Live Blog: Democrat Presidential Primary Debate #9 in Des Moines, Iowa

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Time: 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET.

Place: Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa.

Hosts: CNN and the The Des Moines Register.

Moderators: Wolf Blitzer (CNN anchor), Abby Philli (CNN political correspondent), Brianne Pfannenstiel (Des Moines Register chief political reporter)

Candidate Line-up:

Joe Biden (Former Vice President )
Pete Buttigieg (Former South Bend, Indiana, Mayor)
Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota Senator)
Bernie Sanders (Vermont Senator)
Tom Steyer (Squillionaire)
Elizabeth Warren (Massachusetts Senator)

Stage Arrangement:

How to Watch (or Listen), from the Verge:

The debate will be live-streamed on,, and the CNNgo and Des Moines Register apps on iOS and Android. It’s also available through online streaming devices like the Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, and Chromecast if you download the CNNgo app.

It will air live on CNN as well.

Readers will no doubt also have their own suggestions.

* * *

I need to do some stuff, since I plan to be present for this one, so just a few random comments:

Only six!

Amazingly, Klobuchar is still standing.

Biden is between Warren and Sanders, raising the possibilities of some interesting interplay.

And the latest on the Warren campaign’s smear of Sanders for being sexist; the Warren campaign seems to be walking it back. From Buzzfeed, “Elizabeth Warren’s Campaign Is Telling Key Supporters To De-Escalate From The Fight With Bernie Sanders“:

CLIVE, Iowa — Elizabeth Warren’s campaign is telling key online supporters that their “goal is de-escalation” and warning backers not to accuse Bernie Sanders of sexism, signaling a desire to move on from a story that has driven a rift between two longtime allies, and within the progressive community, over questions of gender and electability.

If Warren’s planted story was not meant to convey the impression that Sanders was sexist, then what on earth was the point of it all? (And in fact, everyone, on all sides, immediately drew that implication, and how not?) More:

On Monday night, about five minutes after Warren issued a statement confirming that she remembers Sanders telling her in a private meeting he didn’t believe a woman could win in 2020, one of Warren’s campaign officials advised supporters in a large pro-Warren group chat on Twitter that their next step would be to dial back the confrontation. “Re: where we go from here — our goal is de-escalation and focusing on our shared goals,” the staffer wrote to the group, according to screenshots of the chat.

So the, er, plan was for the campaign to make a quick hit, and then get out of range fast?

This is interesting, too:

At one point in a lengthy DM to the Twitter group on Tuesday morning, the Warren staffer’s description of the controversy hewed closer to Sanders’s description than Warren’s. “Claiming you’re worried a woman can’t win/flagging that she’ll receive sexist attacks is something many, many people feel,” the campaign official wrote.

So, the campaign internally had its own doubts. Walker Bragman comments:

Well, we’ll know if it was a disaster when new numbers come in. Neither Warren’s staff nor Warren herself come out of this looking good. And as we see above, when the collective counterpunch from Sanders supporters came (#RefundWarren; #NeverWarren), well before the DM meeting Buzzfeed describes, Warren flinched. Not the best way to protect her glass jaw.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the debate. More from Buzzfeed:

Jeff Weaver, a top adviser for Sanders’ campaign, also suggested the Sanders campaign did not want to continue the fight. “We’re not going to get into this tit-for-tat,” he said on CNN on Monday night.

Sanders and Warren, he said, “have great respect for one another, they’re fighting for a lot of the same goals, again, there were some wires crossed apparently about this story.”

So, if Sanders can come out of this visibly taking the high road, that will be good for him. (And I love Weaver’s subtle dig with “wires crossed”; unfortunately for Warren, since the campaign foolishly put her out there personally on both the “volunteers trashing” and the “Sanders is sexist” weekend assaults, instead of using surrogates, the crossed wires can only be hers.)

As usual, this post does not update; readers may track the debate in real time in comments. Please keep your comments as informative and analytical as possible. There are no points at NC for context-free one-liners (“Boo ____!”) that only those who are also watching can make sense of; that’s for Facebook or Reddit. I think it adds more value if you take a moment, use your critical thinking skills, then comment, and readers can discuss what you say. This is what the NC commentariat is so very good at, after all. Last time, the times before that, and this time. Thank you!

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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. Bill Carson

    Hola everybody. I think this is the first debate I’ve watched live this season. I’ve got to go pick up my daughter from a school function soon, so I’ll probably miss the fireworks.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        I hope he and his supporters will all remember that revenge is a dish best served over . . . and over . . . and over again.

  2. Dalepues

    De-escalate. That was the term used by Richard Nixon (following Johnson) to begin withdrawing troops from Vietnam.

  3. Fiery Hunt

    Bernie is not particularly sharp tonight.
    Misidentified Trump as Bush, answered a question on Iraq with a statement on Iran.

    Not thrilled so far.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        If so, hopefully he can/will let the mind-clouding anger pass and then view Warren dispassionately as an obstacle to be crushed and pushed aside . . . with a straight face and a smile of course.

  4. Plenue

    I see the wishes of the Iraqi people and government, the fact that they’ve already, er, told us to leave, goes completely unmentioned. And Klobuchar (who? Literally who is this person? Who is this Steyer guy as well?) wants to put us back in Syria. Great…

    1. Alternate Delegate

      Klobuchar is there for one reason, and one reason only: because Sanders won the Minnesota caucuses in 2016. Her job is to split the vote in Minnesota. Watch for her to “suspend her campaign” shortly after Minnesota. And I will lay LONG odds against her doing so before.

      This is also why Minnesota will have a primary in 2020 instead of a caucus. And this is also why they will break all Minnesota open primary precedent by having the voter a take loyalty oath before getting the DFL primary ballot (that’s the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party, for those of you not steeped in Third Party history).

      And this is also why the fact that the voter chose the DFL ballot will NOT be secret. And this is also why the CHOICE the voter made on that primary ballot will NOT be secret – yes, the DFL will get a hit list of Sanders voters! The excuse is that this is so the voter can ask to “spoil” and recast their ballot up to seven days before the election, if their original choice drops out of the race. I am not making this up. I wish I were.

      The Minnesota DFL and IR (“Independent Republicans” – as if) cooked this one up between them. The Minnesota IR ballot is even more fun: there’s Trump and there’s a write-in line. But even if ONE MILLION voters write in “Edward Snowden”, and Trump gets one single vote, Trump will be the winner. That’s because the courts allowed the IR to determine who counts as a write-in candidate. And, despite the challenges, they chose – zero people! So the voter is supposed to think they have a write-in option on the IR ballot. But in fact the ballot has only one option. Democracy in America.

      Hilariously, the only thing that’s giving the DFL and IR a rethink is the fact that ALL the major parties in Minnesota will get to see the who-voted-for-whom primary data. And that means the DFL, the IR, and TWO DIFFERENT MARIJUANA LEGALIZATION PARTIES that each polled over 5% for statewide offices in the 2018 elections (because people hate these clowns so much) will get to see that data. So now there is mumbling they will change the law before the info gets released to the parties. Because only D’s and R’s get to break the secret ballot.

  5. EarlErland

    Mayo Pete: The Pentagon will address climate change.

    Amy Klobuchar: 150 US troops in Syria will stop ISIS.

      1. EarlErland

        BLITZER: Thank you, Sen. Klobuchar. We’re going to continue talking about who’s best prepared to be commander-in-chief. Mayor Buttigieg?

        PETE BUTTIGIEG: Well, I bring a different perspective. There are enlisted people that I served with barely old enough to remember those votes on the authorization after 9/11, on the war in Iraq. And there are people now old enough to enlist who were not alive for some of those debates.

        The next president is going to be confronted with national security challenges different in scope and in kind from anything we’ve seen before, not just conventional military challenges, not just stateless terrorism, but cybersecurity challenges, climate security challenges, foreign interference in our elections. It’s going to take a view to the future, as well as the readiness, to learn from the lessons of the past. And for me, those lessons of the past are personal.


      2. jrs

        Well they do take it very seriously (probably a lot more seriously than Pete does). They are also a leading contributor of course, but they plan for the catastrophe without flinching.

  6. Lambert Strether Post author

    Biden: all Obama’s wars were justified by the AUMF.

    Buttigieg: Three year sunset on interventions.

    Steyer: Climate requries value-driven coalition as we should be doing in the middle east.

  7. richard

    oh, and mayopete, will you say one more time, that you won’t let iran get a nuke?
    what about you cloudbootjar, what would you do?
    i feel ill
    “this is a terrorist regime”
    assassin mouthpiece says what?

    1. DonCoyote

      Joe Biden tries to erases all his history with the TPP and other agreements.

      Bernie calls him on it.

    2. Skip Intro

      Warren carefully explains exactly how it works.
      Steyer’s in the chorus! “Think of the children”

  8. Skip Intro

    Having the question appear during the ‘answer’ really shows how far away some of the answers go. Are the candidates aware of the effect?

