and Kerry copied the same source– Kerry at least old enough to remember the original.

      1. neo-realist

        I believe Beto is hanging in for a shot at the VP post. the (neo-liberal) democratic choice for the general election might find him attractive for a shot at the TX electoral votes.

  17. Carey

    Hickenlooper’s haltingly channeling Biden. So cool!

    Klobuchad’s “had it” with Trump!. I’m sold.

  18. richard

    “I share their progressive values” – hickenlooper
    a good drinking game phrase
    you’re sure to hear it more than once from centrists and right wingers
    but not so much that you get totally sloshed

    klobuchar – “let’s get real”
    ahh, we have another contender!

  19. Lambert Strether Post author

    A rule:

    The format of the debates is very similar to last month’s, with candidates getting 60 seconds to answer a moderator-directed question and 30 seconds for responses and rebuttals. Candidates who are attacked by name by an opponent will also get 30 seconds to respond. And a series of flashing lights – from yellow to solid red – will warn them when their time is running out.

      1. ambrit

        Good observation! The ‘dumbing down’ of the American political discourse.
        How long were the Lincoln Douglas debates, of which there were seven? Answer: Three hours! Many newspapers printed the transcripts in full! Try that today.

    1. ChiGal in Carolina

      I know it’s corporate media, but this format, with this group, and the moderators effectively keeping them to time, led to a better exchange of ideas than either of the previous debates and any of the dog and pony shows the Republicans put on in 2016.

      This was a good night for progressives. Who knows what the MSM spin will be though.

  20. Librarian Guy

    Delaney– people love their shitty, overpriced employee Health “Care”– yeh, right. I’d sacrifice mine, which sucks away 25% of my income yearly for something not run by sleazy Insurance and Pharma parasites. Bernie and Liz are staying on task, moderator trying to defend the HC corporations.

  21. Lambert Strether Post author

    Delaney: “Running on making half the country insurance illegal.”

    Warren nails Delaney on using Republican talking points. Warren introduces Ady Barkan. Moderator interrupts. “Are you also ‘with Bernie’ on taxes?” Warren, “less out of pocket.” Good!

    Bullock: “Wish list economics.” Wow, does he sound smarmy.

    Buttigieg: We don’t have to speculate. Put it to a test with a public options. Americans will “walk away” from corporation. You’re paying the same money whether with taxes or premiums.

    (Everybody’s a “Medicare for _____” variant. Extra, for American, blah blah blah)

    Klobuchar: Public option. Barack Obama wanted it!

    Sanders: Millions have insurance. We’re talking no co-pay no deductible. Jake, your question is a Republican talking point.

    Warren: These insurance companies do not have a god-given right to suck out $23 billion out of the sytem.

    Bullock???: Don’t understand the heatlh care business.

    Sanders: It’s not a business!

    Warren: Why so many forms? To give insurance companies a chance to say no.

    Sanders: $400 billion in advertising and lobbying from Pharma and health insurance companies.

    What about union members?

    1. Mark Gisleson

      I was shocked by Tim Ryan’s remarks about union health care plans. Union health insurance stunk in the 1970s and I doubt it’s gotten any better. Union members hate their benefits!

      1. Angie Neer

        I get insurance coverage through my wife’s union, and it’s both better and cheaper than what my own employer offers.

      2. sd

        I <3 my health plan. That said, I don think like the loss of wages that has had to pay for it. While executive pay went up, ours stayed flat.

  22. anon in so cal

    Did EW’s opening statement give a “unity” message? (When the DNC cheats Bernie or Tulsi, everyone must vote for the NeoLiberal NeoCon candidate? )

    1. ambrit

      I’ve been wondering that myself. My idea of a “Unity Candidate” is that it will be Hillary again. Hillary channeling Sisyphus; “Roll away the stone!”
      Got another DCCC begging letter today. The title of it was “2019 Official Democratic Unity Survey.”
      The fix is in already.

  23. Librarian Guy

    Bullock can become an Insurance and Pharma lobbyist after being pushed out of this race. He just made his pitch to the industry.

  24. ChiGal in Carolina

    I so far like the two of them double teaming!!

    they go after Bernie for wanting to take away employment insurance

    Warren interrupts: let’s not use Republican talking points

  25. Librarian Guy

    They’re sure giving Beto lots of time . . . must want to keep him in the race.

  26. Carey

    Warren strong right now on healthcare, despite the host™’s disingenuous questioning. Brava.

  27. JohnnyGL

    Medicare for all who want it….medicare advantage….medicare for america…public option….

    Lots of dems throwing sand in everyone’s eyes.

    1. Carey

      Muddying the waters is all the corporatists have.

      It’s not workin

      Don’t like Delaney.

  28. Monty

    on chapo, “Anyone who claims m4a is taking away peoples insurance is an enemy of the American people”.

  29. Librarian Guy

    I love that Klobuchar is first out the gate with Obama nostalgia . . . hope Dem voters are not that stupid, we’ll see.

  30. Cripes

    This is the progressive presidential debate. Bullock and Delaney are setups to attack the progressives on Healthcare. Klobuchar and Beto piling on. Spoilers.

  31. Librarian Guy

    I love that Bernie mentioned the advertisers’ role and how we’ll hear it later tonite direct from CNN. Both Liz and Bernie seem to get the audience’s support.

  32. Clark

    How do you watch this thing if you don’t have (1) cable or (2) an internet connection?

  33. XXYY

    Williamson backpedalling on M4A. Then cut off.

    Mayor Pete making the point that the Dems are going to be called socialists no matter what.

  34. Kim Kaufman

    I wish Bernie could learn to look a little more relaxed.

    I wish I didn’t feel like Warren wasn’t lying about her health care plan.

