Live Blog: Democrat Presidential Primary Debate #12 in Charleston, SC

By Lambert Strether of Corrente.

Time: 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (though some say “about 10:30”).

Place: Gaillard Center in Charleston, SC

Hosts: CBS News, and the Congressional Black Caucus Institute.

Moderators: Norah O’Donnell (CBS Evening News anchor and managing editor) and Gayle King (“CBS This Morning” co-host). They will be joined in questioning by Margaret Brennan (“Face the Nation” moderator and senior foreign affairs correspondent), Major Garrett (CBS chief Washington correspondent), and Bill Whitaker (“60 Minutes” correspondent). Oddly, nobody from the Congressional Black Caucus Institute.

Candidate line-up, left to right in podium order:

Mike Bloomberg (squillionaire, former Mayor, New York, NY)
Pete Buttigieg (former Mayor, South Bend, IN)
Elizabeth Warren (Senator from Massachusetts)
Bernie Sanders (Senator from Vermont)
Joe Biden (former Vice President)
Amy Klobuchar (Senator from Minnesota)
Tom Steyer (squillionaire investor)

Klobuchar’s gonna have to reach across four people to get at Buttigeig. Maybe she could throw something?

How to Watch (or Listen):

The debate will be streamed live on CBSN, CBS News’ free 24/7 streaming service, and appear in its entirety on BET, a subsidiary of ViacomCBS. Twitter is a debate partner, and voters can use the hashtag #DemDebate to submit questions that might be posed to the candidates.

Readers might have fun with #DemDebate, though it’s almost impossible for me to believe that the questions won’t be pre-selected.

Here is a shot of the horrid stage:

Tiny little figures, blaring lights, enormous glittering surfaces. Everything shiny, and yet insubstantial: No wood, stone, cloth, or even metal; the best we have in the way of metal is metallic coatings. File under Imperial Collapse Watch. This entire debate “ecosystem” needs to be burned to the ground, the ground should be salted, and the social function given back to the League of Women Voters, or the American Library Association, or some other legitimate institution.

There’s no point gaming out the debate, save to note that Bloomberg seems determined to take the lowest road possible, based on his meme-age this week, much of which is even cruder than the Clintonite material from which it is derived. The dude is a lot cruder than I thought he would be, though I suppose the depositions should have prepared me.

My impression this week was that Sanders — hard to believe, but hear me out — was trolling the centrists. He finally published one of those stupid “pay for” documents, he fired a staffer for ugly (albeit private) remarks (which he had warned he would do), he threw Cuba into play. I felt he was doing a pantry clear-out of centrist canned goods that had passed their sell-by date. Better clear the board of centrist talking points now, since he’s not expected to win South Carolina, and any damage can be repaired before California and Texas. In any case, Sanders has already introduced himself to the public; I’m extremely skeptical that Bloomberg, even with his squillions, can re-introduce him, even to “low information” voters. We shall see. I do expect this debate to be extremely ugly, far uglier than last time. Sanders had better be well-stocked with zingers.

* * *

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. Write for the reader who hasn’t seen the debate, and comes to this site in lieu of watching it on TV. There are no points at NC for knee-jerk, context-free one-liners (“Boo ____!” or “Yay!”) 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. That way, those who cannot watch the debate — or can’t stand to do so — can get a good idea of what really happened by reading what you write. This is what the NC commentariat is so very good at, after all. Last time, the times before that, and this time. Thank you!

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
This entry was posted in Politics on by .

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. Plenue

    Sanders was grilled in his recent 60 Minutes interview for saying nice things about aspects of Castro’s Cuba. I expect this will come up again tonight.

  2. chuckster

    Did Richard Simmons design that set? This may be one of those gay plots to make everyone over 5’5″look peaked in the glare. Thank God we have short Democrats running.

  3. Plenue

    “There’s no point gaming out the debate, save to note that Bloomberg seems determined to take the lowest road possible, based on his meme-age this week, much of which is even cruder than the Clintonite material from which it is derived. The dude is a lot cruder than I thought he would be, though I suppose the depositions should have prepared me.”

    The thing with memes is that they’re usually at least partially organic. Paying someone to manufacture them is at best pointless, and more likely to be actively counterproductive because people can see it coming from a mile away, and they hate it.

    1. jrs

      It’s the Trump playbook, Bloomerberg tweets are straight out disinformation. It makes him look horrible IMO, but hey maybe people like horrible.

      1. Chris Smith

        Gear Dog, sorry to disturb you but
        I feel that I should be heard cloud and lear
        We all need a big reduction in amount of tears
        And all the people that you made in your image
        See them fighting in the street
        ‘Cause they can’t make opinions meet about dog …

      2. Big River Bandido

        It’s word play off a joke that went around pop culture about 20 years ago:

        “Did you hear the one about the dyslexic agnostic insomniac? He laid awake at nights wondering whether or not there was a Dog.”

  4. Samuel Conner

    The venue looks like it could have been created in Lightwave, with the participants superposed from a green room.

    Listening to the blather at, I’m not looking forward to this.

    1. Samuel Conner

      And a highly apposite advert at the right:

      Top surgeon explains how to fully empty your bowels every morning.


      I’m enjoying this more than I thought I would.

        1. John Anthony La Pietra

          Somehow, I just didn’t expect to see Bloomberg going after fans of Larry the Cable Guy this way. . . .

        2. Carey

          ..or some definition of “it”

          Bloomberg, the moderators, and their paymasters all show deep contempt for the People; the same people they’ve steadily immiserated and dumbed-down
          for the last forty-plus years. Perhaps it’s time to sort that out.

    2. Amfortas the hippie

      and (paraphrasing):” as bernie rises, trump’s approval numbers rise…so thanks, bernie…”
      i’ve been just listening…getting fires in order and the greenhouse ready for the hard freeze…so i don’t know who said what.
      are those people the “moderators”?

  5. Plenue

    In addition to the hideous stage, this whole ‘epic music movie trailer’ presentation is beyond insipid. This is ‘news’ for children. This is embarrassing.

    1. Carey

      They don’t want anyone to be able to focus on content, or to focus at all.
      Notice how there are no visual focal points on any of these corporatist confabs?



      1. Lambert Strether Post author

        > no visual focal points

        Excellent point. I suppose the camera is meant to focus on the participants, but still…

        Putting the press in the positions of judges, as if this were America’s Best Candidates™ is especially vile.

  6. richard

    The commenters seem to agree that it’s knives out for Bernie tonight
    that’s the sense i got in the 90 seconds i could stomach

  7. Samuel Conner

    Headline unemployment is “great”

    (but U6 no so good: probably too deep for the typical viewer)

  8. Lee

    I watched and episode of The Vikings to get in the mood for this. So far it appears I was right to do so.

  9. Samuel Conner

    Wow! Warren explains Sanders’ success — his ideas popular

    But Warren a better president, Sanders can’t get the job done; Warren can.

    She sounds a little desperate.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      buttgig advocates for Boring, in lieu of blood pressure medicines.

      i can’t stand any of these folks besides bernie.
      and is it somehow an indicator of peak neoliberalism when a candidate literally begs for money from the debate stage?

      1. Tvc15

        Authentic is overused now, but Berne is the only person on the stage including the “moderators” that adjective describes. Everyone else makes my skin crawl and I can easily give numerous reasons why.

    1. Yves Smith

      He has to. How can he say he knows better than the intel state? Look how long it takes Aaron Mate to unpack the nonsense. You can’t do this in soundbites which is all he has.

    2. Fern

      Bernie has no choice because his supporters are fanatical Russiagate true believers . They’re heavily influenced by Robert Reich, et al. I have hundreds of them on my Facebook newsfeed — it’s impossible to reason with them.

      1. CarlH

        This has not been my experience at all. Everyone I know who is a Bernie voter never bought into Russia! Russia! Russia!

  10. sfp

    Buttigieg asked why Sanders would be supported by the Russians. He inveighs darkly about “chaos”. Possibly sensible response but for all the wrong reasons.

  11. Samuel Conner

    Mayor Pete — it would be chaotic to have a popular candidate on the D side facing DJT.

    Better someone anodyne [hint, hint]

      1. John Anthony La Pietra

        No, no, Starker, this is KAOS —
        we don’t run for President here . . .
        we run for dictator!

          1. John Anthony La Pietra

            So did I!

            (How many of us here would order a Cone of Silence right now if we could, to get us through the campaign season?)

            1. Samuel Conner

              There’s a viral meme lurking in this question.

              Someone should rework the debate video to show a Cone of Silence, triggered by the moderators, descending over Mayor Pete when he breaks in.

              Of course, the Cone won’t be effective.

  12. John Anthony La Pietra

    Example of a question that won’t get asked:

    Would you challenge your Republican opponent in the fall to debate you AND all other Presidential candidates who have qualified in enough states that they could win the election? Regardless of how many polls they have or haven’t been included in? Do voters deserve to hear about all of their choices before they vote?

  13. nippersmom

    Interesting that the Lancet thinks Sanders funding proposal will more than cover the cost of Medicare for All, but these experts on the pre-debate program assert as fact that he only covers half the cost.

    1. political economist

      Lancet and all other studies, none of which are funded by a true grass-roots organization, all underestimate the cost savings from M4A. The exception is the study led by Gerald Friedman working with Physicians for a National Health Plan ( but it is old. Friedman has a more recent estimate of $700b per year better than the Yale study but less than the plutocrats’ studies show which is what the plutocrat and the lackies rely on. PLOS study came out recently and showed even the biased studies show SP saves money.
      Yet, the basic fact on cost is that the US spends way more than any other country. So, the savings MUST BE at least $700b.

      1. Dwight

        It really makes me angry to hear Klobuchar and Buttigieg lie about this cost issue. They know Sanders is right. Really scummy behavior.

      2. political economist

        If this debate were run by knowledgeable people, the question on single payer would always be some form of this: “Why do you not support SP when it would save hundreds of thousands of lives, trillions of dollars (5 – 10 or more realistically) and assure that millions of families would not go bankrupt?”
        Part of the silliness of questions to Sanders on this is that costs are measured over a ten year period, which of course is absurd for assumptions about inflation and how much the cost curve would be bent downwards over time by SP are unknowable with respect to inflation or in any realistic sense with respect to health care except in comparison to what has happened in other countries and no study ever does this.

        1. Matthew

          Do you agree that health care is a human right? If not, why not? Do you think we can find a way to pay for a program that dozens of other countries have successfully implemented? If not, why not?

          I’m sure Bernie knows better than me, but if I were him I would take an opportunity to put that question to the other candidates if I could.

  14. Samuel Conner

    Steyer wants stronger unions?

    JB: Sanders’ gun control votes brought up.

    JB: Sanders not a progressive.