    Good moments:
    -Wolf sez ‘The Aytollah called for US troops out of the middle east, like you did’, and Bernie in split screen gives a wry little chuckle as the association-smear comes out…

    -Bernie cracks wise ‘Other than that you like him’, as Biden claims the guy wants to beat him up.

    -Mod: ‘We’ll talk about climate change soon, stay on trade’
    Bernie: ‘They are the same thing in this case’

  9. Cpm

    CNN tees Bernie up. CNN tees Klobuchar up. Klobuchar slips punch.
    Biden weasels thru. Maya Pete talks Obama talk.
    Liz brings in the kitchen sink. Billionaire takes outsider lane.
    Bernie stunned by early rabbit punch, tries to recover by taking on orangeman.

    Biden picks up orangeman bad theme cept ISIS.
    All agree. Cept Liz. Biden says troops stay with Dutch allies and others.
    Maya Pete talks toddlers.

    Bernie tries to bring it back home, but Wolf cries wolf.
    Biden defends troops in forever cause ISIS. Maya Pete says he hopes he will never be President. All agree.

    Liz says we can’t keep turning corners. Billionaire says Trump a dope and so were all previous and we need friends like Australia does. Maya Pete says we need friends too. Amy says Obama had friends and we can have them again.

    Some discussion of Kim and need for friends and China. Rabid dog is funny. But all agree we need friends. Orangeman has no friends.

    Bernie comes back on trade. Low wages and climate change. Oppose Trump deals. CNN says no climate now, maybe later. Liz likes Trump new deal with Mexico. CNN tries to get Bernie to swing on Liz. He hesitates. Amy backs Trump on trade. And Mayo Pete too. Let’s talks about pie.

    Biden stumbles in over lunch. Bernie takes a piece of Joe. Talks down CEO greed.
    Joe says we need friends with fingers to poke Chinese eyes. Liz backs Bernie. Trade deals closed game. Corporate corruption. Billionaire agrees trade deals corrupt and climate in back seat. Reminds Pete he’s young and will die early.
    Pete agrees and talks Obama talk.

    Round 1 no winner

  10. DonCoyote

    CNN Headline: Democrats fight over Trump trade deals…everyone remember when Trump passed NAFTA?

  11. inode_buddha

    I was hosting an AA meeting during the debates, if that makes any sense. I wish to thank all who have the temerity to watch and comment.

  12. Plenue

    And Sanders did exactly what he should have done regarding the sexism lie.

    Wow at CNN just accepting the lie.

    1. anon in so cal

      ““It is ludicrous to believe that at the same meeting where Elizabeth Warren told me she was going to run for president, I would tell her that a woman couldn’t win,” Sanders said in a statement.

      Two people with knowledge of the conversation at the 2018 dinner at Warren’s home told The Washington Post that Warren brought up the issue by asking Sanders whether he believed a woman could win. One of the people with knowledge of the conversation said Sanders did not say a woman couldn’t win but rather that Trump would use nefarious tactics against the Democratic nominee.

      “What I did say that night was that Donald Trump is a sexist, a racist and a liar who would weaponize whatever he could,” Sanders said in the statement. “Do I believe a woman can win in 2020? Of course! After all Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by 3 million votes in 2016.””


  13. John

    Sanders probably said: “I don’t think Warren can win the presidency.”
    Not “I don’t think a woman can win the presidency.”

  14. Lambert Strether Post author

    Bernie: I didn’t say it. Look at my record over 20 years.

    Warren: Not here to fight with my friend Bernie. [I can win; women can win]

    Nate Silver:

    Just a lot of weirdness in that exchange, in how the moderator’s question to Warren presumed that Sanders wasn’t being factual. I can see Sanders folks being pretty annoyed with that, and rightly so…

    With that said, maaaayyyybe not the worst thing for Warren to have Sanders vouch for the fact that women are electable. And the crowd seemed to react more warmly to her response than his, certainly.

    How I heard it.

    Warren, aided by the moderator, pivots to the question “Can a woman win?” which is feel-good and elicits cheers from the audience.

    So Sanders answer ended up being about Sanders, and Warren’s about women — premise Warren told the truth is taken as given.

    1. ChiGal in Carolina

      but she doubled down, said without challenging that he said it, “I disagreed.”

      corrupt to the core

      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        without challenging the moderator asserting that he said it after he had just said he didn’t

        the question to her was how did she respond when HE said it, she said, “I disagreed.”

    2. Jason Boxman

      Yeah, that was interesting that the entire exchange with Sanders happened outside this universe; And then CNN asks the question to Warren as if he never spoke.

      This is classic “Do you still beat your wife?”

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > CNN asks the question to Warren as if he never spoke.

        The word for that is “erasure.” Putting on my tinfoil hat: I wonder if there was co-ordination between the Warren campaign and CNN. (For example, why not ask Warren first, so Sanders can rebut, and then let Warren respond. Instead, they opened with Sanders, and then did Warren, with no chance for Sanders to rebut.)

    3. drumlin woodchuckles

      I did not realize that Warren was such a pure and perfect Clintonite. Now I do. I hereby offer the word Clintowarrenite for Warren and her supporters.

      If the DemParty puts her on the ticket instead of Sanders, I will find the legally binding way to Write Sanders In in my state. I don’t necessarily think that Warren would be worse than Trump in the way that Clinton would have been, but I don’t think Warren would be better enough than Trump so as to deserve a vote on that basis. So if it becomes Warren v. Trump, I feel no particular stake in any particular outcome.

      Which leaves me free to Write Sanders In. If enough other SanderBackers think the same way, and act on their thoughts, and if the number of Sanders write-in votes is a bigger number than the number of votes that Warren would lose by; then the SanderBackers will take heart in their visible ability to have a visibly unavoidable impact on the outcome of an election. It might inspire them to make their organizing stronger and more impactful.

  15. The Historian

    Sneaky, Warren!

    You won’t say on national TV that Sanders said to you that a woman can win, will you? Sooo….did it really happen? Your so-called answer convinces me that it did not!

      1. Fiery Hunt


        Everyone saw that duck and pivot.
        Doesn’t matter what they say after she’s lost every thinking leftist voter.

        1. Lambert Strether Post author

          > Doesn’t matter what they say after she’s lost every thinking leftist voter.

          It does, simply because that’s not a majority of the voters. I do think that everyone could see what happened (see Nate Silver, above). The question would be how the Sanders campaign can leverage that in the field. That, I don’t know.

  16. anon in so cal

    Bernie seems to be speaking more softly this evening, not as fired up, and not as much ruddiness as he sometimes gets.

  17. DonCoyote

    Who represents all elements of the party, especially the corporate hair huffers? Joe Biden, that’s who. It’s a big tent, and watch where you step.

  18. Fred Mullen

    Warren can’t even do simple arithmetic. Bernie smoked her on her 30 years with his 1990 Congressional victory. It’s 2020. Sheesh.

      1. Fred Mullen

        No. It’s because she and her staff had a line of attack all prepared to advance her lying against Bernie. When she was challenged she couldn’t break out of a prepared talking point (“I’m the only one in the past 30 years . . . .” ). Think Marco Rubio during that Republican debate in 2016. She’s not quick on her feet or on the uptake.

    1. political economist

      The 1990 election was 29 years 2 months ago, easily within the last 30 years. Warren won as a Democratic in the only state that voted for McGovern, there is no more Democratic state. Unless it is Minnesota, the only state Mondale won.

      1. christofay

        Eastern Mass is Golf Club Republican. They’re called democrats. It’s the party Hillary wanted.

      2. Kurtismaydield

        Massachusetts is a PMC Democratic state.. not what it used to be in 1980 or when McGovern was running. Union power has become co-opted so that they are basically lobbying groups now. The inside 495 beltway is Suburban Republican with identify issues thrown in There are reason why many if the receint governor’s are Moderate Republicans.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Warren counting on her fingers was a nice touch. Ha ha except not.

      Tactically, not astute, since it calls attention to his age (and allows Warren to claim the laurel of youth).

      It would be quite un-Sanders-like to say: “I won in 1990, and completely remade the Vermont political establishment from rock-ribbed Republican to Democrat as an independent socialist.

      But Sanders won’t say that, I think, because he tends not to put the spotlight on himself. But it needs to get out there, perhaps through a surrogate, or perhaps through Fireside Chats from Sanders (as opposed to quite so many rallies). People don’t know the history.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        How many of Sanders’ current supporters themselves know this history? Perhaps the Sanders campaign should ( if it can spare the time and the energy) spread this information in the most detailed and info-dense way to each and every one of its supporters and members so that they can then individually spread this knowledge to a few persons per supporter.

        A million points of shine-a-light-on-it.