  35. Librarian Guy

    Bernie– “Nobody can defend the dysfunctionality of the current system”– excellent point, nobody should be able to, but 3-4 of them are.

  36. Grant

    I place no value in this, no matter how well Bernie does. It is theater, and if Bernie does well, he does well at theater. Maybe it matters, it shouldn’t, but it is a horrible forum to focus on policy and the fact that CNN can host this debate is infuriating. I would love just one debate to be hosted by the DSA, or at least an actually leftist media outlet. You know, pretending that the Democrats are on the left and could take questions from leftists on policy. I know it would never happen, but imagine how the questions would be framed if it was. Biden would be toast, as he would have no real defense of his horrific record in office. As it is, some overpaid hack will ask questions framed in a misleading way and will not give enough time to the candidate to flesh out an answer, especially if the issue is complex. If the USSR had elections and one party member vs another could take power if enough people voted in what was clearly a rigged process, would it be radically different than this? They might have had Pravda moderating it, we have CNN. Is there a huge difference there too?

    1. Librarian Guy

      You are completely correct. CNN wants to pit the Dems against each other and run the clock out, drain as much substance possible from the arguments. Delaney and Frackenlooper (along w/ Klobuchar) also have a 100% corporate orientation. “Pravda” redux, you nailed it.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Well, I place some value on it, theatre or no. (And as a former debater and rhetorician, I have grave doubts that one ever remove theatre from politics.)

      I do think that one must distinguish between winning the debate, and winning the election. Sanders is, I think, lobbing sound bytes over the moderators to his audience (and will later convert to his videos).

      1. JohnnyGL

        He was a little lackluster in the 1st debate. He looks like he’s ready to go to war with bad moderates and bad moderators! Angry Bernie’s great.

        I think dem voters may well see some value in showing he’s got plenty of fight in him. Plus, with better energy, the age-related concerns melt-away.

    1. ChiGal in Carolina

      the campaign already texted me to donate and receive a sticker showing Bernie with a megaphone saying I WROTE THE DAMN BILL


      which is why we really do need to get money out of politics

      1. Inode_buddha

        Ya know, I need to share a rather discouraging story: I was telling my Dad (who voted against Roosevelt) that we need to get the money out of politics by having publicly funded elections. First thing out of his mouth was that we can’t afford it.

  37. CarlH

    While not my favorite candidate by any stretch, I was disappointed by Williamson on M4A. Does not compute with the rest of her persona, which makes me suspect she is there to sandbag on that issue. I’ll take my foily cap off now.

  38. ChiGal in Carolina

    interesting that Tapper is very effectively shutting down the lesser candidates and encouraging Bernie to have his say.

    Anyone remember poor Jim Lehrer trying to moderate the debate between–who was it again?

  39. Monty

    I think there needs to be an audit of these alleged individual donors for Delaney. Hard to believe they are legitimate.

      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        yeah, seems like a bully with anger issues and there’s something weird about his delivery

  40. Librarian Guy

    Beto’s privilege on display– desperate people fleeing Central American death or enslavement must obey “American laws”, ignores civil v. criminal law. Let ’em die quietly, “Beto” the fake Latinx sez . . .

            1. ambrit

              Strange genius theatre.
              For tomorrows debate, a good fun game would be to try and spot the candidates who are DUI. (Debating Under the Influence.)
              “Influence” could be spun into N dimensions…..

                1. polecat

                  That sounds like a job for Mr. Heisenberg. What better platform to spread around some team-blue ice.

    1. ChiGal in Carolina

      next it’ll be new glasses–putting the school marm behind her, one baby step at a time ;-)

    2. skippy

      My mother used to ware Black to Boardroom Meetings when it was unfeminine, because it leveled the playing field.

  41. XXYY

    Sanders giving a really nice answer on the border question. He seems to be doing better working within the time constraints in this debate.

    1. Tvc15

      Agreed. I liked his comment about getting to the root cause of why they are fleeing Honduras…which of course was a little regime change courtesy of the empire.

    1. Briny

      I was wondering that as well. Mod kept harping on raising middle class taxes to pay for M4A while premiums disappear in the process. Basic bookkeeping anyone?

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        It’s a standard (liberal and conservative) talking point, so there’s no point ignoring it. I thought Sanders and Warren both did well, Warren especially with “less out of pocket.” Bernie needs to come down from the sky on the billions occasionally, even though he is systemically correct, and do the kitchen table thing. (That said, remembering that he needs to win the election, not the debate, the “billions” talking point reaches the broadest possible number of voters, and many of those he hopes to bring into the political system won’t have insurance, so the out-of-pocket calculation isn’t relevant. Not everybody can or will compare money right now with money on April 15. For them, “free at the point of care” would be the talking point.

        1. Inode_buddha

          I think that Sanders will pull in more with the kitchen table math, in the long run. That’s what people relate to. Show how M4A will cause their monthly cost of living to go down (the difference between taxes and premiums, profiteering gluttony in the executive suite) *and* vastly improve life for everyone.

    2. ChiGal in Carolina

      I’m liking it cuz it’s giving them a chance to debunk the corporate frame. this is definitely the “progressive” face of the party and I think it stands up well to Republican talking points.

      question is, is the plan to let the corporate Dems go to town on them tomorrow?

    3. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      Bingo. Every one of these are zinger questions, when at least a few of them (given a “fair and balanced sponsor”) should be softballs.

  42. mle in detroit

    Oy, this quiz show format is just awful. And CNN — they ask their audience, the audience says “climate crisis was the top topic, followed by the economy and health care”, so what is the script? Health care, then immigration. Nothing like being responsive.

    1. MyLessThanPrimeBeef

      Just checked – it’s 78 degrees in Detroit now.