    “progressive is getting things done”

    for some definition of “things”

    1. Matthew

      I’ve been meaning for awhile to put together a list of all the “things” the Democrats have gotten done in the 38 years I’ve been alive. I would like to see if any proud Democrats could defend their party’s record.

      1. Big River Bandido

        Iraq War
        Bush Tax Cuts
        Trump judges

        Must stop here for now. There’s so much more the Democrats “got done”…but don’t you think this short list is quite enough damage for 3 decades?

  15. shinola

    Buttgag’s 1st comment brings up Russia! Russia! Rooskies would love to see chaos caused by Trump vs. sanders.

    Pee Wee Pete indeed.

  16. Big River Bandido

    I’ve only watched about 4 minutes of this godawfulness, and I notice that Buttigieg seems to be really rudely interrupting all the time.

    The best thing about this debate is that Buttigieg won’t survive to another one.

  17. Samuel Conner

    JB: cites the results of the latest poll, run by lying dog-faced phony pollsters

    JB: “entire career wrapped up with civil rights and civil liberties”

    of banks?

    1. Matthew

      “I’ve spent my entire career making sure that your civil rights don’t mean anything because you spend your whole life sinking into a tar pit of debt.”

  18. flora

    1st question to Sanders: The economy is good. Why would your’s be better.

    Sanders: most of the wealth has gone to the 1%. My plan would spread the wealth to everyone.

    hizzoner: you can’t win and your Putin’s candidate.

    Warren: Sanders has good ideas but he can’t get it done. I can get it done. I’m smart.

    Butte: chaos, chaos.

  19. Big River Bandido

    Bloomberg again just attempted to claim that he reduced stop and frisk by 95% which is a complete lie.

    1. Samuel Conner

      after he realized it was a problem.

      I have read that the realization was imposed on him by a court order


      Klobuchar: “make sure that we increase the minimum wage”.

      Why not just “increase the minimum wage”. The additional verbiage feels a bit slippery to me.

  20. nippersmom

    Bloomberg lying about stop and frisk yet again. “It got out of hand. When we realized that we cut it back by 95%”.

  21. Samuel Conner

    Mayor Mike: “over 100 black elected officials endorsed me ..”

    are those the friends he purchased (following Matt Taibbi’s foretelling of a DJT meme) for about $4 million each?

    1. Expat2Uruguay

      Mayor Mike: “over 100 black elected officials endorsed me ..”

      I’m pretty sure that’s not the way he put it exactly, if he had said that it would be less offensive then what he actually said: *I have* over 100 black elected officials… I’m sure because I was so astonished that I listened to it a few times. Believe me, that kind of word selection matters.

  22. flora

    Sanders: ideas
    Warren: Sanders ideas, but I’d do it better.
    hizzoner: Sanders is a Russian agent.
    Butte: cliche, cliche, cliche
    klobe: rhetoric, name drop, cliche, rhetroic, name drop a 3rd way SC pol.

    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Butte: cliche, cliche, cliche

      Getting really tired of Buttigieg’s rhetorical tactic of antithesis, where each side is a cliché:

      Gentlemen, I as leader will use power like a drum and leadership like a violin. Gentlemen, to make life whole, it’s as easy as a bridge! Now that we have obtained control, we must pull together as one – like a twin! All for one! And all for one!

    1. John Anthony La Pietra

      Somebody with a clicker counting lies?

      Or maybe how many times Bloomberg has used a canned line he contracted for on a part-time basis?

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      he just pulled a Rudy(911)Gulianni
      and “I have the resources”

      i don’t think i can do this any more.
      I’ll catch the highlights manana.
      be thinkin’ of y’all more hard core people
      it’s 4-20 somewhere.

      1. Bill Carson

        Bloomberg isn’t doing better than last week, but Sanders is the main target this week instead of him.

  23. allan

    Warren gives an excellent summary of why Bloomberg would be a terrible candidate.

    Bloomberg’s response: a noun, a verb and 9/11.

  24. Samuel Conner

    Bloomberg: evokes 9/11. Really. Rudy redux?

    Warren: I was a special ed teacher. Lost my job because I was pregnant.

    Ouch: “Bloomberg: Kill it!”

    release the NDAs!

    1. Samuel Conner

      Suggested nuance: may they both live, badly wounded, long enough to hold other Super Tuesday candidates below the cutoff, while not reaching it themselves.

  25. flora

    hizzoner: 9-11, 9-11, 9-11. The Rudy Guilania campaign redux.

    Warren: False preg discrimination when teacher story, yet again.

  26. Hamford

    So Rudy Giuliani was still mayor for four months after 9/11, but Bloomberg says he was standing in the smoldering ashes of the World Trade Center, where his journey to President started.

  27. sfp

    Warren is absolutely shredding Bloomberg right now. She’s confident, he’s visibly wilting under her barrage of accusations.

  28. nippersmom

    Warren very good on why Bloomberg is most dangerous. Brings up his history bankrolling Republicans and says Democratic voters will not trust him.

    Bloomberg refers to these concerns as a “sideshow”.

    1. Expat2uruguay

      I agree, Very good. Her line was that Bloomberg is the riskiest candidate on this day age in terms of losing to Donald Trump because “the core of the democratic party will never trust him”, regardless of how much money he can spend.

    2. Expat2Uruguay

      Wow I like the way that Elizabeth Warren rips into Bloomberg in this part, I don’t think you can apply this to a future debate against Donald Trump. Donald Trump has much more skills than Bloomberg who looks… handicapped, differentially abled, or to be more clear less able, To deflect. There’s no way that Warren would be able to take down Donald Trump in the way that she’s able to attack Bloomberg. They are two very different expressions of patriarchy and oligarchy. Trump is in your face, and Bloomberg is Clueless.. It’s great that she can dismantle Bloomberg, but it does not, by any stretch of the imagination, mean that she can handle Trump. CBS -25.00

  29. Samuel Conner

    MB: “Probably wrong to make the jokes” “can’t remember them”

    Of course he can’t.

    No more NDAs. That’s something, if true.

    stop hectoring me, fer Chrissakes

    1. Samuel Conner

      MB: “I’m sorry if they thought they heard what they thought they heard”

      love those conditional apologies

      Has MB actually released all the NDA signatories?

    2. Jackson

      There are stories that have circulating in NYC since the early 1990’s that MB was using NDA’s for both females and males.

  30. Samuel Conner

    Sanders on M4A costs.

    The thing that cannot be said is “cost containment”.

    US practitioners are overcompensated by international standards.

    1. Glen

      Ask him about the $29T the Fed had pumped into Wall St since 2008, and that does not include the $14T bailout.

      1. Samuel Conner

        They probably are, but they aren’t lifelong student debt slaves, and the high pay, justified by the high tuition debt, doesn’t decline after the debts are paid off.

        There’s a lot to be said for tuition-free public university medical training.

        1. Vikas Saini

          Amen to that. The amount of grift in healthcare among “providers” ( which M4A will not touch) is jaw dropping.

          1. Lambert Strether Post author

            Need to rip out the complexity of the multi-payer system to get a handle on that. All the bills now cross the same (figurative) desk, so we can get a handle on them.

    2. John Zelnicker

      @Samuel Conner
      February 25, 2020 at 8:27 pm

      You’re right about over-compensated doctors. However, I’ve talked to a few and they would be happy with lower reimbursements if they didn’t have to employ numerous people to handle the crap job of filing claims with dozens of insurance companies, and all the attendant follow-up.

    3. Keith Adams

      I am wondering when that issue comes up in the debate. I know nurses ( dating one) and they do not seem to like the idea of wage reduction or Medicaid rates. I imagine doctors would be more hostile.

      1. Samuel Conner

        Given that doctors who don’t specialize in “treating the elite” see a pretty wide cross-section of the population, and they can form some sense (of uncertain reliability) of the prosperity of their patients just by interacting with them, they surely must notice that many of their patients are not seeking care timely, and the reasons for this cannot go completely unnoticed.

        And the medical outcomes of delayed care are often worse than would have happened with timely care, and most physicians are distressed by this.

        I think it quite possible that, like in every other hierarchy, there is within the hierarchy of occupations an enrichment in the trait “sociopathy” among highly compensated medical professionals, but…

        the great majority of medical professionals have normal human endowments of empathy, compassion and public-spiritedness. They are not utility-maximizing rational automata.

        I suspect that this is one of the reasons why the profession is warming to M4A.

        After future implementation of M4A + free tuition public medical education…

        there won’t be a compelling or even an arguably persuasive reason to pay US physicians so much more, as a ratio to median national wage, than is paid to practitioners in other advanced economies.

        We will get costs under control, for this simple reason that this is a case in which “TINA” really is true.

  31. Samuel Conner

    Klobuchar: incremental

    “more [nearly] affordable”

    “take better [not good, just better] long term care of people”


    Damn, they need to be able to mute the mics of those breaking in

    1. Expat2uruguay

      I feel it does make the one person who’s supposed to the six other guys on stage look good. But maybe this is just my priors. There’s six of them and they’ve got to be rude to each other in order to respond to the one guy on the other team. The other candidates look like amateur hour going up against the one guy who standing up for the Common Man [person]

        1. Samuel Conner

          Maybe when a candidate (which one would that be) is elaborating on a point that TPTB would rather not be explained to the public, it would be useful to interrupt that by some means.

          Is it conceivable that Mayor Pete was advised to do this to Sanders?

          Or perhaps its more subtle than that, he simply groks the intentions of the MSM.

  32. allan

    Moderators are pushing bogus M4A cost figures and non-Bernie candidates are running with them.
    The word “premiums” has not been uttered.

  33. nippersmom

    These moderators have no control over this “debate”. People talking over each and interrupting each other, and they don’t do a damn thing about it.

    1. Keith Adams

      That is a plus for Bernie no one can attack. The more the moderators fail the more the races` status quo will remain.

  34. Samuel Conner

    Three choices:

    long-time republican

    self-described democratic socialist

    or the others, who are Democrat Republicans

    1. cm

      long-time republican


      From Trump’s wiki entry: Trump’s political party affiliation has changed numerous times. He registered as a Republican in Manhattan in 1987, switched to the Reform Party in 1999, the Democratic Party in 2001, and back to the Republican Party in 2009

      Or are you being subtle and referencing Bloomberg? From Bloomberg’s wiki:
      Bloomberg was a lifelong Democrat until 2001, when he switched to the Republican Party before running for Mayor. He switched to an independent in 2007, and registered again as a Democrat in October 2018. In 2004, he endorsed the re-election of George W. Bush and spoke at the 2004 Republican National Convention.

      For the wealthy, its almost as if they think there’s no difference between Republicans and Democrats!