        Perhaps the same method should be used to spread detailed knowledge of all aspects of the ClintoWarren ratfux in this affair. Offer all several million Sanders supporters a chance to become amateur experts on Ratfuckology. They can then slowly surround the ClintoWarrenites and various eavesdroppers and over-shoulder-readers with a spreading stain of inconvenient truth.
        If any Sander-operatives are steady readers of NaCap, perhaps they could find a way to guide the Campaign to guiding all the millions of supporters to give all of their separate individual attentions to reading the relevant NaCap posts and threads.

  19. anon in so cal

    Michael Tracy:

    “With an assist from CNN, Warren just finished off her sleazy hit-job. Beyond disgusting”


    “That was an incredibly sleazy way of serving up that question to Sanders: “What did you think when Sanders said that…” Awful”

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      First, the idea is that #MedicareForAll is unaffordable. Then, every single one of them bolts on minor fixes that will increase costs, without the leverage over the markets that single payer provides! This includes the public option

      1. Skip Intro

        Klobuchar is suddenly not nervous when calling M4A a ‘pipedream’. That’s the talking point theme for the evening it seems…

  20. Chuck T

    disappointed Bernie didn’t push back harder on the lie Warren and the ‘moderators’ continue to spread. After the follow up BS to warren where they repeated the lie as though it were fact.

  21. Jason Boxman

    Is anyone else getting these annoying “Hello Fresh” commercials? Are people truly so hopeless, they can’t Google a recipe on the Internets? Or shop for groceries? And why do we have commercial breaks? Clearly presidential debates have limited import in our Republic.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I mean Wolf Blitzer is a moderator.

      In case anyone hasn’t seen this, but not only did Wolf finish in the red. He was given an opportunity to compete in Final Celebrity Jeopardy where he was wrong, but there were leaked photos from the practice round the celebrities get to do. Wolf finished in the red and got the practice final wrong too.

      There are dumb people and then there is Wolf Blitzer.

      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        agree, ordinarily I refuse to watch him

        remember the devastating hit he took from the female comedienne who did the last Obama Correspondents Dinner and offended everyone in the world?

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Oh right. Michelle Wolf?

          The assembled media was more upset about Wolf ragging on the Huckleberry daughter than outrage over the #metoo predators they praised until the s*%t stank too much.

  22. John

    America’s Great Divide: From Obama to Trump

    This is far more interesting. And shows exactly why Trump won.

    FRONTLINE begins its 2020 election year coverage with a two-part, four-hour documentary series investigating America’s increasingly bitter, divided and toxic politics.

    From veteran FRONTLINE filmmaker Michael Kirk and his team, America’s Great Divide: From Obama to Trump draws on revelatory new interviews with key political and cultural figures, as well as an unparalleled archive of in-depth broadcast reporting across two presidential administrations, to offer crucial context for the current moment.

  23. nippersmom

    So much for “de-escalating”,Liz. She really wants to alienate the Sanders supporters, doesn’t she? She (and the “moderator”) just both essentially called Sanders a liar.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      One way to unify the party is to expel the Sanders contingent. Warren seems to have thrown in with the faction that wants to do that. Amazing. First, “my friend Bernie.” Then, “unity.” Now this. Being a liberal means never having to show you’ve got consistency or principles, I suppose.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        Another way to unify the party is to expel the ClintoWarren contingent. I hope the Sanders contingent focuses on that as one of several quiet long range goals.

  24. John

    Here’s the only reason Klobuchar is still on the stage and in the race.

    To keep United HealthCare sucking our blood.

    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      There are plenty of sadists out there, and Office Space came out years ago. Wouldn’t It be a boon for Swingline if Klobuchar could raise enough money to run ads where she says something like, “I only trust swingline when an intern gets out of line.”

  25. Bill Carson

    That’s all folks!! The election is over. Lyin’ Liz refused to back down and CNN stacked the deck by asking a question that presumed the answer.

    Now Biden gets the nomination.

    And Trump wins the election.

    And we will have regime change in Iran.

    And the planet will warm.

    And people will die without healthcare.

    And people will die with student loan and parent loan debt.

    Period. End of story.

      1. albrt

        Depends on whether anyone is watching this debate besides the 15 people on this thread. I sure didn’t.

    1. Samuel Conner

      I have a similar intuition, that Warren could thoroughly alienate Sanders supporters from the D party, whoever the eventual nominee is, if not Sanders, and give the election to DJT,

      Sanders gets charged with splitting the party, but I think it’s projection.

      Perhaps it’s a plan.

      1. NotTimothyGeithner

        I doubt she has a plan. Its more likely she hired a bunch of Clinton hacks who fed her ego. Recent polling and recent shifts have led to panic. She needed to get back on track and picked this path. Now she’s doubling down because this is what she does when the truth is questionable.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        Some Sanders supporters will be alienated from the DemParty, as the ClintoWarrenites hope to cause.

        Hopefully a majority of Sanders supporters will view the DemParty as being worth conquering and taking over instead of abandoning to its current owners. Perhaps they could view themselves as beginning a Long March around the far reaches of the DemParty, followed by a Long Return and War Of Conquest . . . . step by step.

        A Long March through the Institutions of the Democratic Party. ” Leave no DLC/Third Way/ Hamilton Project/ Gladio Clintonite/ Obama left-behinder alive”.

    2. Big River Bandido

      I don’t think Sanders will be hurt by the spat with Warren. The corporate media is very unpopular and widely distrusted. The “when did you stop beating your wife” question was pretty transparent and is likely to backfire badly on the media.

      Sanders is not at his best but I haven’t seen anything in this clown show that makes me think the dynamic has changed.

    3. Old Jake

      I fear that Bernie getting the nomination, and even winning the election, will not prevent the last four events.

  26. JCC

    “Doesn’t Sanders owe the public a price tag on M4A?”

    I thought the Koch Brothers’ (sponsored) analysis already answered that!

    1. John

      Every time the MSM and the Republicans say the price they add a few trillion. And of course it’s always over 10 years so it sounds astronomical.

    2. Grant

      Do these silly hacks owe a price tag for the present system over any horizon they reference? Interesting argument isn’t it? You have car insurance and I want you to buy insurance from me. It is lower than you currently pay and it covers more. Your current insurer calls and will only reference the price I am offering, says, you will pay this much over ten years. Think how much money that is! You could buy a new car for that price. So, you ask for a cost comparison, cause how else could you compare the two? And the current insurer responds with how much you would pay over ten years again, big number. And refuses to allow for a qualitative comparison too. Brilliant.

  27. Jason Boxman

    Oh joy, someone turned on Biden. Lying about how to pay for it, which isn’t necessary anyway. Bernie just explained how it would be paid for.

    How exactly would you do it without M4A? That’s nonsense. Biden is such a hack.

    Klobuchar’s monolog is as bad as Biden going on about his dead son.

    And what’s this “medical inflation”? Who decides what that is for drug pricing, exactly?

  28. jaaaaayceeeee

    It’s got to be a sign of how well Bernie Sanders has been doing, that both Warren and CNN just call Bernie Sanders a misogynist liar, to his face, about something he would never say. I don’t remember seeing that done to liars like Trump in debates!

    It’s kind of like when Clinton got John Lewis to claim that he didn’t see Bernie in the civil rights era, but saw Hillary (the closest she came was crossing a picket line for a restaurant date with Bill, and appointing some black and brown neolib neocons, right?)

    Wow. There has to be some kind of strategy here, like that we need to talk about anything but the issues because Sanders is gaining ground by talking about the issues?

    1. DonCoyote

      Any Mayo Pete says to Klobuchar, “You call that scolding? Hold my beer.”

      And now an ad for InBev…

    2. John

      We don’t owe the rich a dime of that 23 trillion.
      It all went into their pockets. And we aren’t paying them twice.

    3. Big River Bandido

      This is why I just laugh at her and her mere presence in the race. She’s a manufactured candidate put forward by an AstroTurf coalition, and she’s just there to spout the corporate line in a Democrat dress, and hopefully siphon off a few more votes from reform. She’s a bottom feeder and will never rise above that. There’s no constituency for austerity among Democrat voters.

  29. mrsyk

    “The system doesn’t work if there are free riders” Mayo Pete defending the individual mandate (poor tax maybe?). Ugh.

    1. The Rev Kev

      If western economies offered a work-for-all-who-can program, there would be no “free riders”. See Yves’s article “Homeless Californians Adapt to Camp Sweeps and ‘The Caltrans Shuffle’” for an example of what western economies offer instead.

  30. JohnnyGL

    Mayo Pete:

    My ‘Medicare for all who want it’ plan will garnish your wages and stick you with some sort of public option if you are a big enough loser to have no other insurance.

    1. jrs

      Medicare for all who want it, but you better not want it! That might cost money afterall and pretty soon we’re spending like Sanders! It bet anything it’s gonna be a “Medicare” plan almost noone wants just to discourage people from it.