      Have they turned off AC now? Climate change is top priority.

      1. pretzelattack

        i guess i don’t understand your comment. why would the temperature in detroit be relevant?

  43. Librarian Guy

    I’ll be glad when BullC*ck is an entirely forgotten blip in the primary race. Reactionary and dishonest– too bad whatsisname dropped out and created the opening

  44. Librarian Guy

    I give up on this format . . . hope the Corporat media doesn’t omit Bernie and Liz’s points completely from their summaries, but . . . Obama did a nice job of killing futile “Hope” and the MSM will not be our savior of truth or meaning in politricks.

  45. Lambert Strether Post author

    On giving undocumented immigration health care, why not say that it’s the only sane public health approach?! What do we do if when there’s an epidemic?

    1. dk

      Yes, that people don’t get this reflects a serious and chronic problem in education.
      Also insurance marketing: we’ve got *you* covered; (community health care is for proles).

    2. JohnnyGL

      Seriously, I don’t want kids skipping vaccines because of costs. This past winter was bad enough with strep throat and flu ripping through my kids’ school.

      I don’t need measles and other nasties to get spread around.

      1. richard

        yes, we had wave after wave of contagious illness this last year in my seattle school, the worst i can remember

    3. skippy

      A. “Stealing” – our [tm] wealth – [elites bottleneck rents] meme comported to scarcity for the unwashed as their bled dry …. self inflicted for not having portfolio stuffed with health [????] and pharma stocks since birth ….

      B. Epidemics are for poor people [dirty – questionable genetics] that don’t have gold class private health care and the means to relocate to safe sinecures at a moments notice …

      C. is this a test – ????? – and did I pass ….

  46. XXYY

    Taxes on the middle class for healthcare, the danger of unrestricted immigration, and gunz.

    Aren’t these the same questions from the last debate? Are there no other subjects of interest to the US population?

  47. Utah

    Seriously! I want to 3D print her a combo comb-fork. I think it’s a hilarious idea. But also, it would save her poor staffers her wrath.

      1. richard

        that’s my feeling too; she’s complimented him and referenced his positive impact a few times

  48. Cripes

    Bullock has a collar problem with his suit jacket.. Get a tailor. Stand up straight. Or get a tailor.

  49. Lambert Strether Post author

    Williamson: Good rant on corps having us all in a choke hold, and that politicians who’ve taken hundreds of millions of dollars from them don’t have the “moral authority” for campaign finance reform.

  50. Carey

    Williamson strong on public election funding, talking about the
    eternal yadda-yadda from big-money candidates.

    Excellent highlighting.

  51. XXYY

    “Are you saying that Senator Sanders is too extreme to beat President Trump?”


    1. JohnnyGL

      Seriously, some of these questions are like, “Did you hear what this other candidate said about your mother??!!?!?”

      1. Mark Gisleson

        This is the David Yepsen School of Reporting. Yepsen was a DM Register political analyst whose stock question formula was:

        “[People whose names I won’t mention] say [some horrible thing for which there is no proof and so legitimate media has been ignoring it] and what is your response to that?”

        Yepsen single-handedly laundered countless specious rightwing attacks on Democrats in Iowa by inserting rumors into interviews and even debate questions, and when the candidates responded, the rumors became legit “news” stories. He then became the Dean of Iowa Reporters which meant that every four years, the national press corps kissed his ass for Iowa Caucus stories.

        No longer reporting, he now teaches reporting.

  52. Monty

    “This is the best we can do folks. This is what we have to offer. It’s what our system produces: Garbage in, garbage out.”

  53. XXYY

    “By calling yourself a capitalist are you trying to convince voters you are a safer choice than Senator Sanders?”


    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I think that’s the story of the debate so far; centrists smacked down. Warren and Sanders have both had the best lines (besides, I would urge, the best policy).

      Adding, Warren, unlike Harris, did not betray Sanders on #MedicareForAll. That speaks well of her.

        1. JohnnyGL

          Yes, the zero-tolerance for ‘centrist-realism’ garbage talking points has been very nice. Warren/Sanders haven’t backed down…they came back even harder.

  54. Lambert Strether Post author

    I missed the start of the capitalist v. socialist question with no refresh.

    Warren: “Why does anybody run for President just to say what we can’t do and shouldn’t fight for?”

    1. JohnnyGL

      Big contrast with Klobouchar…”I’m not promising to do anything. Your life is going to stay crappy….vote for my honesty!!!”

  55. Monty

    Delaney’s “smile” whilst getting pwn’d by Warren was worth the price of admission!

    1. Carey

      beady-eye Delaney looks like he’d throttle Sanders and Warren if
      given half a chance. Bet he’s got anger issues.

      1. richard

        he looks like a thumb with googly eyes
        you’re right, his body language does not bespeak self control

  56. Cripes

    “I don’t know why anyone goes to the trouble of running for president just to tell us what we can’t do”, best zinger of the night-Warren

  57. richard

    tim ryan: “so far tonight we have talked about taking health care away from union members, about decriminalizing the borders, about free health care for undocumented….”
    lie, lie, dog whistle
    change parties, Tim

  58. XXYY

    “Insurance companies do not have a god-given right to suck billions of dollars out of our healthcare system.” – Warren

  59. XXYY

    General theme of the questions: set Sanders up on a pedestal and have everyone swing at him like a pinata.

    1. Monty

      Bernie looks much better tonight. Warren too. The rest of these characters look pathetic and should wrap up their campaigns at once.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > set Sanders up on a pedestal and have everyone swing at him like a pinata.

      Yes, that’s the dynamic of the campaign as a whole.* No point fussing! The question is how he handles it, and so far, he’s handled it well.