      1. hamstak

        There is a possible difference at any given point in time, which is that one or the other appears to offer the better opportunity to further one’s grift. When it’s even, they go independent.

  35. Bill Carson

    So many Democratic dipsh[family blog]ts on this stage telling the American people “YES WE CAN’T”

  36. John

    Yes we LOVE our for-profit health insurance. Just don’t get sick on it.

    Thank you Amy for making sure we have to stay on it forever
    and not all get Medicare for All.

    1. flora

      Yale univ. study.

      “The author of a landmark health care study by Yale University researchers says Bernie’s financing plan fully pays for his Medicare for All initiative.

      “The options laid out by Sen. Sanders last night will more than cover” the cost of Medicare for All, said Yale University’s Alison Galvani, one of the nation’s leading experts on health care financing, and the co-author of a comprehensive report published in The Lancet analyzing the prospect of single-payer health care in the United States. ”

  37. nippersmom

    Buttigieg, if Congress is in the hands of Democrats like you, it might as well be in the hands of Republicans.

    1. jrs

      If the Senate goes blue it will probably be due to the election of some moderates because they are winning purple/red states (states presently held by Republicans). I want the Senate to go blue but it’s not all going to be progressives probably.

      Deep blue states can and should primary challenge with progressives (yea Kamala Harris I’m looking at you, she needs to be primaried), but those aren’t the states that can flip the Senate.

      1. Big River Bandido

        those aren’t the states that can flip the Senate.

        The Senate will not flip this fall. I half expect Democrats to even lose their House majority — which will be no loss since they don’t stand for anything anyway. Short of a large purge of MILO candidates in the Democrat Congressional ranks, they have nowhere to run and they have no positioning on issues with the most salience to voters. If Sanders is the nominee and a few insurgents (Cisneros, for example) also prevail in their primaries, there will be an opening to elect more Democrats to the House, and a few might even be decent.

        But the Senate? Not a chance. The Democrats screwed the pooch with impeachment. And there will likely not be any new Democrat Senate challengers worth voting for. Look at the hairballs that system manages to cough up (Amy Klobuchar, for example), and you’ll see why I have zero faith in House and Senate Democrats.

  38. flora

    It’s a Sanders / hizzoner show. The rest are attacking both, trying to figure out where their best chances are.

  39. Samuel Conner

    PB being cute about the cost of M4A (the cost is 4 more years of DJT)

    Sanders’ point, of course, is that every other advanced nation does health care better and at lower cost than US

    Biden: “Hear’s the deal’

    what will I do : “look what I have done”

    private prisons?

    Biden doing his sun-downing thing again. Stream of consciousness.

    Sanders can’t get things done

    Biden: barker in chief

  40. sfp

    Biden going on a stem-winder about his “good friend Fritz Holland”, talking about “men getting hogtied in person”.

  41. Samuel Conner

    Listening to this argument, I’m wondering if my eyes are going to start filling with blood.

    Klobuchar: I’m the best on 15 metrics (she can get things done in R-dominated Senates_

    not sure I like the idea of that.

    1. Big River Bandido

      It’s horrible to watch all these pieces of human excrement on the same stage as Sen. Sanders.

  42. Samuel Conner

    MB: boasting about purchasing congress-critters

    He almost says “I bought them”; caught himself at the “b”

  43. chuckster

    Freudian slip from Bloomberg:

    “Those new 41 members of the House of Representatives, I bought them.”

    1. Expat2uruguay

      I’ve got to say, as a highly cynical voter who has spent almost my entire life voting Democrat, the guy who tells me that he has paid for the asshats who support Trump derangement syndrome in the house , that guy is not going to get my vote. I don’t understand why anyone would vote for him, except maybe family members. CBS -44 min

      1. jrs

        He also bought some of those voting with Trump, remember this guy supported Republicans. I can hold my nose for many things if I want, or not, but #NeverRepublican. Bloomberg = Republican.

      2. Keith Adams

        You should the WaPo comments section. They love him and think being a billionaire makes him more qualified.

  44. Jokerstein

    I see a LOT of circular firing, with everyone apart from BS showing real anger at EVERYONE else. This is getting ugly, but BS seems to be benefiting nicely.

    The issue of cost for universal HC was supposed to damage him, but it doesn’t seem to be working.

    I wonder in JB is going to lose it completely. AK seems really angry too.

    Audience seems to have been hand-picked to be anti-BS.

    1. Tvc15

      Yes, produced down to the audience. If they didn’t control the audience selection, I’d take the over if the bet was 60% would be for Sanders

      1. Big River Bandido

        The paid-for Bloomberg contingent is just too phony. The whooping at all the wrong lines, the robotic nature of it…it’s so…plastic. I’m hoping it backfires.

    2. dk

      Turns out that the tickets were pricey, not likely to be a Bernie-friendly crowd:

      That’s because tickets aren’t readily available. The Charleston County Democratic Party website says “The only guaranteed way to get a ticket is to become a sponsor of the debate.”

      Sponsorship ranges from $1,750 to $3,200 each for attendance to multiple “First in the South” events.

      1. jrs

        Besides why sponsor a $hit$how. If you have that much money to blow, donate the legal max to Sanders and be done with it.

    3. Jason Boxman

      I don’t know, feels like Sanders is getting hosed. But may that’s just because I expect that to finally happen.

    4. Lambert Strether Post author

      > Audience seems to have been hand-picked to be anti-BS.

      A local venue said that the tickets were very expensive. A DNC spokesperson is denying it. I need to run that down.

  45. Bill Carson

    Bloomberg obviously has the room packed with people who are booing other candidates. It is blatant.

    1. Hamford

      It is odd, indeed. Are they booing Bloomberg or booing the other candidates negative sentiment about Bloomberg? Bernie parlayed it… he paused and said “see they don’t like [billionaires taking over] either”.

      1. Bill Carson

        Booing Warren when addressing Bloomberg, booing Sanders when answering Bloomberg. They are definitely in Bloomberg’s corner.

  46. Chris

    Let us read from the Bible of Political Revelations, in the Book of Eternal Primaries, Chapter 2020:

    And the beast in the cable box brayed his noisome call, begging me to come and see. I found my way through the paywall and ED advertising, and I saw. Suddenly there was a sound in the distance that did not come from a pop-up ad I hadn’t blocked, as if 1000s of rice bowls were on the verge of cracking, and a million memes were holding their breath, waiting to be borne as virally shared content that obscured context. The beast pointed and then I saw a field of plastic strewn in ugly, mocking, patterns. I shivered to think of the consultants’ fees paid to design such monstrosities.

    Upon the awful field there were garish lights and stands that stood for nothing. All who were there spoke in whispers about an orange painted dragon, who would kill anyone that hadn’t already sold their soul. For the dragon was a communist nazi socialist fascist capitalist idiot genius Russo-Hitler-Mussolini and when he left his gilded white swamp cave all the norms in the land wilted and all the gate keepers wept. But the soulless cried out in 60 second bursts of magnificently American Americanness against the orange dragon and all who heard them on Twitter clapped with joy. Such was the power of their non-arguments and generic platitiudes that the networks declared them all prophets and worshipped at the altars of their donors.

    I saw too an old man who was left to look for truth with a lantern in the light of day. He was not sure if he could lead enough of the others to it. Because what truth he had couldn’t be bought with an ivy league degree and it would never find a sufficient alpha or yield more than 2 and 20. And all who were paid to lose nodded sagely at the old man and said to their chosen demographics, “It’s a pity that all the elections he’s winning prove that he’s not electable.”

    P.S. Apologies for the biblical diversion but if we have too many more of these debates I’m going to start praying for a rapture. I hear that don’t get those channels in heaven… My thanks to everyone who is braving the debate coverage tonight! I really enjoy reading all of your comments and learning which bits are worth watching the next day. I’m off to paint and do things that make me feel good. Maybe I’ll write an elevator pitch for the Klob and Buttigieg hateful buddy road trip comedy movie of my dreams :)

    Be well!

  47. Samuel Conner

    Sanders on electability

    Dang! Bring up Bloomberg’s 2016 remark that Bernie would have beat DJT

    Warren slapping down MB “progressive agendas are popular.

    Me thinks that PB (after Nevada) and EW (tonight) are kind of saying the same thing: “what Bernie is doing, but without Bernie”

    1. Samuel Conner

      They’re trying to ride Sanders’ coat-tails to the top of the ticket!

      A clever trick, if you can pull it off!

  48. Carey

    Bloomberg says Senator Sanders can’t attract moderate Republicans.. sounds good to me!

    Warren: Obama’s “Hope over Fear” trope, yet again. I’ll go with Sanders, then.

  49. Dwight

    Bloomberg Freudian slip: “I bought . . . funded . . .” when he was bragging about spending $100 million to turn House Democratic in 2018. Whoops.

  50. Darius

    Hi I’m Mike Bloomberg. You’re seeing this ad during this debate because I’m an oligarch and I have the loot to blow on a nationwide ad buy.

  51. ACF

    It’s amazing how many times Bernie gets “name checked” and not allowed to respond.
    It’s amazing how aggressive Buttigieg is being, talking over everybody
    It’s amazing to watch Warren talk about getting things done when she thinks it takes plans, not political power; political power comes from a mass movement, and she doesn’t have one
    That said, I think Warren does the best job of explaining why Bloomberg is the worst candidate
    It’s been amazing how there’s been essentially no moderation

    1. Expat2Uruguay

      @CBS-47:ish I find it amazing to watch Elizabeth Warren talking about her diagnosis of the problem and you can see Bernie Sanders nodding his head. He’s got the answers, but he’s smart enough to let her be the other critic Of the way things are. Beautiful.

    2. Expat2Uruguay

      Okay, here we are at the first commercial break and I’m going to admit that I have not watched presidential debate in a long time. I’m going to also admit that I’m feeling a little bit spicy tonight, as they have very excellent wine here in Uruguay. Anyway, to get to the point. There’s a bunch of clowns on the stage and then there’s Warren and Bernie in competition

    1. sfp

      Biden grandstands about gun control, talks about “carnage on the streets”. Still no mention of police brutality.

    1. Bill Carson

      Yes it is awful. And the phrasing of the questions assumes negative things. “Why have you given gun manufacturers a pass?”

    2. Aumua

      I think this could also backfire though. I mean who’s mind is going to be changed by anything said in this absolute farce? Even people lukewarm on Sanders have got to have some sympathy for the guy. The whole thing is so obviously a set up just to beat up on him.

  52. Bill Carson

    Warren just breaks in a starts speaking. Pete keeps trying it, too, but he’s not assertive enough.