  31. Jason Boxman

    It’s funny that Pete thinks pay checks come monthly and weekly. Not to so many working class Americans. But then what would he know about that?

    It’s always fun when you’ve got a stage of people talking about how we can’t do big things.

    1. Grant

      We should thank them. They are announcing that they are utterly worthless, which most of them are. Our society is falling apart and anything with a remote chance of working is dismissed because they call for deep structural changes. Okay, single payer is a pipedream. Since the changes we need in response to the environmental crisis are far greater, what should we call those changes? Does Amy have a word for societal collapse?

    2. jrs

      Yes monthly and biweekly an OBVIOUS class tell.

      Not quite as bad as Klobuchars 100k family maybe but .. Look if K was from California or New York, I’d forgive it, 100k is the rent on a two bedroom in Cali, it’s above median income but it’s not tons of money, but she’s not, she’s a midwesterner and does not seem to have a clue what most people earn.

  32. John

    Klobuchar will gladly negotiate drug prices.

    She’s only there to protect the bloodsucking health insurance racket United HeathCare.

    1. polecat

      Well, she IS in the fine company of other Ambush (Assassin) Bugs afterall …

      Hope Sanders slathered on the Deet, beforehand .. seeing as it is the propensity of the others to scream “RAID!”er at first chance !

  33. none

    No thanks. If I want to watch six master debators on one stage, I’ll go to a porn site and search for circle jerks.

  34. Jason Boxman

    lol public trust is low in government, so therefore we should not use the power of government to improve lives.

    If we need to “make markets work”, maybe the market is broken, and we need to nationalize it.

    1. Big River Bandido

      Blitzer’s question was also bogus. Government contracting with companies for a product is not the same as government “manufacturing” it.

  35. DonCoyote

    If metformin was designed under a military contract, it would be waterproof (and hence indigestible), the bottles would be unopenable, and pills would cost 628.73 each.

  36. John

    Why are the drug prices so outrageous when they are making them in China and India and sending them here?

    1. John

      Senator Warren, “I’ll take your tax money and put all 2- and 3-year olds with a low paid worker all day long. On my first day in office.”

  37. fnx

    People don’t care about which corporate-sponsored health plan they have, they care about getting good healtcare for reasonable prices! M4A shoves corporate insurance out entirely (or at least I hope it does, kinda confused on that) and provides a way to continue seeing your doctor because they will be included. Such a nonsense argument.

  38. JohnnyGL

    It’s sort of amusing to watch Warren try to break out of her neoliberal way of thinking.

    She wants the government to manufacture pharmaceutical drugs because drugmakers need some competition. Huh? WTF?

    Baby-steps…I guess she’s trying. Hard to re-wire a neoliberal brain.

    1. jrs

      She wants private companies to bid on government contracts to manufacture pharmaceuticals. Pretty clear really. But it’s bidding to do R&D I assume? Well interesting I guess …

    1. Jason Boxman

      I’m on my last drink, well I have 2 bottles of wine. Oh, and Biden brings up dead family. Oddly as the bankruptcy bill demonstrates, he never did learn empathy.

    2. Fiery Hunt

      1 pint JD done…
      Had to turn it off at the “Senator Sanders, when did you stop beating your wife?” question.

      Or I’d be too hung over to work to pay California’s new mandated non-insured tax.


  39. Rod

    Those CNN question blocks are some diabolical wordsmithing–“what will happen to all the health care industry jobs eliminated w M4A”

    1. Big River Bandido

      Yeah that was a gotcha question. Sanders swatted it away beautifully. He got quieter, very matter of fact, and was well prepared.

  40. Bill Carson

    If we could give college credit to the tykes in daycare, then we’d kill two birds with one stone.

  41. Donna

    Lizzie, pandering. “Mamas and Daddys” Does she believe that all of us middle class expect future presidents to speak colloquially?

      1. Henry Moon Pie

        Who knew that Liz was not only part Cherokee but she’s also a relative of Andy and Opie? When will we see the picture of young Liz fishing with her cousins?

    1. Bill Carson

      +100 And we are supposed to accept as true the fact that it costs as much as in-state public college tuition. (But what about the fees?)

        1. William Miller

          This is his magic gift, yes — to make every little thing a personal anecdote, and somehow seem like he means it. Everyone else on that stage was at least exhibiting a little anxiety. Pete’s pulse was holding steady at 50 bpm.

            1. polecat

              Question: “You’ve just walkedback into the precinct lobby when you notice a black police ieutenant crawling up your agenda .. what would you do ?”

              Answer: “I’d fire it !”

  42. John

    Fill all those jobs Amy with all your United HealthCare employees who will be out of a job when we get M4All.

    1. John

      It could be worse.

      There could be 2 billionaires up there tonight.
      (or 3 if Mr Starbucks didn’t get cold feet)

    2. DonCoyote

      I think you put a question mark there:

      Mr. Steyer, as a billionaire, do you feel? Or do you pay a poor person to feel for you/

  43. JohnnyGL

    Klobouchar: we need plumbers and home health care workers, not MBAs.

    Hey Bernie, want to chime in and say you agree and that’s why your plan covers trade schools?

    Bernie’s doing well enough, but he’s not crushing it.

  44. Bill Carson

    I should have turned the stream off after the CNN/Warren vs. Sanders ambush.

    We’ve reached the theater of the absurd. Trump is going to cake walk these people.

    1. John

      Watch that Frontline I linked to above.

      Trump’s brutal. And they are going to be crushed.

      Maybe Sanders can do ok.
      Gabbard could have stood chin to chin but Clinton took care of her.

      1. ChiGal in Carolina

        me too, I’m recording it even though I can’t stand watching either of them, Trump cuz he’s gross and Obama cuz he betrayed us

            1. ambrit

              Oh now. Everyone knows that Lincoln was America’s first ‘real’ dictator. (We don’t count Jackson because he was “one of the people.”)
              Lincoln was trying to hold the country together. Trump et. al. are trying to hold the empire together. It’s just a matter of degree.

        1. inode_buddha

          Never mind Obama, what about Bill Clinton? He did just as much if not more to throw everyone else under the bus. I know the fix was in when I saw him enact the Conservative’s entire platform for them, and of course the GOP was quiet as a church mouse.

          1. jrs

            Obama gets it a bit too harsh. I know his flaws and railed against them at the time, but he wasn’t entirely without progressive leanings (yes even the ACA, and it’s not good legislation, yes even the stimulus, was somewhat). Sure he was also a drone king. And he’s not a leftist by any measure, if people voted for him believing he was they made a mistake. I didn’t vote for him either time, so I don’t have any emotional investment.

            Meanwhile Bill Clinton actually governed entirely as a Republican. Bill Clinton was Republican through and through.

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              What “progressive leanings” did he have? By these standards, Shrub was a uber progressive. Medicare Part D. The ocean efforts.

              He signed a bunch of executive orders late in his second term to cover up his legacy to have something to push back on.

              There is nothing progressive about a person who goes to Alan Simpson for advice.

            2. drumlin woodchuckles

              Obama immunized and impunified the black hat FIRE sector perpetrators. Obama immunized and impunified the Cheney-bush war criminals and criminals-against-humanity and international-treaty violators. Obama conspired with McConnell to make the Bush Tax Cuts permanent. They are the Obama Tax Cuts now. They are what Trump built out from.

              Obama was never a progressive. He was good a playing one on TV. Just as he was good at playing a black person on TV.

              Obama was an antigressive. Or maybe a countergressive. Or maybe a disgressive. Or whatever word conveys the meaning better than the weak phrase ” never a progressive”.

  45. JohnnyGL

    Twitter is frustrated that Biden’s getting another free ride.

    It speaks volumes about both the media and the current state of the democratic party that the presumed front-runner is an absolute car crash of a general election candidate and he’s not even being thoroughly vetted during the primary election process.

    This whole process has been bizarrely set up to let Biden coast because….seniority….nostalgia…restoration of the halcyon days of obama…

    It’s a maddening state of affairs for our democracy to be in.

    1. anon in so cal

      The inter-agency does not care that Biden is senile. He’s more manipulable senile, than compos mentis. (Of course, even the non-senile Biden was a dangerous war monger.)

    2. Matt

      The Democratic Party learned nothing from 2016. They’re repeating the rigging of their primaries only more openly and brazenly. They once again chose an unpopular, deeply flawed candidate. I knew they would do this, again, but I somehow convinced myself that Bernie would get a fighting chance.

      And while I’m at it, Bernie should have gotten angry at Warren. Taking the high road only works when you hold the high ground. When you’re boxed into a corner, come out swinging. Oh well; at least we still have beer.