      * I mean, he’s the only democratic socialist!

          1. richard

            He’s doing well! His closing tried the personal reference, which bernie doesn’t do much of usually, god bless him.
            We do deserve him, believe it or not. We really do.

            1. Cheers

              Am I the only one that think it sounded as if Bernie was the only one drawing big applauds, cheers and laughters? All other between lukewarmth and polite?

  60. John

    Only the child (Greta) gets it. We are going over the cliff right now.
    The permafront is melting. The methane is being released. Runaway global warming has started.
    Hell on earth is coming and the criminal corporations are still solely worried about quarterly profits.
    But hey, they got trillions back nearly tax free.

  61. Lambert Strether Post author

    Sanders: What do you do with an industry that for billions of dollars in profits is destroying the planet?”

    Ryan: You don’t have to yell, Bernie.

    Sanders: We have to be super-aggressive if we love our children. We have to take on fossil fuel, transform to sustainable, lead the world.

    Bullock: Democrats often sound like the people who shower at the end of the day (?).

    Sanders: Nobody more pro-worker than I. We are not anti-worker. We will provide transition.

    Bullock: [Holy moley is this guy smarmy.]

    1. Mark Gisleson

      Suits shower in the morning, go to work.

      People who do manual labor shower after they get home from work (or clean up at work after their shift).

      This may be the best explanation for our deep class divide in this country as this “difference” speaks to so many other things.

  62. richard

    bullock seems seized by an inner demon – responding incoherently to bernie about climate change
    touch of a revivalist preacher in him

    1. John

      There is lead in the water in all the old towns of the Northeast.
      Worse than Flint.

      Not much is ever mentioned about it in the news because it wasn’t caused by stupidity and cheapskates like it was in Flint. There are maps though where you can see how bad it is.

  63. CarlH

    One of Obama’s most disgusting acts was pretending the Flint water was safe by feigning drinking a glass of water. Despicable.

    1. richard

      even for a drone murderer, even after betraying us to the banks, even after abandoning Wisonsin to Walker
      that was still about as low as he got
      I tell that to my liberal friends sometimes (it is not common knowledge) to watch faces drop.

    1. Lee

      I don’t want her to be president but I’d love to have a cup of herbal tea with her. I actually find her quite appealing as a human being. Are we sure she’s not Canadian?

  64. richard

    omg marianne williamson takes the flint water crisis and becomes an on fire class warrior
    a traitor to her class
    now i see what some people see in her

  65. Lambert Strether Post author

    The racism section…

    Buttigieg: “The racial divide lives within me.” Huh? “Our community is moving from hurting to healing.” Ick.

    (Listening to Klobuchar and thinking of the binder incident, plus vindictively tracking down former employees, I think she’s well positioned to be a new Rahm Emmanuel, without — perhaps — the virulent hatred of the left.)

    1. DonCoyote

      Like Zaphod Beeblebrox, Rahm is having 3rd arm atached, because two is not enough for all the hippie punching he wants to do.

    1. anon in so cal

      “This #DemDebate is just different versions of CNN asking candidates to explain to the audience why Sanders is unelectable, and then asking Sanders to explain why he’s so crazy.”

      imho, not a fair summary. Dangerous, even, because it potentially plants those ideas.

      She’s usually brilliant. Don’t agree on her take on reparations tonight, either.

        1. anon in so cal

          Yes, Gravel nails it:

          “This stage perfectly captures the conflict in our politics today: Scions of wealth and power teaming up to face down the few true progressives this nation has—they are fighting their hardest against progress, we need to hit back ten times harder.”

  66. ChiGal in Carolina

    wow, what does it say about how profoundly embedded in our culture racism is that I am only now registering there are no POC on the stage today.

    jus’ us white folks, and it’s invisible

      1. ambrit

        With his grizzled salt and pepper hair, Obama is trying hard to become an ‘elder statesman’ in the Democrat Party. However, I think that the ever vengeful Wicked Witch of Little rock will never let him rest easy. Still and all, Obama’s wife (will she sit still for this piece of Patriarchialist posturing?) would make a great Veep Candidate in the Democrat Party’s 2020 ticket.

        1. neo-realist

          Michelle wants to be Oprah 2.0. She wants to be a celebrity, do the lecture circuit, dispense airless homilies, and make money. She doesn’t want the aggravations of the Oval Office.

    1. Nax

      The universal whiteness tonight is random.

      Tomorrow will have: Harris, Booker, Yang, Gabbard and Castro as non white candidates.

      Overall the field is significantly too male (70% when it should be 49) and a bit too white (75% when it should be 60-70ish). There should probably be two-three less white guys and maybe two more Hispanic women and one American Indian/Inuit or African American.

      1. WheresOurTeddy

        if Delaney and Hickenlooper would listen to the polls and their staffs, there WOULD be 2 less irrelevant white centrist men in the race. Tim Ryan would make 3 and nobody would be upset but Bernie’s media team.

        Add in Beto, who will undoubtedly hang on embarrassingly too long before dropping out, and that’d be 4.

  67. John

    I wouldn’t doubt if Klobuchar is being secretly funded to run by UnitedHealth to bash Medicare for All.

  68. Lambert Strether Post author

    Sanders: Support Clyburn 10/20/30. Fascinating to see that, however he might come down ultimately, Clyburn (D-SC) isn’t outright assaulting Sanders and in fact they co-sponsor legislation. Suggests to me that the Sanders ground operation in SC is not a debacle, at least.

    1. Earl Erland

      Old Men. Remember when MLK was in play? Seriously. Both before and after he was shot. He did not play much. He was serious as fuck, about civil rights, the Vietnam War. Hell, had he lived long enough he would have partnered with Ralph Nader. Remember when RFK was in play.