    1. Expat2Uruguay

      Yeah that shows up on my CBS new news feed at – 55 minutes. It looks to me like Warren is able to take advantage of a blow back on normal sexism. Usually, a woman who’s trying to interrupt is completely ignored. But given the meaty #metoo movement and the requirements to Virtue signal about women in this race, Warren can interrupt with impunity. It’s very clever of her to realize that.

    1. Darius

      Nobody even knows what that is, except educated professionals. Typical Warren. Appeal to educated liberals. The five percent.

      1. jrs

        Yea well most people don’t necessarily understand that Medicare for all is not existing Medicare. They really don’t. Maybe people should read a newspaper now and then, or a book.

        I don’t think we are actually going to get decent change out of a completely ignorant electorate if that’s what is assumed. We’ll get inchoate rage, but that as likely elects a Trump as anything. The working class used to know things, if it doesn’t now it needs to again.

  53. nippersmom

    Again the selective memory which forgets that Obama had both houses of Congress his first two years in office.

    1. Dwight

      Yes, and now we know he spent $100 million in 2018 to elect conservative Democrats to Congress that are being trotted out as opposing Medicare for All.

  54. Big River Bandido

    My stream cut out right after Sanders was asked about his NRA votes. His opening line “well, you know, Joe has voted for some terrible trade agreements…” was sooo weak. Hope the rest of his answer is an improvement.

    1. Bill Carson

      It wasn’t. He said he cast a “bad vote.” The crowd booed him, and he looked like a deer in the headlights.

      1. Expat2Uruguay

        Odd, I really liked his response. I appreciate people who can admit that they do not cast a perfect vote in every situation. I appreciate people who can admit mistakes, mistakes are how we learn. It’s just part of my life philosophy and I like knowing that Senator Sanders has a similar philosophy about owning one’s mistakes. Although he did not explicitly apologize for mistakes, instead he talked about what he would do as president, exactly as he should have. I thought it was a effective and excellent response to a difficult question.

      2. jrs

        The truth would be: well look numbskulls I actually had to get elected, and not in Massachusetts, but in Vermont, in days when it wasn’t that liberal as it is now … running as a social democrat …

  55. Samuel Conner

    JB: I’m the only one who can get anything done.

    Only 10 rounds in assault weapons magazines. Takes longer to reload.

    JB: 150 million killed in US by gun violence.” did I mishear that?

    EW: do away with the filibuster

    Sanders: currently D- rating from NRA. (JB bringing up a 30 yr old vote)

    MB: boasting about a 6 million person organization. Whoa! that sounds like it was expensive

  56. Tangled up in Texas

    Very poor moderation. The moderators keep interrupting without cause and not allowing the full time allotted in which to respond.

    Bernie is allowed to respond to some allegations yet not given opportunity to respond to some of the more damning statements. How is this even a debate??? It’s more like a pile on and a shouting match.

    I sure hope there is a thorough fact check after this debate…lots of bull$h#t being flung about tonight. And there is just way too much shouting over each other to make this debate viewable.

    Boo CBS! Your moderators are ill equipped lightweight sensationalists!

    I am gonna have to read about this later…I just can’t watch this any longer.

    1. Jackson

      I gave up after 4 minutes when I recognized that the moderators were more than biased and it would turn into a clusterfu*ck. I am listening to my i-tunes and monitoring the debate @ Naked Capitalism..

  57. Samuel Conner

    JB and Klobuchar arguing about gun regulation loopholes

    AK: I’m the only one who can win in red districts.

    So put me at the head of the ticket!

    1. Expat2Uruguay

      I thought she looked like a real poser in that moment. Paraphrasing: “I’m going to talk about this one thing like it is the most important thing in the world, and I’m not going to link it to anything else. Instead, she segways to: (paraphrasing) the thing you should really know is that I’ve been able to win a Statewide election. Since the state is one of the small handful of places in the country that have an unfair advantage in the Electoral College, I deserve the nomination.” (But we all know that she is polling at near-zero Nationwide in this election, so yeah, what a poser)

      Yeah, No.

    1. Big River Bandido

      I didn’t see that…to me Biden looks overcharged. A lot of that “why why why hey man calm down!” tone.

  58. Aumua

    I just tuned into like 3 minutes, and there NO WAY I can watch this LOL. It’s unbelievable. Like, surreal.

      1. John Anthony La Pietra

        The 1% and their representatives on stage may deserve Trump — but the 99%, in the US and the rest of America and the world, deserve better people in positions of power and leadership than Trump and them put together.

        1. Aumua

          Ok, Let’s just say if America doesn’t see through this, then we are a nation of fools, and if we have a fool and a buffoon for a president then that befits us.

      2. Matthew

        I’ve been saying this since before he won and it’s only become more true. He’s the logical endpoint of a country that is run by its stupidest and worst people.

    1. Jason Boxman

      Vodka, but I didn’t buy enough.

      It started with everyone agreeing that Sanders is the Russian candidate, and actually got worse.

  59. Darius

    And now that sniveling twerp Pete going on about the filibuster. Liberals and centrists love debating about process.

        1. John Anthony La Pietra

          And a passable (as human, anyway) Presidential candidate would be a good test environment. After all, how many months has Pete Bottigieg been Turing around the country by now?

  60. Samuel Conner

    PB: hitting Sanders for not rejecting the filibuster

    PB: “from the perspective of a veteran”

    (I’m waiting to hear how many times he went outside the wire)

    A nice word from Sanders to MB re: his organization (and the organization gave Sanders a favorable rating)

    Steyer: money owns Congress. Term limits of 12 years in both houses (gee — that was Newt Gingrich’s idea back around 1994! Of course, that part of the Contract with America was not implemented)

    1. Samuel Conner

      I think that people are straining to appear intense and energetic; they all, other than Sanders, need a big boost before Saturday.

      MB: got (or was it bought) the R state legislature to approve gay marriage.

  61. Samuel Conner

    AK: creative incentives for good housing

    Is she an advocate of “nudge theory”

    urban/rural coalition to pass affordable housing

    I confess that I’m having trouble following the logic.

    EW: slams (I think) MB on red-lining

    Where is that mute button?

  62. Big River Bandido

    Just pulled the plug on this sorry excuse for a debate. I already know who I’m voting for, nothing any of these clowns could change that and can’t stand the constant insults to my intelligence from all these liars, all but one of whom should be wearing orange.

    I’ll follow y’alls comments before turning in.

    1. Philonius

      I really am starting to wonder why anyone of these candidates want to subject themselves to this. But the free TV exposure must be worth it.

      1. John Anthony La Pietra

        And if you don’t show up, you’re fair game for the attacks of others . . . one could almost say a square chad in an oval hole. . . .

  63. Bill Carson

    According to Twitter, the DNC charged a minimum of $1,750 for tickets to this debate, and so we get a room full of bourgeoisie.

      1. jrs

        Maybe Bloomy buys you a free ticket if you are on board the Bloomy train. He’s everyone’s sugar daddy as long as you put out (with applause and boos ahem, I mean).

    1. John Anthony La Pietra

      Minimum, you say? So even more for the front few rows where you get a choice of a Gallagher-guaranteed waterproof tarp or a set of matching collection bottles for catching the spittle from your personal favorite(s). . . .

    2. John Anthony La Pietra

      Hey — I just realized . . . this explains that strange noise Amfortas heard early on.

      It wasn’t a click, after all — more of a . . . claque.

      1. Amfortas the hippie

        sounded like one of those WW2 era metal clickers for signalling from the weeds after the jump.
        when i realised i was more focused on that, i gave up on this “debate”
        cbs fumbled…and a price selected bourgeois audience?

  64. DonCoyote

    Moderators should be able to turn off microphones, then deliver electric shocks

    I don’t have enough alcohol for this

    1. Oh

      Reminds me of the James Bond movie where electric shocks are administered in the game when one of the two players makes a mistake!
      Methinks the shocks should be delivered to the moderators too when they don’t moderate the debate (like all the time).
      Tiny Mike and ButtJudge need extra shocks up their a$$es every so often.

    1. flora

      Yeah, that’s why Biden and hizzoner both on record wanting to cut SS and Medicare, when nearly 1 in 2 African Americans live close to terrible poverty and rely on SS for their entire income.

  65. Samuel Conner

    JB: talking about the past — but I have to say that I have no confidence that anything he is saying actually happened.

    JB: tax credit for first mortgages. The lenders will love that — they can raise rates since the ability to pay will be higher!

    Steyer: structural racial inequalities. Talking about starting a bank to correct injustices in financial industry

    Steyer: advocates reparations for slavery. Bold!

    Will Chris Matthews charge him with “buying votes”?

    1. Samuel Conner

      re: JB’s proposal for a large tax credit for first-time mortgagees:

      Is he still working for the banks, even now?

      This doesn’t help home-buyers near as much as it helps
      sellers, and lenders, who will benefit from the price increases
      it facilitates.

      Am I reading that right?

  66. Jason Boxman

    Wow, an entire 8,000 units. Whole units? That’s pretty generous of you.

    He could have just written everyone a 10K check honestly. How silly.

    And if Steyer really believes in reparations, he can get started on that today.

  67. marcyincny

    I’m not watching but came by to see what’s being said about plans to handle Covid-19 in the US. NOTHING??

    1. Jason Boxman

      Zero so far. Not even a mention. Latest from CDC is we’re all (most?) gonna get it. Really going to be a fun year.

    2. DonCoyote

      Atlantic said most people gonna get it, but pretend it won’t be that bad. Even if the 2% mortality rate is right, that’s more deaths than the Spanish flu.

        1. John Anthony La Pietra

          Let’s see . . . Wikipedia says of the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, “In the U.S., about 28% of the population of 105 million became infected, and 500,000 to 675,000 died (0.48 to 0.64 percent of the population).”

          Now, the US has (figuring roughly) 3x as many people now as then. If we estimate the “most of us” ratio of infection at 56% (safely but narrowly over 50%), that would
          mean 1.12% of the population dying — just double the midpoint of the fatality range given at Wikimedia per the quote above. That yields an estimate of 3.5 million death in the US alone:

          3 x 105,000,000 x 56% x 2% = 3,528,000

        2. DonCoyote

          Well, let’s say 4 billion in the world catch it. 2% mortality rate is 80 million dead. Spanish flu was 40 to 50 million (although possibly much higher). So more deaths, unless you are in the “much higher” Spanish flu camp; then they might be closer to equivalent. Spanish flu almost certainly had a higher mortality rate, given the size of the world population then.

            1. Felix_47

              The coronavirus seems to hit older people harder. If the death rate for younger people is lower the 2% number might be a lot higher for older people and much lower for younger people. I have not seen much on the age of those dying except for the mention that they were old and had other illnesses, which all old people have.

    3. nippersmom

      Why would they want to ask a question about that when they can keep harping on how Medicare for All will be financed?