      1. jrs

        Taking the high road is a tactic that assumes people are basically good and can recognize obviously nasty behavior when it’s on full display. It’s a tactic one might take with online bullying for instance. That the bullies show their own character. Well indeed they do, but not many people can see it in my experience and some just like siding with the bullies. So a winning tactic? Maybe not.

        1. Big River Bandido

          I suppose it depends on where you want to win. If you want to win in, say, Iowa, you take the high road. Iowa caucus history is littered with the roadkill of national candidates who went negative.

      2. Lambert Strether Post author

        > Bernie should have gotten angry at Warren. Taking the high road only works when you hold the high ground. When you’re boxed into a corner, come out swinging.

        On Bernie getting mad at Warren, I disagree. (1) Iowa nice doesn’t do anger; (2) the Beltway hates anger, so we’d get an enormous flood of useless stories about it; (3) it’s not really his persona. I know “angry Bernie” is a constantly repeated trope, but I don’t think it has ever really taken, for just that reason. (4) If Sanders can manage anger as an emotional tool, fine, but I’m not sure he can.

        As for the high road, we shall see.

    3. Samuel Conner

      Perhaps the point of a Biden candidacy is to allow HRC to not feel so bad about having lost to DJT?

      1. ambrit

        Or, the point of a Biden candidacy is to let HRH HRC have a second shot at Trump. (Brokered convention.)

        1. drumlin woodchuckles

          Well! . . . . as I’ve said before, if they actually make Clinton the nominee, I will vote for Trump.

          Maybe they could brokerise the convention for a Clinton/Warren ticket. Because birds of a feather flock together. And because America Needs Two Mommies.

    4. Shiloh1

      Biden is there for as a placeholder for Hillary in Milwaukee brokered convention smoke filled room. When the drip drip drip on his Ukraine and China dealings and his senility come to a certain level over the next several months Biden will then be deemed unelectable. The whole of Milwaukee will then feel the burn by the Bernie Bros. who got screwed again.

      1. inode_buddha

        We’re quite familiar with smoke-filled negotiating rooms, closed to the public, here in NY. That is the reason why there are such strong pockets of GOP voters in the western half of the state.

        If they somehow try to slide Hillary in again, Trump will make her look even worse this time around. If they somehow keep Biden, Trump will turn him into creamed baby food.

        The thought of debating Sanders causes Trump to go long on toilet paper. Ditto the Establishment in DC *and* in Manhattan.

      2. drumlin woodchuckles

        At that point, I hope all the Bitter Berners regard the DemParty as a castle to be besieged and conquered, rather than an impregnable fortress to be given-up-on and retreated from.

        Imagine the Rebel Armies of Sanders taking Castle Democrat and throwing all the Clintonites down from upon the High Parapets onto the rocks below. Is it not a beautiful vision?

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        It was. As soon as you give Biden The Biden Discount™, he does fine. He’s a little bit stream of consciousness, but it’s perfectly clear where he’s coming from. He also looks fit.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        If the convention nominates Biden, I hope he picks Warren for VP. They would make a beautiful couple. And a matched set.

        Trump would wipe his butt with them both.

        1. jrs

          Biden would never do that, she adds almost NOTHING to the ticket, his advisers CAN’T be that bad (or can they?), add her and win what MA, as if that was contested. In terms of electability: Buttigieg adds something though also some risks, Castro adds something (even though he’s stumping for Warren now, it’s not like he’d turn it down).

  46. chuck roast

    So, I got two ads from The Freedom From Religion Foundation.
    “Brought to you by Ron Reagan, life long atheist, not afraid to burn in hell.”

    Best news of the night.

    1. ChiGal in Carolina

      me too: separation of church and state as our founders intended

      first time seeing this ad, loving it!

  47. Plenue

    Ahahahahahahaha. Oh god, my brain. That total inversion of the ‘have you no decency’ line, which was originally about stopping a witch hunt.

  48. anon in so cal

    Massively NeoCon Warren also repeated the major NeoCon line:

    funds to Ukraine “to help Ukraine defend against Russia”

  49. Lambert Strether Post author

    Iowa nice:

  50. John

    My prediction about Trump in the coming debates.

    He’s will had nearly four years as top dog of the world doing what the hell ever he wanted to and he’s going to be a holy terror.

  51. Bill Carson

    So the coal magnate now wants to fight climate change?? Hey Steyer, how about a little remorse here?

  52. Bill Carson

    Steyer calls spending hundreds of millions of dollars on his own campaign “giving most of his money away during his lifetime.” Hmmmm…..

  53. The Historian

    My, my, my! Warren is going to be busy on her “first day”, isn’t she? Odd, I kind of remember Trump saying that “first day” stuff too!

    1. John

      On Trump’s first day he said he would give us great, wonderful healthcare for all. Cheaper than Obamacare. Better than Obamacare.

      Instead he gave us a war on protections for preexisting conditions.

    1. JohnnyGL

      Pete might have just crushed him on the BS terms…

      He said he was proud to have made South Bend a ‘race informed’ city.

      Wow! If only black america heard this message!

  54. Cpm

    Depressing group.
    Bernie looks flatfooted. Liz is stalking him, no doubt now.
    And she was effective in doing it.

    I hope not many are watching this.
    These Democrats are fakes. Bernie’s not a Democrat.
    But the fakes have the stage. Only Bernie & Steyer gets it on our health care “system”.
    Everyone else is talking compassion. F that.

    Liz is desperate. Funding must be a problem. But she still talks a good game.
    Maybe she’ll limp along. Bernie needs to drive a stake through her heart ASAP or she’ll drag him down.

    Biden got a free pass again Tonite. Klobuchar no way, same with the Mayo.

    Steyer stood out for me Tonite. Maybe we need an FDR type.
    If Bernie can’t shake Liz, he won’t get a chance to beat Trump.

    1. Big River Bandido

      I don’t think Warren was effective at all. She looked tense, nervous, rattled, and…phony. She did not “walk back” the Bernie smear, and that will not go unnoticed.

      She’s done.

      1. jrs

        But she is going for the transexual people of color vote. No disrespect to transexual people of color, but when your slicing and dicing id pol to tiny tiny percents of the population … it does not seem a winning strategy.

    2. FluffytheObeseCat

      Sanders was flat; not that he ever kills it in these monkey-flinging-poo shows. I’m still caucusing for him. He’s a good guy, and, oddly, I think he might do better head-to-head with Trump. He’ll never go into a match with Trump feeling backstabbed, cause, seriously, it’s usually front-stabbing with Trump.

      We won’t see it in any case. If Sanders beats the odds and wins the nomination Trump will absolutely refuse to debate him. After a grand, haughty Twitter proclamation about how it’s beneath him to debate a socialist. Gay. Run. Teed.

      Anyway. Team player Warren just lost #2 choice status on my caucus form. #2 will be the aggressively ghosted Mr. Yang.

      1. Cas

        To me, Sanders appeared hurt by Warren’s stab-in-the-back, thus the flat, subdued performance. No one commented on his saying how he wanted her to run in 2015 and held back entering the race until she refused to. Maybe he’s thinking he shouldn’t have held back then–with more lead time maybe he could have won 2016. Just really sad. I hope her attack doesn’t damage him, but this is the era of id politics and MeToo, so I’m afraid it will. Glad you’ll be caucussing for him. Good luck.

        1. meeps

          > #WomenforBernie massively trending on Twitter, over 500K

          Among the best news of the night! Merci beaucoup.

    3. Carla

      I attended a meet-and-greet for Steyer in Shaker Heights, Ohio last fall. He professed no interest in single-payer whatsoever, said he wants to “build on” Obamacare — just like his good friends Amy and Joe. So much for “taking on” the corporations…

      To be FDR, he’d need an Eleanor.

  55. Jason Boxman

    Wow, that’s terrifying. Apparently I have some setup on ActBlue where if I donate, it just happens by clicking OK. No credit card or anything.

    That’s okay, Sanders has another donation.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      It may be that you have an account with them, and this is a “convenience” provided by it. I never set up an account (which means I get mailings that assume I’ve never given anything, but fine). Consider going into your cookies and deleting any from ActBlue. Then you should get a log-in, and you can not log in but go ahead and contribute.

  56. John

    Klobuchar is so dry and boring. How can anyone be attracted to her.

    Other than she’s a bought and paid for ” ” for UnitedHealth Care I really can’t see how anyone is behind her.

  57. katiebird

    Thank you all for watching and reporting the debate. I really appreciate it. My nerves can hardly manage reading all this! I could never watch it.

    So, thank you very, very much.

    1. The Historian

      This was the first debate that I watched and I am sorry I wasted the two hours – I could have been doing something MUCH more productive, like watching a movie or playing video games or taking a nap.

      1. jrs

        the dangers of methane and how we need natural gas in a few sentence but no connection drawn between the two (hello natural gas is a huge source of methane). Is she evil, dumb, going for the really dumb vote or all of the above?