    1. Earl Erland

      Dickens understood the a person’s name, while not definitive, really could hit eyes and ears and spelling and a second look and drive a narrative. Shakespeare also. Me personally, I’m tired of US Capitalists. And I think we can find out how important and rare “rare earth metals” are.

      1. Jeremy Grimm

        Rare earth metals are not particularly ‘rare’. They are extremely messy to purify and use a fair amount of energy in the process. As for importance — they are absolutely crucial to building and running most of the devices we take for granted and so greatly rely upon for our perceived well-being.

  69. Monty

    Leaked question from tomorrow.

    ” So Vice President Biden… or can I call you Joe? Please can you tell us about some of your favorite moments that you shared with President Obama and his family?”

      1. John

        The American people have every constitutional right to see how much Trump is profiting off of the office of the presidency.

        We have every right to know if he is putting our national security at risk with deals with foreign countries that make him or his family millions.

        We have every right to know how the billionaire who is spending trillions of dollars of our tax money pays no federal taxes.

        We demand to see his taxes. And not just for 5 years. But for 4 goddamn decades.

        1. Inode_buddha

          *shrug* Hillary did all of the above too, and got off with it. It’s a stunt that won’t go anywhere.

        2. Paul

          Can you quote me the relevant part of the Constitution? Ok, then stop with the hyperbole. This is not Vox.

          1. John

            The Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel has held

            The language of the Emoluments Clause is both sweeping and unqualified. See 49 Comp. Gen. 819, 821 (1970) (the “drafters [of the Clause] intended the prohibition to have the broadest possible scope and applicability”). It prohibits those holding offices of profit or trust under the United States from accepting “any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever” from “any . . . foreign State” unless Congress consents. U.S. Const, art. I, § 9, cl. 8 (emphasis added). . . . The decision whether to permit exceptions that qualify the Clause’s absolute prohibition or that temper any harshness it may cause is textually committed to Congress, which may give consent to the acceptance of offices or emoluments otherwise barred by the Clause.[20]

            The word “emolument” has a broad meaning. At the time of the Founding, it meant “profit,” “benefit,” or “advantage” of any kind.[21] Because of the “sweeping and unqualified” nature of the constitutional prohibition, and in light of the more sophisticated understanding of conflicts of interest that developed after the Richard Nixon presidency, modern presidents have chosen to eliminate any risk of conflict of interest that may arise by choosing to vest their assets into a blind trust.[18] As the Office of Legal Counsel has held, the Constitution is violated when the holder of an Office of Profit or Trust, like the President,[22] receives money from a partnership or similar entity in which he has a stake, and the amount he receives is “a function of the amount paid to the [entity] by the foreign government.”[20] This is because such a setup would allow the entity to “in effect be a conduit for that government,” and so the government official would be exposed to possible “undue influence and corruption by [the] foreign government.”[20] The Department of Defense has expressly held that “this same rationale applies to distributions from limited liability corporations.”[23]

            Vox? Never read it.

            1. flora

              “Department of Justice Office of Legal Counsel”

              During the W. Bush years, the DOJ office of legal counsel held that torture was constitutional when it clearly is not.

              Shorter: I don’t give political appointee agency heads and their staff unquestioned trust about the constitutional accuracy of the argued positions they hold.

              1. John

                Great. So, you’re all for Trump making deals with China and the Middle East that make him richer and sell us out because the DOJ has been corrupt. Makes sense to you. I guess.

                1. Yves Smith

                  You are now making even more shit up and attacking a reader. One more like this and you will be blacklisted.

                  If you’d been paying attention, Trump has been big time alienating China.

            2. Yves Smith

              Making shit up is a violation of the site’s written Policies.

              The Emoluments clause does not require disclosure of Trump’s tax returns Moreover, his tax returns will NOT show the identity of Trump Organization clients. Ditto with any partnerships.

              The Dems could have impeached Trump as soon as they took the House based on foreign governments booking rooms in Trump’s DC hotel. This has been documented in the press.

        3. Lambert Strether Post author

          Lol. Article II, Section 1:

          No Person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States.

          You don’t get to amend the Constitution by passing a law at the State level.

          P.S. You’re also trolling a debate thread. Stop that.

          1. Paul

            If this is a response to me, then I was not responding to you, I was responding to John. My apologies for the comment nesting confusion.

        4. Yves Smith

          It is not a “Constitutional right”. Please cite the mythical transparency section.

          And his tax returns won’t show anything like that. It will show revenues from various sources like interest, partnerships, wage income. It will show deductible expenses by category.

          The reason he is hiding them is either that he pays zero or close to zero in taxes (that’s normal for someone in real estate, real estate is a de facto tax shelter) and/or his revenues are low, meaning he’s way less rich than he pretended to be.

  70. richard

    “they’ll do it in a heartbeat…they’ll do it in a heartbeat”
    Warren on offshoring
    so why exactly are you a capitalist to your bones, sen. warren?

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Exactly. My problem with Warren is that she’ll describe a huge problem well, and then the solution won’t be commensurate to the problem (I think this is related to silo-ed experts for the “plans” she’s been rolling out).

  71. Patricia

    Bernie text: “If you donate before debate ends, we’ll send an “I wrote the damn bill” sticker.”

  72. Earl Erland

    Exactly. I’ve argued against that for a week in Grand Rapids with a former Judge and State Representative and a guy who spent, rumored, 7 figures to run against Amash. Who voted Bernie in the Michigan primary. He has been tasked, and he asks the obvious, but he has no passion for Biden.

    Just got a text from Bernie’s people. 10:02. Apparently he wrote a bill. And as we know, any Bill Bernie writes will be simple.