    4. Basil Pesto

      well, the earliest any of these people can do something about it is January next year, and who knows what the state of play will be then? It’s really a question for the current administration.

    5. Shoeless

      The irony will be dripping if the virus begins to seep into the U.S.. Will they blame Trump for not securing the borders?

    1. Alternate Delegate

      But not universal. That’s the point.

      Which is why identity politics has to get out of the way before you can deliver economic value to the 99% – or rather, the 100%.

      1. jrs

        yea most of the benefits proposed aren’t actually universal in reality though, just in theory and never the two shall meet. M4A is the exception, Yangs UBI to a degree. Really those are the only two truly universal proposals that get much traction.

        1. Alternate Delegate

          And universal lifelong education. Building on existing public schools, community colleges, and public universities.

  68. chuckster

    Someone please text the Sanders campaign and tell Bernie to put his arm down and shut up unless attacked. The more these people talk, the better he looks.

    1. Aumua

      I agree. The best thing he could do right now would be to relax, smile and say hey, you guys just go ahead and talk. I’m just going to chill right here. And if he is called on to speak then respond with his usual spiel.

      For some reason I thought CBS might be better than MSNBC… no idea why I thought that now.

    1. Samuel Conner

      I’m listening without watching; it seems a bit easier to bear.

      (Nixon v Kennedy comes to mind)

  69. chuck roast

    Let’s talk about Cuba. Because if any of these clowns around Bernie get to be prez I’m heading down to the Keys and hopping a boat to Mariel.

  70. Samuel Conner

    Klob: doesn’t like concrete universal benefits because some undeserving children of rich parents would benefit.

  71. drumlin woodchuckles

    Its too late for this debate, but . . . if there is another one with Sanders and Bloomberg in it, and if Bloomberg again accuses Sanders of being a Russian agent . . . wouldn’t it be funny if Sanders asked Bloomberg if Bloomberg really believes that? And if Bloomberg says yes, then Sanders can ask Bloomberg if Bloomberg has called the FBI with his concerns. And if Bloomberg says he hasn’t, Sanders could ask why not, if Bloomberg really believes it. Because isn’t that what we do if we are concerned about someone being a foreign agent ? . . . call the FBI?

    And if Bloomberg starts getting confused enough to get really corner-able, then Bernie could whip out a cell phone and offer to suspend the debate so that Bloomberg can ” call the FBI, right now”. I bet Bloomberg’s reaction to that would be funny.

    1. OpenThePodBayDoorsHAL

      America badly needs something – SOMETHING – to arrest the Red Scare II B.S.

      Steyer sounded like he wanted to start bombing Russia because meddling…and then the audience whooped it up in reply.

      Think I’ll go take a powder

  72. Carey

    These corporatist moderators are execrable. Deliberately creating a food fight.

    CBS: “Mr. Bloomberg, you’re a Billionaire, so we bow and defer to you..”

  73. Samuel Conner

    MB: handling the question about local versus national regulation quite well.

    Maybe this will win the election for him!

    Please attack the President, rather than me!!

  74. Jokerstein

    Bloomberg seems just completely clueless. He has said nothing that I have heard of substance, but the rent-a-crowd people love him anyway.

  75. Jason Boxman

    Gotta wonder if the life expectancy increase in NYC is because poorer New Yorkers were forced to move.

    1. cripes

      Jason Boxman

      My immediate thought when I heard that malarky
      About as meaningful as the crimes stats after “downgrading”

      I am a born New Yorker and economic refugee.

    2. Yves Smith

      Yes, that did occur to me. Rents up big time during his time in office.

      But in fairness, he taxed the hell out of cigarettes and smoking dropped meaningfully.

      1. Samuel Conner

        That isn’t as way out as it sounds, from the perspective of the viewing public.

        IIRC there was someone named Jon Edwards (different person and first name than the disgraced politician) who, 20+ years ago, was “consulting spirits” on national television.

  76. Gumbo

    Bloomberg’s joke writer is bad:

    ‘Since I won the last debate…’

    ‘All cities aren’t like NYC otherwise we’d have a naked cowboy in each…’

  77. Samuel Conner

    JB: “DARPA: special operations … thing”

    they definitely need national investment into Alzheimers

    1. Janie

      Thank you all for suffering on behalf of those not able to endure the – what word do i want – maybe, debacle. Truly though, many thanks to you all.

  78. Joshua Ellinger

    I actually decided to watch it rather than read the notes.

    Out of the gate, it is out of control and there are just too many people on the stage. It doesn’t even seem to be that overly focused on Sanders. So far, what has stood out to me:

    1. Control of the House / Senate if Sanders is top-of-the-ticket. Seems like a good attack and a good response. No clarity.
    2. Medicare for All — cost stuff is a mess. I find Sander’s obviously correct but his answer doesn’t overwhelm the noise. Is that normal? Bets me.

    After the break, it settled down a little. Found the Filibuster / gun violence conversation new. Didn’t really see the point. Forgot the rest. Then, boom, looks like Liz is going to take out Bloomberg and clear the way for Sanders to win. Then it just wanders around around.

    I think I’ll give it another try once we’re down to four.

    1. Jason Boxman

      Yeah, it’s just frustrating mostly and wandering. Initially a pile onto Sanders. But now it’s wandering around. Warren trying to take down Bloomberg was entertaining and hopefully successful.

      LOL — that was funny. Biden says he wrote the bill and it’s a commercial break, so shut up.

    2. Samuel Conner

      Sanders got heavily attacked on M4A funding at the start (perhaps good to have got that out of the way early), but there’s not much else to go after for him, except for not liking the term he uses to describe his political philosophy

  79. Samuel Conner

    MB: expunge the records of those caught up before (an awful lot of those in NYC)

    MB: sounds rational about decriminalization

  80. DonCoyote

    Anti M4A *and* Public Option commercial “32 trillion in new taxes”.

    Get commercials out of debates.

    1. Philonius

      Is that on the regular network broadcast? I am watching the CBS news stream and there are no commercials on the break.

    1. Jason Boxman

      I have the live stream, with just an empty stage. Who paid for that ad? Americans for health care future or Americans for health care choice or some such nonsense? (Made those up, but plausible.)

        1. Jason Boxman

          At least it’s honestly named. They did form a partnership about that, just without including the American citizens as partners in our own health care.

          Beware commercials bearing ideas.

  81. Wukchumni

    Joe tries to muscle in on marijuana, “I wrote the bill to set up drug courts” and then gets shut down as if he isn’t worthy, and a tv commercial is more important.

  82. Carey

    Sanders good on the corporatists and MJ just now.

    Poor Biden: “I wrote the bill..”

    Bloomberg: “I own you; I own all of you.”

  83. Hamford

    Blessed are those without commercial breaks: Concerned mother explains worryingly how Medicare for All will increase taxes by $32 Trillion over the next ten years before she reaches down to hug her young daughter. (No mention of change to premium or deductibles)

    “Partnership for America’s Health Care Future” – Clearly a group concerned about Americans

    1. Jason Boxman

      I wonder if people actually deficit-fear like I feel about the virus pandemic. That, at least, however clueless, I can appreciate, even if it’s based on a lack of understanding of national accounting.

      1. Jeff N

        Re: covid; yeah, seriously.. 90% of my company will probably (temporarily?) get laid off if our sales drop a crazy amt like 50%.
        Telecommuting option won’t be there if the layoffs come.

    2. DonCoyote

      “Partnership” probably Iike the Blue Brothers partnership:

      “We like both kinds here : Big Insurance and Big Pharma”

      Had to here this nonsense again at the next break.

  84. The Rev Kev

    Could only watch a minute of this debate before I shut it down, mostly because of Mayor Pete talking irrelevant bs. However, I did come across an explanation about the audience and their enthusiastic response to Hizzonner. The Charleston County Democratic Party website says “The only guaranteed way to get a ticket is to become a sponsor of the debate.” so how many of those people in the audience are “sponsors” or people paid to be “sponsors?”-

    1. Hamford

      Boom, thanks! I was wondering what the mechanism was (Sanders gets very little applause). The pulleys and levers as Buttigieg would call it.

  85. Samuel Conner

    MB: what we learned from 9/11

    no — what we learned was that we shouldn’t be arming jihadist proxies as agents of great-power policy

    actually, we didn’t learn that, but we should have.

  86. Bill Carson

    Can we please ask for an asterisk or air quotes whenever someone refers to Mayor Pete as a “veteran.”

    1. Hamford

      Good Lord, It’s almost like Donna Brazille revealed all these softball questions to Klobuchar before the debate. Why does Klobuchar keep getting a series of softballs?

      1. Tvc15

        Like who’s the president of Mexico. I can’t believe this Klobuchar for president is still a thing. Can we kill it already?

        1. Samuel Conner

          Difficulty remembering names is a pretty well-known side-effect of ageing and is not evidence of ignorance or cognitive decline.

          What AK should have said IMO was something like

          “It’s true that I don’t remember people’s names as well as I used to. It’s called middle age and it’s perfectly normal. You can look forward to it too, some day, Pete!”

          It’s not as potent a putdown as “you are no Jack Kennedy!”, but I suspect that it might have elicited at least a faint blush on young Mayor Pete’s cheeks.

        1. Expat2uruguay

          OMG, that reminds me so much of Survivor. I’m a big Survivor fan and, according to editing Theory, you can tell who is going to be voted off the island next by noticing what insignificant player is getting a lot of airtime to tell their story. It’s all about building drama. Wow, of course the US Democratic primary is just like Survivor, only I wish they had immunity challenges!

    1. Samuel Conner

      That is getting wearisome. Does anyone know whether PB actually had to wear armor much? I thought he had a desk job. Forensic accounting, or something like that?

      1. Hamford

        This was how the Onion described it:

        “Seven months in Afghanistan serving in the Anecdote Corps For Future Presidential Candidates”

      2. Plenue

        He was a chauffeur for superiors on Bagram Air Base, and occasionally left the base for supply convoys where nothing happened. So he did actually wear armor and carry a weapon at times.

        1. Jeff N

          There is a 3rd way guy running here for dem nomination for states atty of the county, and his mailers have pics of him decked out in his Navy uniform… Then you see in small print that he was a “navy intelligence officer”.. Probably the same BS as ratface.

      1. skippy

        Or scratches, dirt, including the strap, looks like it came right out of the crate.

        Same goes for Hollywood holding it ….

  87. Bill Carson

    It’s almost as though the 1-minute, 15-second answer time is artificially too short to allow a full answer to any question.

  88. DonCoyote

    The US keeps it’s word? (Until Trump) Spit out my drink on that one. Pete broke the Whopper-meter.