  58. DonCoyote

    Warren updates “Hope and Change” to “Hope and Courage”.

    Bernie further updates it to “F*** the Billionaires”.

  59. Big River Bandido

    Appeared to be a tense exchange between Warren and Sanders after the debate ended. Could not hear words or even read lips but the body language was not pleasant.

  60. William Miller

    Felt flat. Strangely left energy from Steyer (whom I did not know a thing about before tonight, despite being afflicted with the political disease) and that dangerous smarm factor from Pete. Sanders seems pissed. And rightly so. What a terrible farce — that round of questioning about his supposed comment. What a travesty of feminist principles. CNN was insufferable as usual. The talking heads right now might as well be Martians — well, Martians would be more objective and interesting.

  61. John

    I don’t really watch TV anymore so it’s a shock after these debates to see these same old people are still on TV yapping their mouths.
    Van Jones, Axelrod, Cuomo, Cooper. Good lord. Get some new faces.

  62. Lambert Strether Post author

    CNN post-debate commenters working really hard to cement Warren’s position — pointing out the CNN broke the “story.” It’s not “he said/she said,” it’s a reported story!

    Warren “hit it out of the park!” The issue is not whether Warren told the truth, but whether a woman can win.

    Apparently, no handshake between Warren and Sanders at the end.

    1. Plenue

      That’s the prearranged narrative. I’m convinced now that the CNN people were all given a memo beforehand with talking points. This time the story line is ‘boost Warren and emphasize girl power’. This is an utterly cynical display of weaponized identity politics. This is shocking.

      He outright denied it, and they just ignored it. Now they’re talking post-debate about sexism and ‘hurling grenades into Sanders camp’, all on the assumption that it was true.

      I think the reality is that everyone watching can clearly see how ludicrously contrived this is, that CNN refuses to engage with Sanders denial. The narrative isn’t landing. The audience was certainly aware of the absurdity as it happened in real-time.

      Warren freaking planned this with CNN, she had to have. I’m feeling great about that money I gave Sanders this morning.

        1. jrs

          “I’ve never been principled in getting what I want. Oh you probably thought that native American thing was an innocent falling for family tales did you? Bwahahah! No, I’d step over corpses if need be. But I’ll never go hungry again”

    2. Tom Doak

      Sanders went to shake Warren’s hand and she pulled the football back just like Lucy.

      And yes, it seems obvious in hindsight that the Warren attack was a CNN story two days before the CNN debate. She was slipping below 15% and if she doesn’t keep her head above that level, a lot of her 14% go to Bernie. So they need to wrestle some female votes from Bernie, or failing that, get those caucus goers to help out someone besides that mean old guy. It’s as calculated as can be.

    3. makedonamend

      I gottta be missing something.

      Elizabeth Warren declared her intention to run for the Presidency on Dec 28, 2018.

      1: When did the alleged statement by Sanders about women presidents take place?
      2: Haven’t Sanders and Warren debated several times in 2019 and shook hands afterwards?

      if 1 and 2 are in linear order, then

      Last night she suddenly doesn’t want to shake his hand presumably because of the statement.
      Did she just suddenly remember about the statement in the last few days?
      If so, she remembered just in time for the last debate before the Iowa caucus.

      I assume I’m not reading the events and situation correctly.

      1. jrs

        Well yes you are missing something. The not shaking hands would have been about the allegation of a Sanders phonebanker saying Warren couldn’t win because of not bringing in voters (the women thing is a separate allegation).

        1. makedonamend

          Upon reflection:

          How do we know the specificities of her reasons for not shaking his hand last night?

          It might have been about either allegation; there could be additional reasons; or there are reasons that are not related to either allegation. All are possible.

          The timing, however, appears significant and symbolic.

          [The handshake that didn’t take place is making the news in a Liberal UK media source, and was mentioned in an article by RTE]

  63. SlayTheSmaugs

    The two things I would like to see said the next time Medicare for all is challenged on cost

    Is first to say no one asks this question when we cut the taxes for the rich and the corporations and no one asked this question when we invaded Iraq and cut taxes for the rich and corporations at the same time

    Why is it the only time we ask this question is when we wanna use government money to do something other than give it to rich people and corporations or pay for war?

    Second thing is to get people to think about healthcare the way they think about roads

    When pitching Medicare for all to people I say when I go outside my house and get on the road that road is built and maintained plowed and fixed policed and painted and signed with my tax dollars

    What I want to take a very special road to get the fast way from point a to point B I’ll take the Special highway and pay tolls. Going to the doctor should be like that

    I pay my taxes and I go to the doctor

    I want something fancy like a nose job that isn’t about my health I pay for it just like the tolls

    And you know what let’s say my family’s taxes went up $10,000 a year to make this so

    They won’t my taxes might go up to thousand or something under the current plans or less

    Let’s just say my taxes went up 10,000

    Well right now my family pays between premiums deductibles and co-pays almost $20,000 a year. So I’d be saving $10,000 a year

    And everybody would be in the plan so when I have surgery I don’t have to find out in advance if the anesthesiologist is in my network, which I had to do the other day and which is insane.

    And everyone I’ve made that pitch to about healthcare being like roads, agrees totally. And by the way I know a lot of people who hate their healthcare plans I don’t know many who love them

    1. SlayTheSmaugs

      Sorry I was talking to text on a cell phone some typos in there and for some reason I didn’t get the edit option I hope it’s clear enough I’m off to bed.

  64. SlayTheSmaugs

    The two things I would like to see said the next time Medicare for all is challenged on cost

    Is first to say no one asks this question when we cut the taxes for the rich and the corporations and no one asked this question when we invaded Iraq and cut taxes for the rich and corporations at the same time

    Why is it the only time we ask this question is when we wanna use government money to do something other than give it to rich people and corporations or pay for war?

    Second thing is to get people to think about healthcare the way they think about roads

    When pitching Medicare for all to people I say when I go outside my house and get on the road that road is built and maintained plowed and fixed policed and painted and signed with my tax dollars

    What I want to take a very special road to get the fast way from point a to point B I’ll take the Special highway and pay tolls. Going to the doctor should be like that

    I pay my taxes and I go to the doctor

    I want something fancy like a nose job that isn’t about my health I pay for it just like the tolls

    And you know what let’s say my family’s taxes went up $10,000 a year to make this so

    They won’t my taxes might go up to thousand or something under the current plans or less

    Let’s just say my taxes went up 10,000

    Well right now my family pays between premiums deductibles and co-pays almost $20,000 a year. So I’d be saving $10,000 a year

    And everybody would be in the plan so when I have surgery I don’t have to find out in advance if the anesthesiologist is in my network, which I had to do the other day and which is insane.

    And everyone I’ve made that pitch to about healthcare being like roads, agrees totally. And by the way I know a lot of people who hate their healthcare plans I don’t know many who love them

    1. Detroit Dan

      I’ve yet to hear Klobuchar or Buttigieg explain why we can’t afford a system like Canada’s that is 50% cheaper than ours. What hacks!

    2. inode_buddha

      Yes, I’ve been saying this for years: I hope they double my medicare taxes and eliminate my premiums. Because I’ll save 10 grand a year that way. For me, the difference was bankruptcy.

  65. Bill Carson

    I suspect that Warren is getting support from the Obama wing of the DNC (as opposed to the Clinton wing). Lots of people on Twitter saying Warren won the debate. (eye roll)

  66. John

    Now the CNN yapping heads are trying to figure out what the exchange was after the debate between Warren and Sanders.

    Lord help us all.

    1. Daryl

      Reminds me of sports. They’ll get over it, probably, and it doesn’t really matter either way.

      CNN pushing this story provides me all the signal I need about it.

  67. Detroit Dan

    Stupid or Evil?

    Klobuchar & Buttigieg: “We cannot afford to cut health care expenditures by 50%.”

    Warren: “I won’t say whether or not Bernie said that a woman cannot win the presidency (a Rovian assertion that goes against everything Bernie’s ever said or done). But I disagree, a woman can win the presidency.”

    Biden: “I made a mistake in voting for the authorization for the Iraq war in 2003. But I won’t be fooled again!”

    1. John

      Cameo, the Senator from the frozen North thaws just enough to say “how do we pay for M4All?! We can’t!”

    2. jrs

      Even if not all a candidates plans will be enacted, and that’s decently likely as we still may have an R Senate etc., it doesn’t mean anyone wants to buy pre-shrunk, pre-compromised candidates like Klobuchar. One can be perfectly realistic re odds of a Senate flip etc., even almost fatalistic, and STILL not want whatever already watered down nothing she’s selling. Simply because we want a fighter to do whatever they can even if they encounter real limits. And yet she’s already saying she won’t do much.

      She would water-down water if she could.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      Maybe. If so, then Warren and Klobuchar, too.