    1. Inode_buddha

      Have to confess the red jacket throws me off, but Warren’s performance on policy issues (M4A, trade, economy) wins me back (independent, NY-26)

        1. ambrit

          She also needs to be a good politician to function at this level of the polity. Academics don’t have a sterling track record in high politics.

  73. Dita

    Means testing and incremental got where we are now. What’s that definition of insanity again….

    1. ambrit

      Trump could make hay out of her sunshine. Give her a domestic Cabinet post or Department to run. Co-opt some of the “Progressive” thunder on his left.
      It would be edifying to see Trump emulate the first Republican President and assemble a “Team of Rivals.”

  74. Carey

    Williamson: “I wonder why some of these [fellow candidates] call themselves Democrats!”


    Klobuchar inadvertently hilarious

  75. Rod

    i think ms Williams really understands the real purpose of a government–to uplift its population and i’m glad she is on the podium and forceful in speaking her conviction

  76. Carey

    Sanders nailing it on foreign policy. Yes!

    Hickenlooper in a daze again in response.

    Ryan should go ahead and join the Reps.

  77. nippersmom

    Wow. Sinking to a whole new level with the “how are you any better than Trump on foreign policy” question.

  78. sleepy

    The argument that tuition free college shouldn’t happen because it might benefit the rich, if applied to K-12 as it logically could, would result in no free schools at all.

    1. pretzelattack

      i’m guessing it will be mentioned more often tomorrow night. “the candidate that will stand up to putin” or something to that effect.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Too funny. I didn’t even notice. What a debacle RussiaGate was and is. Not even CNN thinks it’s important!

      (Crossed fingers; the question could still come up.)

    3. nippersmom

      There she goes again. She never really had any credibility to begin with; she seems determined to avoid acquiring any.

  79. richard

    Marianne Williamson cleaning out the decks!
    “I don’t know what some of you are doing here! Why are you even in this party?” (paraphrase)
    huge cheer
    populism is selling tonight

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      It’s back to Howard Dean: “I want my party back!” (not the party that went along enthusiastically with Bush on Iraq, and much else. Too bad what happened to him later, but in 2004 he really struck a chord).

    1. JCC

      Otherwise it would be a Humanitarian Disaster!!!

      WTF does he think it’s been so far?

      Every time he opens his mouth I hear Bush.

  80. Carey

    Hickenlooper: “Look at the progress we’ve made in Afghanistan!”

    [cringe] #deluded

    Warren doing very well tonight.

    “Nukular” Bullock needs the stage-exit cane treatment.

    Sanders nails it again on student debt. He’s on.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      First strike was a question before the 80s. It is a very important question at the heart of MADDness.

  81. Art Vandalay

    Bullock says Nukular, which is disqualifying for me, as if I could get past his other inarticulate ramblings.

    1. neo-realist

      Mispronunciation goes down like butter with the red state crowd. “He just like us.”

  82. Lambert Strether Post author

    Hickenlooper on nuclear weapons: “… pullin’ that trigger…”

    Warren’s reactions on the split screen were just priceless.

    (Could have been Bullock; they are both repellent in the same way.)

    1. none

      Trump’s button is big, but mine will be bigger,
      When I be pullin’ that nukular trigger.

        1. WheresOurTeddy

          guys guys guys! HR 246 passed, you need to be considerate of the feelings of our allies in apartheid as your comments could be construed as “destabilizing” and/or attempting “…to exclude the State of Israel and the Israeli people from the economic, cultural, and academic life of the rest of the world.”

      1. Left in Wisconsin

        Called that. 2 points “everyone” agrees on (except evil J. Rubin):
        1. Warren and Bernie effective together against attacks
        2. Warren clear debate winner

  83. Paul

    Marianne is the dark horse just like Trump was 4 years ago. Mark my words. She sounds different than the generic politician. That matters. I’m convinced that the voting public wants more than pablum from their elected officials.

    Or this is just me and my biases. Who knows.

    1. scarn

      My pre-Trump Republican but post-Trump independent boomer mother loves Williamson, and so do many of her friends. Marianne’s apparent sincerity resonates with a lot of people.

  84. Lambert Strether Post author

    Trump Senior, interestingly, has been silent. However:

    I think Williamson has been so amazing that she’s actually jolted an honest response out of Donald Junior.

  85. mle in detroit

    I just got this beg from AOC (who, btw, turns 35 on October 13, 2024). We’ll probably hear about it tomorrow night:

    That’s why we’re proud to announce the Climate Equity Act, a new bill that Alexandria will be introducing in the Fall with Kamala Harris, that would ensure that our work to combat the climate crisis is centered on social, racial, and economic justice for all.

      1. No Gig

        Absolutely, Kamala Harris is bad news. At this moment she is actively cosponsoring an immigration bill to further outsourcing of US professional jobs to the Indian slave traders.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          I saw a Harris poster a few cycles back where Harris ran as an [x] Indian [x] woman, not a [x] black [x] woman; I should dig it out. Trump will eat her for breakfast.

          1. WheresOurTeddy

            if Jamaica had delegates I’d expect her to talk with an accent and talk about how Ziggy Marley is the one you really want to check out

    1. ewmayer

      This story was in my Reuters feed this morning. Don’t think much of the plan – it’s basically a hypothetical piece of legislation which would be dependent on an improbable future one – but strictly based on the amusing wording of the headline Reuters used: “Harris, Ocasio-Cortez float plan to lift low-income communities in climate plans”.

    2. lordkoos

      Ugh… doesn’t AOC realize that Harris is just using her for some progressive cred?

  86. Carey

    Williamson’s closing statement started off well; got a little unhinged
    toward the end, to me.