  89. anon

    This debate is a complete sh*t show. Horrible moderators who can’t control the stage and allow candidates to go over time. An audience that is obviously made up of the DNC elite. They are constantly cheering on the establishment’s favorite candidates, Bloomberg and Biden, while booing Sanders. Pete is annoying as heck and is desperate to take down Sanders. Make a donation to Bernie tonight. So sorry he has to participate in this.

    1. Expat2Uruguay

      Make a donation. I think that is an excellent suggestion. Even though I was there last week, I’m going back to put some more money in the collection dish!

  90. Bill Carson

    Raise your hand if you think there is a connection between Pompeo’s announcement of the peace agreement with the Taliban and the Covid-19 virus. Getting our troops out of the pandemic zone?

  91. Jason Boxman

    What. The. F*.

    That’s insane. Ebola was too deadly to ever significantly impact the US. Here’s Biden claiming credit for something he had no part in whatsoever.

    And people will probably buy it.

  92. Samuel Conner

    JB: I helped to save millions of lives by preventing Ebola.

    Lots of opportunity for fact checking here; am looking forward to that

    I think that there are some valid criticisms of DJT public health policy

    1. Philonius

      I thought so too. Quick math from Wikipedia shows maybe 20K in Africa died from Ebola. Over multiple outbreaks.

    1. Samuel Conner

      The thought occurs that PB may never have faced an IED (perhaps was never even worried about that?). Body armor doesn’t “keep you safe”, only “safe-er

      An awful lot of soldiers came home with mangled limbs that weren’t “kept safe” by their torso armor. And the brain injuries… there is no protection from the shock wave of a nearby explosion.

  93. Carey

    WTF is Biden talking about with the Corona Virus and “going into their country”?

    Now he’s really off the deep end.

  94. John

    Rick Wilson, a longtime Republican consultant and a Trump critic, said he has heard that Bloomberg is ready to spend as much as $10 billion to make sure Trump does not get a second term.

    What does he know about Trump that we don’t know?

  95. Samuel Conner

    JB: I did more than anyone else here in terms of international affairs.

    And he did a lot for the banks, too.

    LOL: “A no-fly zone, that you can’t fly through our zone”

    I am enjoying this. Does that make me a bad person?

  96. Jason Boxman

    That’s truly odd, to hear Biden go on about this. To actually say “concentration camps”, but voted to authorize the Iraq War. Gotta wonder if this guy actually believes anything he says.

    It’s hilarious that Warren likes to attack Bloomberg though. What’s that about? Does she really just hate him?

    1. Big River Bandido

      Bloomberg is exactly the perfect foil for Warren…he’s just another version of the banksters she hauled before her committee to harangue and embarrass.

      Warren probably would have performed better if she’d had Mike Bloomberg to kick around all these last 6 months.

    2. Stephen The Tech Critic

      Also: Warren’s only hypothetical path to victory at this point is via super-delegates or a contested convention, and Bloomberg is essentially buying that opportunity out from under her. She has to destroy him to have a chance.

  97. Alex morfesis

    Biden cut off twice at 55 seconds and Bernie cut off at 50 seconds…hilarious counting to 75 seconds…

  98. jax

    I like Warren’s agenda, but her political instincts suck. From Corvid-19 to Chinese tech to Bloomberg should release his taxes. Way to bring a budding discussion about world affairs down to dissing Bloomberg who probably purchased one third of that audience’s seats. Sigh.

  99. Dwight

    Bernie should talk about his vote against normalizing trade relations with China. Would have been good response on loss of jobs in South Carolina, and on the foreign policy question about Xi being a dictator. Simplistic but effective.

    Buttigieg is insufferable. I hope he is done as a politician.

    1. Amfortas the hippie

      i don’t watch news, generally, so i don’t think i’ve heard buttgig actually speak but maybe twice.
      after 10 minutes of this “debate”, i never want to hear him again.
      comes across to me like one of the rich kids i went to school with, who were reared on their (non-existent)exceptionalism and brightness and reaching for the stars…and were whipped for telling fart jokes to their little brothers.
      almost zuckerberg fake, at times.
      trained too long with the AI in the basement, and shouldn’t be allowed to wander loose like this.
      ima gonna text my bernie people to suggest adding outlawing focus groups to the platform.

  100. Grant

    The Democratic Party should feel ashamed of itself for having these people as the major candidates, other than Bernie. All of our massive societal issues, and these worthless nothings are the best you got? It should doubly be ashamed for have debates this bad. It is supposed to be the more progressive party (I know) and yet none of the moderators in any of the debates are on the left or ask questions framed as someone on the left would frame the questions. It is just horrific. If Bernie doesn’t get it, I am not bothering to vote for their nominee. No point. Not in a swing state anyway.

    1. Jason Boxman

      True enough. I’m voting for Bernie regardless of what happens. I had the distinct privilege of voting for him in the MA primary today.

      Listening to Amy talk about “bold progressive ideas” when she supports none is truly bizarre.

      Bernie’s reply is great though.

    2. nippersmom

      If Sanders isn’t the Democratic nominee, I will vote Green as I have the last two presidential elections. None of these other clowns deserves a vote.

      1. drumlin woodchuckles

        If Sanders does not get the DemNom, and if the SanderBackers then go out on their own initiative and get Sanders’s name legally-votably onto the ballot in your state; would you vote for the Sanders line in that event?

  101. Samuel Conner

    JB: BO said nothing good about Cuban government, … and BO did acknowledge that they increased life expectancy

    So JB thinks that BO thought increased life expectancy was a bad thing that the Cuban government did?


    PB: mustn’t have a true progressive at the top of the ticket

    don’t you love how he emphasizes “critical”?

    Sanders: challenging PB on specifics, PB talking over him

    where is that damned mute button!

    AK: Sanders is alienating the electorate!

    Sanders: I have the highest favorability of anyone here

    (so true!)

    Sanders: lays out point by point the political revolution

  102. anon

    Jesus. The crowd is hired by Bloomberg and the DNC. How much did he pay them or pay for their seat at the debate? They are booing Sanders and Warren and cheering Bloomberg. Never seen anything like it. This debate should have been open to the public. I’m livid over Pete constantly interrupting Bernie. Get him out of the race.

  103. Carey

    Buttigieg does this little dip-to-the-hip when he dissembles. Check it out.

    Horrible, horrible moderators, and lots of sponsored content™ for the Corporatists.

      1. WobblyTelomeres

        Watching CBS running a split screen everytime Bernie is speaking just to show Buttigieg rattling on suggests it to be premeditated.

        (Built video/audio switching systems that run in the broadcast trucks in a prior life, a lot of this is through preprogrammed switch settings)

  104. CarlH

    This debate is so obviously slanted, and the audience such obvious plants, that even my Mother called to tell me how bad it is. It is going to backfire. They have completely lost the ability to secure the narrative and their desperation to get a death grip back on it is backfiring.

    1. Big River Bandido

      “The more you tighten your grip, Tarkin, the more star systems will slip through your fingers.”

      — Princess Leia

    2. Aumua

      I feel this is going to backfire spectacularly. I hope. I mean even some people who were against Sanders have got to look at this and feel some sympatico with the guy.

    3. hunkerdown

      Krystal Ball @krystalball · 48m
      Alright I’m ready to call it:
      Winners: everyone who didn’t watch this debate
      Losers: Us


    1. Jason Boxman

      Worse, he has nothing to actually say. So much effort, to get a word in that’s worth less than the air expended to express it.

    2. Jackson

      Because CBS is a “person” according to John Roberts and it gives the corporation all rights under the Constitution. LOL …

    1. Shiloh1

      And to think if it wasn’t for a reckless chatter on couple of bugged phone calls former Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich would be up there too!

  105. Samuel Conner

    JB: long-winded justification for sanctions on Russia.

    But it’s already heavily sanctioned, isn’t it?

    Steyer on impeachment. But he picked the wrong party to do it.

    Steyer boasting about being the thought-leader on impeachment. D’s botched it badly.

  106. CarlH

    Bernie drops truth bomb never heard in a debate before about Israel/Palestine. Finally some truth on this issue!

        1. Samuel Conner

          There’s a lot of courage and integrity in that man.

          I suspect that he’s unstoppable by intra-judicial means.

  107. Gumbo

    MB can’t remember the word ‘settlements’. Not the first time in the debate he’s struggled to find the word he was groping for.

  108. nippersmom

    Bloomberg says we shouldn’t have moved embassy to Jerusalem “without getting something back.” Everything is a transaction to him.

  109. Samuel Conner

    Sanders handling very well the hot-button question of attitude toward Israel

    MB: history lecture; embassy relocation a bad idea, can’t undo it (why not?)

    MB: pull back some of the settlement encroachments (did I hear that rightly?)

    EW: It is not our decision (the location of US Embassy to Israel)

    That has the feel of a Gerald Ford moment!

      1. Samuel Conner

        1976 debate with Carter — “Poland not under Soviet domination”

        not quite as egregious as that, but IMO pretty bad nonetheless.

  110. DonCoyote

    Wow Liz Warren flubbed the embassy question. Not quote Rubio-like with the repetition but still very bad.

      1. CarlH

        I think there are complications to the situation in Israel that are unique to it. It has caused some trouble over the years I believe.

        1. Jason Boxman

          Yeah, but I mean the question was about the embassy and she talked about capitols. The question about the capitol is definitely more complicated, but Trump unilaterally moved the embassy.

          1. CarlH

            Good point. I’m glad you followed up because I think I heard the whole thing wrong now. I was up and around doing things. Thanks!

    1. Expat2Uruguay

      Embassy question: I think the greater truth here is that this is not the important issue. A two-state solution that recognizes the needs of the Palestinian people is what Bernie was talking about and that’s the critical important issue. For the moderator to bring it back down to question Elizabeth Warren, where should the embassy be? Is a disservice to every voter. Apparently the moderator is only interested in Trivial Pursuit

      1. Dan

        A two-state solution is impossible given the facts on the ground. Israel and its partisans’ plan all along has been to dangle the “two-state” narrative while creating facts on the ground (“settlements”) that prevent a two-state solution from ever actually being implemented. They’ve been openly practicing apartheid for decades, as Desmond Tutu, a man familiar with the practice, has stated unequivocally. So have many others.

        The “needs” of the Palestinians will be recognized when Israel is forced to admit to its crimes, pay reparations, and allow the Palestinians self-determination in their own land. Until such time, the slow genocide of the Palestinian people will continue.

        1. Expat2Uruguay

          Thank you for your response, you are absolutely correct. I guess the point I was trying to make was that the location of the Embassy is Trivial Pursuit. But you are much more articulate about what the true issues are.

  111. Samuel Conner

    Klob: We should negotiate our way back into the JCPOA.

    Why not just start conforming to its terms again?

    Am I right in sensing that Klob’s policy solutions are more “process” than “outcome”? This is kind of a D Establishment thing, right? Always on a journey, never reaching any destination.