      But remember the impeachment calendar is under McConnell’s control. So the Democrats have managed to put which candidates and which primaries to screw over in the hands of the Republicans. It’s STRATEGIC GENIUS! It’s CHECKERS NOT CHESS. And so on and so forth.

  68. Grant

    At the end of the debate, Bernie extended his hand to shake hands with Warren, she pulled back and refused. They had a tense exchange and then Bernie seemed to tell her off and walked away. My god does she look horrible. Was never big on her, but I didn’t expect this.

    1. Bill Carson

      We knew she wasn’t a real progressive when she refused to endorse Sanders in ’16. This is a repeat of that. She just killed the progressives chances in 2020.

        1. jrs

          And for what? If by some unlikely occurrence EW was the nominee (maybe by superdelegates), she would still need to win the general, and she just lost much of the left that could have done that for her (well many may hold their nose and vote anyway as Trump is still Trump and as horrible as ever, but not all), and she somewhat lost the centrists long ago. Gonna have no friends ANYWHERE pretty soon.

          1. Henry Moon Pie

            Her campaign was effectively done before she did this. The money was drying up. She has a politically ambitious daughter. Her campaign has a serious infestation of Clintonites. Putting all those things together, she’s going out as directed. And once out, she will continue to treat Bernie as the Clintonites direct.

      1. Samuel Conner

        Now that the mask is off, if EW continues to attack Sanders, I do think it will hurt party unity. EW may be seen as acting on behalf of the Party establishment, and maybe she is.

        Someone suggested she did this was to earn points with the Biden wing and get the VP slot.

        It will be interesting to see how, in the general election, the D top-of-ticket votes compare to the down-ballot totals. I will certainly contemplate a protest vote for a 3rd/4th party candidate if JB is the nominee.

        1. Grant

          What is her appeal at this point though as a VP candidate? Not saying it isn’t true, but Clinton played her too in similar ways. She didn’t run last time, so her means of undermining Bernie was her not endorsing him. She is in the race now, it takes different forms. Warren would have two appeals for Biden; she is a woman and she would (the theory is) bring in the left. She’s destroyed her chances with a good portion of the actual left. So, it would essentially be Joe Biden and largely the Clinton coalition in 2016. Harris never had a bridge to burn with the left, most people aren’t going to have a visceral reaction against her like they will now with Warren. There are female candidates that would be a greater net benefit to Biden, if he won. Biden, when our country has the issues we have. Amazing. If they did this and it helped Biden win, Bernie is then going to campaign for them?

          I realize that AOC, Omar and Tlaib will not likely say much in public about this, but I would appreciate them saying something behind the scenes in some way. I can’t imagine that they are happy with Warren’s conduct. If she did this to Bernie, and it was a factor in Biden getting the nomination, how could AOC, Omar and Tlaib campaign for them? Warren ultimately doesn’t want Bernie to win, if it isn’t her.

          Tonight it was him versus everyone on stage and the media. He wasn’t perfect, but I think he is doing an amazing job overall, and I don’t have to feel any shame in supporting him. I couldn’t bring myself to support any of the remaining candidates, even the billionaire that says this or that in a debate hosted by CNN. The moderators were horrible.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            > What is her appeal at this point though as a VP candidate?

            DC, it is said, is a lot like high school. Everybody knows who Sanders is, and everybody knows who (and what) Warren is. She’d been calling Sanders a friend (“I’m with Bernie”) for a solid year, and then stabbed him in the back to make sure she made the 15% threshold in the Iowa caucuses. Even for DC, that’s a little crass. Warren can sell her “Bernie is a sexist” line to disgruntled Clinton voters, but she cannot sell it to the small, powerful circle that know and work with them both, and have for years.

            Biden doesn’t want to have to watch his back all the time, or make sure every meeting with her is recorded. Warren will never be his, or anyone’s, Vice President. (She’d also try to be Biden’s Dick Cheney, running the show from the Naval Observatory. Who needs the aggravation?) Now, Warren may be under a different impression. But it will never happen (“Sorry, kid. Just couldn’t get it done.”)

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > At the end of the debate, Bernie extended his hand to shake hands with Warren, she pulled back and refused

      That’s how Bloomberg saw it. Here’s the video:

      I don’t think that’s exactly Iowa nice. I can’t imagine it will play well, but I’m not sure how the Sanders campaign can leverage it.

  69. shinola

    IMO, the most surprising of all the candidates is… Steyer! Trying to come across as a modern FDR perhaps?

    (228 comments showing as I type this, so I haven’t read them all; apologies if someone has already mentioned this)

    1. John

      Heard him on NPR awhile back. He was quite good.
      His looks are holding him back imo.
      A little strange looking.

          1. Big River Bandido

            You’d never have heard of a guy like Steyer if he didn’t have the coin to buy those bots in the first place.

            One billionaire on the presidential ballot is already one too many.

            1. shinola

              Really? How many bots are infecting NC and/or Counterpunch – the only sites I regularly read?

              I do however watch local & national TV news – can’t criticize the msm if you don’t know what they’re saying.

              1. Big River Bandido

                I don’t care what sites you read and I don’t believe any of that nonsense about bots actually influencing real people. You missed the point of my comment entirely. To spell it out:

                You only heard of Steyer at all because he’s a billionaire.

        1. Bill Carson

          Shinola’s comment wasn’t really written like a bot comment, but s/he did compare Steyer to FDR, which is the same comparison made by someone else in a previous comment, and that seemed like an odd coincidence. I really don’t understand why any Democrat would take Steyer’s candidacy seriously.

          1. Alternate Delegate

            FDR was a member of the upper class, e.g., the billionaires of his time. “A traitor to his class,” remember. That’s the point people are making, and which you are missing.

            I don’t see any evidence that Steyer is an FDR in the making. On the other hand, I had some faint hope in 2008 that Obama might be a new FDR, and he turned out to be a new Ronald Reagan instead. (Actually, I knew when he picked Biden for VP.)

            Maybe traitors are the best we can do.

            After the powers-that-be arrange for Sanders to meet with an accident…

            1. NotTimothyGeithner

              All things considered Biden was a step up from Obama’s short list of Bayh and Kaine. One, Biden didn’t cost a seat. Two, he can be stopped. It won’t be like Gore with Biden. Three, it removed Biden from real power as the chance of Biden stepping in for Obama was zero.

              We saw Sebelius during the Obamacare fiasco. Yeesh.

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        Nothing, in my case. I thought Steyer functioned well in the Big Leagues (except for that one weird transition to term limits). I didn’t find him more impressive than the average, but I didn’t find him less impressive either.

  70. Detroit Dan

    I’m with Bernie after this. Steyer was good, but not a serious candidate. Warren exposed (not serious as she jumps on board a Karl Rovian bit of nonsense about Bernie thinking a woman can’t win). Klobuchar and Buttigieg argue that we can’t afford a health care financing system such as Canada’s which is 50% less expensive (for universal coverage). That’s not logical! Biden was wrong about Iraq in 2003, but has been right about everything else including Ukraine? Complete nonsense in my opinion. He’s a hack.

    So it’s Bernie or Green party. We can’t make the world a better place without taking on the establishment, IMO. Bernie 2020!

    1. shinola

      “So it’s Bernie or Green party.” Same here.

      Notice how Bernie’s explanation of M4A costing a middle-middle class ($60k annual income) household @$1,200 per year in additional taxes vs. $12,000 per yr. in current health “care” costs was totally ignored?

      (Clutching pearls) “How can we afford this?” indeed.

    1. Detroit Dan

      “In a Dem admin”

      This was the first time I’ve freaked out about the Dem nominees. How stupid or evil do you have to be to argue that we can’t afford a health care system such as Canada’s, which costs half as much? Klobuchar and Buttigieg doubling down on this line of argument is disturbing.

      Warren’s take on Bernie not thinking a woman can win was disgusting. As if we should be attacking Bernie as a sexist pig. For me, Bernie is on the left side of the political spectrum. Perhaps he attacks the establishment too much. The alternative could be worse. But to argue that Bernie is anti-woman is just nonsense. We saw Karl Rove do the same thing time and again — making the most absurd arguments against Democrats. For Warren to be running on this is horrifying. I was considering voting for her in the Michigan primary, but that is now not an option. She has lost credibility by making misleading accusations about Bernie. Where is the integrity?

      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > We saw Karl Rove do the same thing time and again — making the most absurd arguments against Democrats.

        And Bush won two terms.

        > She has lost credibility by making misleading accusations about Bernie. Where is the integrity?

        The Obama administration’s decision to keep her at arm’s length looks better and better all the time. IIRC, the line was that she was too aggressive, but I wonder if there’s more to the story. (They won’t tell, of course, since that might help Sanders.)