    Do not like Delaney.

    Ryan: Unity! New! Better! [yanked offstage]

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      I agree on Williamson’s closing statement. Like Warren, solution not commensurate to problem. Williamson, being inexperienced, showed this by losing control of her register.

  87. Lambert Strether Post author

    Delaney: “Donald Trump is the symptom of a disease, and the disease is divisiveness.” Why didn’t this bozo step down and late Mike Gravel take his slot?

    Ryan: “You and I coming together to do great things.”

    Hickenlooper: “I’m as aggressive as anyone on this stage, but I’m also pragmatic.”

    1. WheresOurTeddy

      Delaney had he been running in 1932: Guys! We can’t be divisive against the Economic Royalists! The New Deal is bad politics!

  88. John

    Klobuchar’s handlers must have told her that personal stories about people sell.
    I find them super distracting in a 30 second soundbite. Who? What? Why?

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      “Mom, it’s not my fault.” Touching but on point? (In a way, no, it’s not her fault because she didn’t create systemic problems, but Klobuchar doesn’t draw that out.)

  89. nippersmom

    Every time Delaney talks about national service, “Hitler youth” pops into my head.

    1. anon in so cal

      It’s along the lines of Hillary’s 2016 Hitlerly youth program for basement dwellers.

  90. ChuckW

    Beto held town hall meetings to remind himself of who he represented. Otherwise he would have forgotten.

  91. Carey

    O’Rourke: “I lost to the most-hated man in the Senate, so nominate
    me me me, so we can lose again. And I mean that so sincerely.”

    Sanders’s closing statement was close to perfect, IMO.

  92. Lambert Strether Post author

    Warren: “We beat it by being the party of big structural change.” The issue is whether “regulation” is big enough and structural enough.

    Sanders: “To stand with the working class* of American that for the last 45 years has been decimated.” Then the Canada bus trip. “We need a mass political movement. Take on the greed and the corruption of the ruling class of this country.” Plugs website.

    Sanders was better; working the bus trip in was good.

    NOTE * Guardian paraphrase: “Bernie Sanders pledged to stand by the US middle class, recounting his recent trip to Canada to emphasize the high price of insulin in America.” Lol.

    1. Jeremy Grimm

      Don’t the many posts from Bill Black suggest “regulations” already exist but enforcement is ‘lacking’ — for which read non-existent.

    2. WheresOurTeddy

      The allergy to the phrase “working class” is not accidental. They want as many Americans as possible thinking they’re just temporarily embarrassed millionaires.

      As someone who has spent most of my life in the working class, made it to the middle, got knocked down again, and made my way back up to the middle again, there is most certainly a difference.

    3. Jessica

      When was the last time (if ever) that someone said the words “ruling class” in a presidential debate? (I assume that Eugene Debs was never invited to any presidential debate.)
      Even that Bernie said “working class” won points with me. Typical of the Guardian to change it to “middle class”.
      Williamson was impressive.
      I liked that Warren showed fire and guts. Her policies would be a real change for the better, especially if pushed farther. My real question about her is whether she would stand up to the other side and fight to win.
      For me, the biggest difference between Bernie and Warren is that I am starting to hope that Warren would really fight, but I know Bernie would.

      1. Spring Texan

        I like Bernie better, but I like Warren too, and I *DO* trust her to fight.

        The big tell was when she went to Washington as a Senator and Larry Summers said don’t criticize us in public if you want to be part of the club, and she not only ignored that but told on him publicly!

        Two actually GOOD people! They were my dream team last night.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      In academic terms, yes.

      Watching Warren’s reactions was really interesting. I think the sheer stupidity of centrist arguments really ticks her off, which speaks well of her.

      1. scarn

        I agree. I’m highly skeptical of Warren delivering anything (especially a victory), and I don’t really trust her to try very hard to implement her plans. Watching her in this debate opened a thin crack in my icy wall of distrust. I hope she proves me wrong.

        1. skippy

          Eh …. Warren for all her sociopolitical baggage is a completely different animal to the Blue Dog Corporatist DNC fundie or the Free Market Conservative slash Goat picked me to administrate reality for everyone dilemma.

          But yeah… feel [tm] free [tm] to play curricular firing squad and then wonder why ones head is sore from the effects of banging on an sacrilegious edifice ….

  93. Lambert Strether Post author

    And now the spin doctors!

    I think a photo finish by Sanders and Warren, Buttigieg in the running followed by Klobuchar, Beto fading, the centrists losing big, Williamson a dark horse coming up on the outside.

    * * *

    First candidate interviewed? Klobuchar! How did she do that?! Mayo Pete must be ticked. (She’s saying that Sanders can’t win in the Red States, which is just wrong.)

    Axelrod: Centrists need a better argument than fear of losing.

    Second candidate: Sanders. With #MedicareForAll, unions can now focus on wages not protecting health care!

    1. flora

      “the centrists losing big”

      No doubt why the estab divided the field for this debate round the way they did: to keep Sanders and Warren out of tomorrow night’s debate with Biden, Harris, et al. That’s an interesting dynamic in itself, imo.

      Thanks for this live thread.

      1. Inode_buddha

        Thank you, I am not the only one who noticed that. I hope the establishment continues this type of organization, and gets the surprise of its life when one of them (preferably Sanders) actually wins.

  94. KLG

    Thank you all for making my night. I haven’t watched TV news since the 1992 campaign, so I depend on the kindness and good sense of nc community members.

    From Lambert’s lips to God’s ears regarding the finish. Mayo Pete, the talking resume, will eventually fade into a well deserved obscurity. As for Ms. Williamson, stranger things have happened…

  95. Jeremy Grimm

    To what extent might this beauty contest apply in the selection of a Vice-Presidential candidate? Most of the main candidates are long and very long in the tooth? Is there a Harry Truman or Henry Wallace somewhere around? [HENRY PLEASE!!!!!]