    JB: why am I stopping? no one else stops

    I give him props for that

  112. DonCoyote

    Reassigning the relationship…Biden at has most mangled.

    Although at least he gets a Catholic school training laugh.

  113. Carey

    Biden ready for the Gong Show [yank!]

    This “debate” is so unserious. Now heavyweight Butti weighs in..

  114. Plenue

    Oh great. Now they’ve into my wheelhouse of Syria. Hope the Syrian army reaches the M4 highway tomorrow in honor of this tripe.

    1. Samuel Conner

      PB: Denmark hasn’t ruled out the “possibility of private insurance”

      that sounds weasely to me: is there any significant private insurance industry in Denmark? Is PB appealing to some inconsequential feature of Danish law to imply something much bigger than the reality?

      I wouldn’t put it past him.

      1. skk

        summarized from this website, 40% of Danes have Complementary ( i.e. in addition to the main govt. organized one not instead of ) voluntarily paid insurance for copays and stuff like that….
        More details at:

        I’m interested in quality ( I don’t want the horror stories of the UK NHS for me ) so I checked around for how other countries define quality in the health care delivery and funding system and this website summarizes the Danish model. I used phrases about quality from there and sent them to the bernie sanders website.

        1. Samuel Conner

          That’s helpful. It sounds like Denmark’s system has some out of pocket expenses, and one can purchase private insurance to, basically, smooth those out into a predictable expense schedule.

          Such insurance would be pointless in Sanders’ M4A proposal, since there aren’t any out-of-pocket expenses.

          Mayor Pete criticizes Sanders for not leaving open the possibility of private insurance to cover expenses that no-one will ever have, and implies that this makes Sanders’ plan worse than Denmark’s system.

          The intuition that PB’s statement was lawyerly deception appears to be confirmed.

    1. Samuel Conner

      I don’t even know that it’s a lie, but just who said it, and how he said it, pre-disposes me to think that it’s a lawyerly deception.

      I hope that others get a similar impression.

    2. flora

      Almost like they’re hoping Bernie will lose his temper and say something they can later use in an attack ad, a la the no handshake moment in Iowa debate. no… that can’t be what’s happening…. ;)

  115. OIFVet

    Good god, I got back from Mexico today to watch this sham of a debate?! The corruption of the so-called press is simply astonishing.

  116. Carey

    Warren actually making sense on Syria FP right now, but these flipping moderators™ are so unserious. “Gotcha!”

    1. Samuel Conners

      I have to say that it’s not as disagreeable as I expected, but I’m listening only and not watching. I think that there’s a measure of “reality-TV” prurience being stimulated by the paired close-ups, and I find that distracting.

      Just sound isn’t so bad, IMO.

  117. nippersmom

    I really hope Buttigieg is annihilated in South Carolina and is less than a blip on the radar on Super Tuesday. He is absolutely despicable.

    1. Samuel Conner

      That would be a deeply satisfying outcome, but I think that from the standpoint of the progress of “the political revolution”, it would be good for PB to continue to poll in high single digits for the sake of holding others below the threshhold.

      Sanders got 2/3 of pledged delegates in Nevada with less than half the vote. We need more of the same for the next few months.

      I hope PB gets high single or low teens at least past Super Tuesday.

      He’s awful, but he might be useful.


      EW: her misconception is so trivial and self-focused compared to Sanders’

  118. Jason Boxman

    Lol at Klobuchar, I thought her motto was destroying the lives of staffers that cross her? What a horrible human being.

    And Biden obviously trying to get the black vote with a Supreme Court pick. Will that pick be like Clarence Thomas?

      1. WobblyTelomeres

        Pete at a job interview.

        “What’s your biggest weakness?”
        “I work too darn hard.”

        May work with 27yo Silicon Valley sociopaths…

    1. John

      Amy’s not boring. She’s evil.

      Biden learned long ago that talking aggressively gets him far.
      Even when it’s all lies.

  119. Darius

    Bernie took that crapola question and made it into gold. Encapsulated the reason for his candidacy. Warren. blah blah blah, me me me. Pete, the same.

      1. ronnie mitchell

        Yeah, I’ll rename him the ‘Passionate Platitude King’ and I do agree that his head does seem a little flat, or maybe it’s just the stuff coming out of it.

  120. Hamford

    “Misconception: I am six feet tall.” Goodness, why can’t someone just shout out “HA!” sarcastically when bloomberg tells these lame jokes.

  121. DonCoyote

    Thomas Frank thought HRC should have leveraged her Biblical knowledge more. So Warren and Buttigieg may be smart (if pandering).

    Pete tries to portray himself as the next prophet…?

    Bloomberg’s motto is “crush everything in my path?”

    1. Carey

      Speaking of Thomas Frank, I’d sure like to see a Guardian column from him right about now (as well as an early release of his new book). Maybe after Super™ Tuesday..

    1. Darius

      Bernie is all business all the time. The others think it’s all about pandering. They are not in Bernie’s league.

    2. Dan

      Bernie did some pandering to the black vote. The Nelson Mandela quote most recently. A couple other things stood out earlier.

      1. ronnie mitchell

        I’ve heard that before from Bernie Sanders and probably more than once because as soon as he started talking about Mandala I knew what was coming.

        Bernie’s Civil Rights history speaks for itself.

      2. Darius

        He also made a substantive point with it. It wasn’t platitudes like the rest of them. He also subverted the intention of Gayle King’s question, to get off the issues and get personal. Bernie doesn’t play that game.

  122. Gumbo

    Final round: What is a misconception about you. What words do you live by.

    MB: Misconception? That I’m six feet tall.

    1. Jason Boxman

      Maybe not as bad as Warren ambushing Sanders about their private conversation. That was pretty screwed up.

    2. John

      And how.

      Bloomberg shaking hands with Klobuchar. Both laughing.
      Don’t be surprised if he steals the nomination, she’s his VP pick.

    3. Bill Carson

      Worse than awful. Bad questions, bad moderating, and WORST. AUDIENCE. EVER. Seriously, Bernie was not prepared for the booing and heckling he received for answers that usually generate a swell of support. It really changed the whole dynamic of the event.

  123. Hamford

    I am thoroughly perplexed … How in EVERY other debate does the frontrunner go LAST on the last question. But not this time… it goes arbitrarily right to left. Perhaps I shouldn’t be perplexed, but such a slight of hand seemed a little extreme.

        1. Bill Carson

          Bernie’s answer was head and shoulders better than any of the other candidates’, especially Bloomberg’s.

    1. Dan

      The opening montage was an immediate indication of how it was stacked against Bernie.

      Despite that, no harm done, imo. Bernie probably gained a bit from this. He certainly didn’t lose any ground to these dimwits.

  124. allan

    Main take away for me: Bernie really needs a better and faster pushback against the bogus M4A cost estimates.

    “Of course it’s going to cost $33 trillion. If we do nothing, it will cost $40 trillion, cover fewer people,
    and more people will die. And, by the way, you won’t be paying insurance premiums and copays anymore.”

    1. sleepingdogmatist

      Couldn’t agree more. The moderators are going to stick with this ridiculous framing forever and let the other candidates pretend that the current system (because it obfuscates the total cost by splitting it up into a zillion private transactions) costs nothing (I know, I know, “nothing”)–costs “taxpayers” nothing, but *only* insofar as they are TAX-payers–unless you come up with a devastating, clarifying sound bite. I hate how stupid our political discourse is, but the only way out is through.

    2. Fred Mullen

      How about this from Bernie to all the others: “Why shouldn’t all Americans be able to go to a doctor or get other medical care and NOT pay any premiums, deductibles, co-pays, balance billing, or surprise billing? What sick pleasure do you get from supporting the current system that condemns millions of Americans every year to die needlessly and 500,000 to be financially wiped out by “medical” bankruptcy?”

      1. curlydan

        How about this: “you know all those hundreds and thousands of dollars that are deducted from your paycheck each year to pay for healthcare? you know, that money that goes to your insurance companies that make 20% profit while you still pay thousands in deductibles? Well, under Medicare for all, now the 20% profit margin is gone and so are the deductibles and copays. And healthcare will cost Americans less because we’ve seen it work in every other industrialized country in the world.”

  125. JCC

    Well, I missed it all, just as well, got out of work late here in the West Coast.

    So I think I watch the “Spin Zone” to catch the spin on what the Corporate Media tells to think and believe.

  126. Carey

    Sanders *real good* on the “misconception” question.

    Buttigieg quite a contrast on the same question, with the Biblical references.


  127. Carey

    Well, this seemed among the worst of all the debates to me, just after the best one
    last week. Bloomberg I guess was told to imitate a human; it didn’t fly.
    Sanders did ok under the circumstances, to my mind.



    Warren- ok enough.

    1. Carey

      Yes, wondering how long ’til some savvier PMCers realize they’re painting themselves
      into a corner..


    2. John Anthony La Pietra

      Are you sure someone else hasn’t copyrighted that yet?

      Maybe they could go for fair use on “We’re #2 at hating Bernie — but we try harder!”

  128. blowncue

    I work as a parking attendant at a college. Very elite, strong athletics program, etc. Scanning in early voters today, it’s beginning to pick up. Lots of undecided people. Lot of fear, lot of frustration. And others who are firm in their choice at this point. This shift is fun “I’m so glad you’re voting – I might be able to actually get back on Facebook!” They laugh.

    The street descends towards the voting site. There is no parking other than for curbside voting. Late in the day, this large blue truck painted for Mike Bloomberg – custom job, it’s literally a giant bumper sticker, drives down the street. I call enforcement. No way that truck is going to park down there. It’s blocking three loading docks.

    A woman walks by, looks at the truck. “Uh uh, can’t park down there” I declare.

    She looks at me. “Not without paying me $500,000 to park there!” She shakes her head while I throw my head back and laugh.

    It’s turning around.

    It proceeds to drive back up the street, and now I see displayed “VOTE EARLY.” Driving the truck is an African-American.

    Turns, disappears. Maybe spent two or three minutes at the bottom of the street.

    The entire day, candidates for local office pull up, flyers and signs on the passenger seat of their car. One guy declaiming how millions of dollars are sitting in a fund designated for a light rail system that is DOA. Taxpayers should get the money back. Dressed in sweats, gives me a flyer. He’s pictured smiling wearing a suit. Running for county commissioner. This is what I expect during early voting, this makes sense.

    Mike Bloomberg sends a billboard on wheels. Literally treating a neighborhood like it’s a television screen.

    1. Dan


      Thank you for the field report. A perfect encapsulation of the the large mass of allegedly human cellular matter known as Mike Bloomberg.

  129. Daryl

    Thanks and condolences to those who watched.