        1. NotTimothyGeithner

          Yeah, but did Rove really matter? One of the local Dims I knew back in that Era knew it was all the anti-gay voters and that canvassing would never work. Despite the 2006 and 2008 wins, he never took up canvassing.

          I think Rove was just an excuse for Team Blue lovers. Rove was Russia for the “woke” cabke news brigade before they acquired a globe.

    2. NotTimothyGeithner

      As what? I mean the guy isn’t exactly railing against the problems his class caused. There are plenty of “nice and articulate” people. Look at the previous regime.

      I’m just trying to figure out what he would bring. The President can more or less hire anyone. The #nevertrumpers will jump if Trump called them and ask how high. So I don’t see what Steyer does besides invest in coal.

    1. Big River Bandido

      I really don’t think it’s that bad. In fact, I think Sanders will pull away in Iowa after this.

      He only needed to hold his own tonight, without displaying the kind of meanness that Iowans hate. He did that. No doubt he was bloodied. That’s not going to matter; everyone knew that was going to happen anyway; when you’re the front runner, you’re the target. He stayed on message, maintained his dignity and acted with grace, even in some tense and difficult moments.

      For Warren, those moments have already backfired spectacularly on Twitter and Act Blue. There’s a good chance the same could also happen among Iowa caucus-goers, who also have no love for CNN.

  71. Rod

    Tom Steyer appeared to be very attuned to the camera, and seemed intent to maintain good eye contact, reinforcing his sincerity and electability.
    Warren’s handshack juke on Bernie was something to see. And it looked like her mouth moved more than his. He,Tom and Amy apparently left the room.
    Weird vibe…

  72. bob


    Liz and Bernie’s previous friendship doesn’t count because she was a different race during that time”

  73. dcrane

    The intensity of the Warren-Sanders idpol flap, to me, reflects what I have worried is an underlying reality that not that many of Warren’s voters will unite with Bernie after Warren drops out. That many of them are financially comfortable Clinton supporters who will support one of the Biden, Buttigieg, or Bloombergs the rest of the way in the primary and either vote 3rd party or no-vote President rather than support the man who they believe unfairly got in the way of the first woman president in 2016.

    So the significance of this for Sanders is mainly that it distracts from his battle with Biden, and gives the likes of CNN something else to moan about.

    1. Yves Smith

      Sanders is after Biden voters. A lot of Warren voters are older professional women who want a female president. I don’t think their votes are terribly fungible.

      My limited sample is I know one older comfortably well off man who actually knows Warren and was backing her who has flipped to Sanders. I didn’t think he’d switch, so this is an interesting tell. May just be an outlier, though.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      > The intensity of the Warren-Sanders idpol flap

      It’s not an idpol flap. It’s a Shakespearean-level-of-betrayal flap.

      > Sanders is mainly that it distracts from his battle with Biden,

      Yep. Notice how Social Security never came up?

  74. Conchobar

    IMHO Bernie is fine if his strategy of bringing in more voters is sound.
    The wine-sipping feminists for Warren are the only ones who give a damn about her recent recall of Bernie’s “alleged” statement.
    She already has those voters, so this is mainly a (weak) attempt to distract from the Sanders surge and him turning his fire on Biden.
    But from anecdotal evidence, working class people who in 2016 were torn between Sanders and Trump (and ended up voting Trump in the general) are leaning Sanders this time. IF Sanders also brings in a lot of new voters, it’s game over.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > IMHO Bernie is fine if his strategy of bringing in more voters is sound.

      Exactly. We’ll have the first inklings of that soon. The one-day record $1.5 million (at least) that Sanders raised during the debate (40% of Act Blue transactions IIRC) should certainly fund the needful in Iowa.

  75. Observer

    Good comments. Bernie is the only one with the intelligence and experience to take on Trump. The rest of them are lightweights or phonies. A bunch of actors playing a role. Their resumes are so light they practically float in thin air. Where you have someone with a lengthy resume like Biden, imagining him trying to govern gives me vertigo. A master of doubletalk, bluster and baloney carrying enough historical baggage to sink a battleship. Trump will eat him alive. Unfortunately for Liz, her Indian shtick, which she used to gain professional advantage throughout her career, will be used by Trump to inflict great damage. Trump is a street fighter whose instinct is to punch below the belt whenever and wherever he has the opportunity. It worked in 2016. What’s to prevent it from working in 2020? If the Democrat fat cats really want to win the election they better not underestimate Trump, the master of the low blow. Of course, they may consider a Trump second term preferable to having a Democrat “wealth redistributor” in the office.

  76. John

    I am absolutely disgusted.

    FOX News would have done a much, much better job, probably with fewer Republican talking points posed as questions. Thirty minutes straight on foreign policy, and then a 25 minutes of questions on how we can’t pay for any type of progressive healthcare policy. No questions on why we spend twice as much per capita on healthcare compared to other first world countries or on the use(lessness) of the private medical insurance industry. They constantly went after Sanders and asked him (with the text on the screen) how he possibly wouldn’t bankrupt the country. I have never seen debate moderators go after a candidate like that. Not only that, the moderators would cut him off (once they wouldn’t let him finish his answer after their first request for him to finish, while every other candidate got a grace period; another time, he was clearly about to finish his answer, and right as he was concluding his sentence–and making a very good point–the stupid white female presenter with black hair cut him off so that you couldn’t hear him).

    I put the post-game coverage (because that’s basically what it is) on in the background afterwards and listened to an hour and forty-five minutes. The first time Sanders was mentioned–besides analyzing to death the spat with Warren and how it will help her (they didn’t even discuss him or his campaign during this analysis–was about five minutes before the end. He was mentioned in passing a couple of times during those final minutes. Once about “his campaign going negative,” and then one of the presenters said with disdain in her voice “he has this cult-like following.” I kid you not, they spent more time talking about Andrew Yang than they did Bernie Sanders. This is the FRONT-RUNNER in Iowa we are talking about.

    So mad I can barely type coherent sentences.

    1. Jonathan Holland Becnel

      Dont fret, Comrade.

      As we speak, Bernies hit 1.7mil$ from 100k donors yesterday.

      And Warrens getting crushed on Twitter rn. Im now familiar with what a snake emoji looks like :)

      #WomenforBernie n #NeverWarren are trending as well.

      Bernies getting tons of credit for offering his hand in friendship.

      1. Jen

        And holey crap is Warren getting ratioed on her post-debate tweet. Love this one:

        I cannot believe that you snubbed Bernie at the end of the debate like that live on TV. You have stabbed him in the back, your closest friend in the Senate, for political gain.

        I’ve defended you for a year, even donated to your campaign, but this is unacceptable. Ur #Canceled

      2. jrs

        Oh wow Twitter. This is the kind of thinking that is going to be “Bernie won Twitter I don’t know why he didn’t win the country”. It’s actually worse than “everyone I know voted for …”

        As Twitter is RADICALLY unrepresentative of the population!!! It doesn’t mean they might not run in parallel by coincidence sometimes but it’s no clue to anything. 1) it’s tiny in terms of social media 2) it attracts a certain type that aren’t at all the norm, political junkies etc. they don’t really represent the voting population.

        1. Big River Bandido

          A primary or caucus is not representative of the population, either. By definition, the people who participate in them are “political junkies”. That’s why turnout is so low, and why so many lousy establishment candidates manage to get through so often.

          Among that class, Twitter is a very significant method of dissemination.

    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Does anybody know of a chart that shows, by demographic categories like age, race, and gender, and especially income, where people get their information about politics?

      CNN is now essentially siloed like the New York Times, and so I’m interested what its reach really is. “Everything is Like Cable”™. True or false?

      1. ObjectiveFunction

        Does the ‘for pity’s sake, please find the remote and mute the nonstop talking heads in my business hotel gym/lobby/lounge’ demographic count?

        (High-cheekboned but Authentic and Serious, you can tell by the inquisitive tilt of her head, Woman of Color): So, would you say that Sanders [Trump] has admitted here he has stopped beating his grandmother?

        (Balding white pundit from New York with that world-weary know-it-all lilt that gets into your skull, often seated in front of a bookshelf prominently displaying his own books): Yes, Authentic Woman of Color, it would indeed seem that this admission gives weight to concerns that Sanders [Trump] regularly beats his grandmother.

        I have literally pretended to be a golf fan (I’d much rather watch paint dry) to get the staff to change over.

  77. cm

    I’m Shocked to see that reddit has ***no*** articles relating to the debate on their “top” feed, three plus hours after the event.

  78. sandy lawrence

    The Warren-CNN collaboration is backfiring ‘bigly’ @NYT coverage of the debate. Even NYT readers are disgusted with that coverage and lumps it together with CNN’s. NYT invariably does its best to stack the deck on comments by choosing ‘NYT Picks’ to support the column slant. Looks like they had none to choose from this time. Check out both NYT choice & Reader choice comments after the article. I’m smiling again.

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