  96. 3.14e-9

    If tonight’s theme was Let’s Bash Crazy Bernie, imagine how it will be tomorrow night, when he’s not there to call them on their BS. Hard not to think that was deliberate.

  97. zagonostra

    I had to disable my Ad Blocker to view Debate…I haven’t watch a commercial in a very long time…noticed healthcare commercials touting their wonderful worth…I liked Bernie calling out CNN and that they would be airing commercials…I think Warren and Especially Bernie did well, the biggest loser was CNN, and I hope Bernie goes after them when they set-up a question with obvious mal-intent.

  98. 3.14e-9

    Plus, the moderators can pelt Biden and Harris with marshmallow questions on healthcare, ask leading questions to elicit anti-MFA hysteria, and plant Twitter talking points in viewers’ minds about the genius middle ground of Kamalacare.

      1. 3.14e-9

        So maybe we should visualize a big baked-in backfire. I’ve seen marshmallows spontaneously combust in a microwave. Both Biden and Harris are uniquely capable of shooting themselves down in flames.

      2. Eureka Springs

        I agree one has to be prepared to deal with it, but fussing is equally important. Those corporations DNC / CNN AT&T should be relentlessly ridiculed for treating both candidates and constiuents as the dumbest humans on the planet.

        And I haven’t had TV for ten years because of it. Not one dime for them.

  99. Monty

    Well played all! We got through it. It just goes to show that even the most diabolic chores can be accomplished when we pull together!

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Certainly CNN put on a debate that was superior to MSNBC in every way. There weren’t any horrid technical problems like microphone failures, and the moderation was superior, too. (Jessica’s comment to Alia might as well have been made to Maddow, in her silo: ” I can think of nothing more poisonous than to rot in the stink of your own reflections.”)

      1. Mark Gisleson

        Online CNN feed glitched while rolling over from obscene pre-debate commentary to the actual debate so I missed any intro comments about Bernie or Warren before the candidates came on stage.

        Accidental, I’m sure.

  100. urblintz

    Anyone else think Buttigieg is going for the Harry Potter voters? Okay, the scar over his eye isn’t in the same place as harry’s but… then again maybe it’s a winning strategy…


  101. Lambert Strether Post author

    During the hot takes, Axelrod, of Sanders on #MedicareForAll. Basically, this is hard, Obama wanted a public option and couldn’t do it. Then:

    He [Sanders] was there, he knows that what he’s talking about won’t happen any time soon.

    First, Obama was never serious about the public option (itself an unserious bait-and-switch operation by liberals). He cut a deal with Big Pharma to drop it in exchange for some now forgotten price breaks — and kept it secret, so his deluded followers could pretend it was still on the table.

    Second, Sanders extracted several billion dollars for community health centers as his price for supporting the bill. That was the benefit of Sanders being “there,” unmentioned by Axelrod. He wasn’t a passive observer, he improved the bill.

    Third, Sanders does not know #MedicareForAll will “not happen anytime soon.” Axelrod cannot accept Sanders’s theory of change, partly because it was destroy his personal business model, partly because the professional base of the Democrats opposes expanding the base to working class voters tooth and nail.

    Fourth, Axelrod just outright said Sanders is a liar. Hopefully, the campaign calls him out for that.

    1. Briny

      Well, I get that Sanders is dead serious about M4A and nailed the criticisms (Unions, &c.) to the wall as completely bogus arguments. And, M4A used to be total anathema in my worldview. So, somebody (Axelrod, moderates) didn’t get the memo from Sanders and from Warren for that matter.

    2. Spring Texan

      Thanks. ALL your comments on what he said are GREAT. And yes on the community health centers.

  102. Rod

    I was thinking of that kevin bacon six degrees of separation thing and that everyone on stage has more than a few supporters(by virtue of their public positions held) as well as generally positive progressive-y positions tonight compared to what our current leader pushes
    and that’s a lot of ripples-or some positive vibrations–that went out to millions watching
    and that’s a start
    and Delaney in closing remarked-truly imo-that ‘we need to come together”
    Sen Sanders said it too, at the end of his closing, only real differently.
    I think there was a president and their cabinet on the stage tonight–and I look forward to seeing more positions tomorrow

    1. Briny

      Priceless! BTW, zing by Warren on Delaney (‘Why run for President to just talk about what can’t be done’) was subject on CNN when I hit that link.

  103. Minimus

    Williamson looks and sounds a bit too much like Gilda Radner imitating Barbara Walters circa 1976 for my taste.

    I thought Bernie did well, but it pissed me off that the moderators kept cutting him off (“Thank you…thank you…thank you Senator. The next question is for Congressman Delaney.”)

  104. drumlin woodchuckles

    The only way I can think of to get the League of Women Voters back into the political telecast space is for them ( or someone on their behalf) to create their very own Internet Channel, either on You Tube or someplace else. The LWV could then host debates on it or whatever else they want to host on it according to their rules. If any candidates came on it under those good old rules, then some people out in the field might watch it.

    It might stay obscure. It might get popular. But the Big Media and the Big Political Parties will never allow the LWV back to host LWV debates in/on any space controlled by the Big Media or the Big Parties. So LWV would have to create their very own space and see if people would come to it over time.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Climate debate, if Inslee had the stones (which apparently he doesn’t). Last debate, Inslee folded like a deck chair. Let’s see how he does this time.

  105. Jessica

    Tomorrow night, the only one up there who can call out the lies that will be spun about Bernie (and probably Warren too) will be Tulsi. A chance to see what she is made of.

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