    How many more of these family blog shows are there left, and when will a candidate work up the courage to just stop attending these shams?

  130. Samuel Conner

    Trying to think of my own motto for Mayor Pete.

    First attempt:

    “anodyne earnestness, signifying little”

        1. Big River Bandido

          I’m sure there are lots of Harvard grads, former McKinsey employees, and naval butterbars who would find him very pleasant.

  131. Samuel Conner

    I have the impression that Elizabeth Warren is familiar with the basic tenets of MMT.

    But she says that we need the 2 cent wealth tax so that “now we’ve [the US govt] got money” to implement needed policies.

    And since the wealth tax won’t be implemented anytime soon, even if EW is president, everything else that depends on it for funding will be pushed back.

    I hope that she does well enough to stay in the race through late March. She’s not taking much from Sanders, and quite possibly more from the centrists.

    Stay in, Liz!

  132. Goyo Marquez

    Well the treatment of Bernie at the debate inspired me to spend an hour calling volunteers to get out the vote for Bernie here in El Centro, California.

    Now to talk my wife into sending him some more money. Wish me luck.

    Take that Bloomberg!

      1. HotFlash

        You have a good woman there, Goyo. We north of the border thank you. I talk to my Canuck friends and the buzz is that if the US (“The Most Powerful Nation On Earth” ™) can do some climate changey things, some better-health-care things, some free university things, and some prescription-dental-vision things, then perhaps Lil Justin and the Liberals can rassle up some concrete material benefits for us, too. And cancel those damned pipelines.

        We hope, but we are also learning about A Revolution.

      2. Fiery Hunt

        Give Mrs. Marquez the love from us all!

        Thank you for the work, the involvement you do.

        “It’s a republic….if you can keep it.”

      3. Big River Bandido

        Wow. Thank you for this, it put a big smile on my face. I was so disgusted last night that I gave Sanders another $27.

  133. JTMcPhee

    Our local paper and Dem voices are telling Floridians not to vote now (mail ballots went out last week) but to ‘keep your powder dry,’ hold off until the campaign shakes out more clearly. Seems there is a conventional wisdom that Biden owns the FL Dem primary, Sanders will get clobbered. Everyone in all the “smarter” states likes to point to FL and make bad, occasionally accurate jokes about “FloriDUH” and such. Two mail-in votes from my household for Bernie Sanders on the way to the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections. I’ve kept photocopies and checked my registration status “just in case.” I’d say that like elsewhere, Florida is saddled with a vastly corrupt upper class and its captive set of politicians. Not dumb, at the retail level — just that orgs like the Dem Party and even the Sierra Club are no friends of actual democracy or an informed electorate. And the MSM does its durndest, here, keep the status quo.

    Here’s hoping that the growing number of unaffiliated voters will follow the wisdom, and vote for Bernie. (Not going to happen in enclaves of mediocrity like The Villages, which apparently is “the STD capital of Florida,”)

  134. David J.

    Tonight was a reaffirmation for me: I hated Eddie Haskell when I was a kid in the early 60s. I still hate him now.

  135. JCC

    Pete seems to be running for Congress, kinda hard to tell right now.

    He also seems to be worried about 60 years of re-litigating the US stance on Endless Wars! Like that’s ended and now we need to look forward to the 20’s (and extending Endless War, apparently)

      1. Big River Bandido

        Warren runs interference for Sanders in debates while it also helps her, but at the same time she continues to attack him (“he’s got ideas but I get things done”). These attacks are lame and nonsensical, but there you go.

        The red flag for a Warren nomination to a Sanders Administration is her serious problem with trust and credibility…to put it nicely. If it were up to me, I would not dare offer Warren any executive position at all without strict policy conditions and marching orders. I *certainly* wouldn’t offer her any position inside the White House.

        And I would videorecord the meeting from 3 camera angles so as to have receipts for when Warren stabs me in the back.

        This is not the kind of person who will be a “team player”. Obama’s instincts to keep her at arm’s length were quite prescient.

        1. Dr. John Carpenter

          Well, you can ask Obama about how well conditions and marching orders worked against a one time political rival.

  136. SlayTheSmaugs

    Bloomberg showed he has no basic political skills. He made lots of jokes that didn’t land, looked very uncomfortable and smug by turns, was unfiltered billionaire and it hurt–he bought the Democratic majority Congress, Xi not a dictator, elected by the Politburo, you can make a deal with him. And the remarks will be remembered b/c it’s being shared: ,

    I mean, he can say that and the moderators don’t have a cow, but Bernie’s praise of Castro’s literacy programs and the Sandinistas is beyond the pale for the corporate overloads that don’t want him to win. (Or can you imagine if Bernie had the sexual harrassment and gender discrimination claims Bloomberg has. Can you see Bernie’s wife being able to tell women to get over it, it was a bro culture?

    Speaking of cow, my husband gave Buttigieg the nickname Interrupting Cow (from the knock knock joke) b/c of the way he constantly talked over Sanders. (Knock knock. Who’s there. Interrupting cow. Interrupting cow w– MOO!)

    As much as it set my teeth on edge when Warren said she’d be Bernie, but effective (b/c she has no theory of political change, does not have the movement to get it done, he has both), I’m grateful she’s on the stage because she does a good job of plain Englishing in detail why Bloomberg’s run as a Democrat is so offensive. Bernie tends to just emphasize the billions, ‘nuf said, though he flagged him well on the politburo remark. A Bloomberg candidacy would break the Democratic party. I mean, Bloomberg’s policies on most issues are not traditional Democratic Party positions. He opposed raising the minimum wage; he’s for cutting social security, Medicare & Medicaid; he’s pro-Iraq War; he funded key Republican races to keep a McConnell majority, which gave us Kavanaugh and Gorsuch; he’s a racist, sexist elitist who put his bigotry into practice with racist policies like stop & frisk. He cannot be the Democratic nominee. If he wanted to defeat Trump so bad, he should’ve run as a Republican and run a primary against Trump. So I am grateful that Warren is laying it all out on Bloomberg.

    I mean, Bloomberg speaks for himself so often, so consistently, that you just need the highlight reel of all the moments. Imagine the 2 minute viral video you could make. But still, I appreciate Warren’s laying it out. I think it will have a real impact in the primaries.

    1. SlayTheSmaugs

      I forgot to mention one really weird Bloomberg moment at the end. All the candidates were asked to say the biggest misconception about them, and their motto, the words they live by. Bernie said the misconception was that his ideas were radical. For his motto, he (slightly mis)quoted Mandela and said ““Everything is impossible until it happens.” (real quote: It always seems impossible until it is done.) Bloomberg said the misconception was that he was 6′ tall (a joke no one laughed at but he smiled, and it happened so many times I wonder if the people around him just make a point of laughing at his weird jokes.
      And then Bloomberg looked at the moderator and said my quote? “I trained for this job for a long time, and when I get it, I’m gonna do something rather than just talk about it.” See what he did there? He spoke to a reporter and gave her a quote, from him, on the record. His closing soundbite. And he had no idea that he had so completely missed the point of the question.

        1. Big River Bandido

          The question asked for a personal “motto”. “I trained for this job for a long time, and when I get it, I’m gonna do something rather than just talk about it.” This is an answer to a non-existent question.

    2. Dan

      I agree, Warren does a much better job getting into specifics. It acts as an amplifier to Bernie’s message by giving it a little spice.

      I think the Sanders campaign is correct to keep pounding home the same simple message, though I’d like to see Bernie enhance it a bit, just to keep things fresh.

  137. Bill Carson

    Ladies and Germs, it all boils down to one thing: will Bernie get the black vote or won’t he? That was his Achilles heel in ’16, and we are 96 hours away from finding out if his fortunes have improved.

    1. Carey

      I’m confident in the voters, but less so in the vote-counters; both in SC, and here in CA.
      Got notification from an outfit called BallotTrax™ today that my ballot was received
      and counted, though for whom, I don’t know.

      We will see how it goes.

    2. dcrane

      Biden just doesn’t have the “most likely to beat Trump” moxy anymore, otherwise he was set to dominate. Question is whether Bloomberg can take the mantle despite the stop and frisk taint. Unfortunately I think that may not rule him out as a replacement. Too bad Bernie is from upper New England, a place so culturally distant from the South. (I don’t see Buttigieg or Warren convincing anyone they’re a lock to bear Trump.)

    3. Yves Smith

      Latest national poll says he gets more black support than any other Dem candidate, but SC is a real diehard Dem patronage cesspool. Sanders likely to pull much higher % of blacks in Rust Belt states.

    4. jrs

      Yes but it’s the black vote in a very red state, the black vote in a blue state may well be more liberal. It kind of can’t HELP but be, we are all (regardless of race) influenced by our environments, if all we ever see is most people around us are quite conservative, we might not think anything but “moderation” is possible. But yes if Sanders wins South Carolina the nomination is probably his, because if he starts winning Dems in a very conservative red state, it’s all over but the partying.

  138. Carey

    Not sure I’m right, but to me a tipping point seems near: in particular, the contrast between the our hush-toned, well-coiffed, soft-handed moderators (several meanings in that usage) and their ilk, as compared to almost all Americans’ lived experience, just seems close to unworkable. I wonder if the former group sense it; I’m guessing they do.

  139. cm

    Imagine if the DNC made a rule that Democratic Presidential candidates cannot have been registered as Republican in the past 30 years. (We can argue about the cutoff — 10/20/30, etc.)

    Might be a good rule for Republicans as well (that they cannot have registered as D’s in the past x years).

  140. juliania

    I have a suggestion for the next debate – whether one party or (heaven help us) candidates all parties. What would be stimulating I think would be to have leaders from various native American tribes be the moderators. After all, that might be an historic precedent to set, and assuredly they would know the US Constitution better than do CBS, PBS, ABC, NBC or whatever other alphabetic conglomeration we will have had heretofore. And I bet they’d have some very basic questions to ask.

    I’d be with Lambert wanting to go back to what we used to have, if that were possible. As it doesn’t seem to be, why not go forward?

  141. KFritz

    Yang’s graceful early exit, Bloomberg’s money-powered rapid ascension in the polls, and the cap at “7” left Bernie isolated in a pack of thugs. The same debate with Yang and/or Gabbard would have been very different. Luck often affects outcome.

    Virtually all writers and commenters @ NC believe Bernie Sanders can be elected. I’m not so sure. This is the nation that 2 “Economist” editors described in their book as the “Right Nation.” Fifty-six years of careful ‘grooming’ by psychologically astute right-wing propagandists to a self-satisfied, easily mesmerized, inherently-resistant-to-change populace (recall yesterday’s essay from Andrew Bacevich) will make it a daunting task to elect Senator Sanders.

Comments are closed.