Early in the debate I was asked what I thought and my answer was, “so far it appears the winner will be whoever loses less”. It was early chaos.
At the debates end I have some clear thoughts and predictions.
First the moderators lost.
They lost control of the debate early and never really recovered.
Second, Joe Biden survived.
His one clear gaffe (150 million Americans killed by guns) was overlooked. If one candidate had challenged him it on it, Joe would have been done. It just passed though. The other one that could have harmed him was the challenge with Amy Klobuchar on who wrote the bill. That passed scrutiny later too and I doubt it gets any play today. So he got lucky twice.
Thus with a tougher and funnier demeanor the VP survived and now will win the South Carolina Primary Saturday and advance to Super Tuesday. The other positive for Biden was the dismantling of Tom Steyer who had invested heavily in the minority vote for Saturday. His performance will see a large departure of support and Biden will be beneficiary number one.
For Tom Steyer this is it.
He can go back to funding the Democratic House candidates. He was out of place on that stage.
I think this is it for Amy Klobuchar too.
She may be on the short list for VP possibilities and I think she set herself up for a viable run in 2024 if the Democrats don’t win this year.
Now Bernie Sanders.
He was in the hot seat early as the others recognized the need to stop him. My observation was he doesn’t come across as very deep. His answers go back to the same themes and billionaire bashing. He has his base, and they are loyal. He just didn’t pick up points in S.C. this Saturday and the race is now extended.
For Mike Bloomberg and all his prep.
He had to get this debate right and was only slightly better. His spending on Super Tuesday will help (remember he is not on the S.C. ballot). But after these two debates his numbers will fall. Mike’s campaign is in trouble now. The press will not be kind to him. I don’t think he can outspend all that.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg was himself.
He sounds like an adult in the room but what does he say? His most memorable lines might be “they can’t win”. He needed to help himself with the minority vote in S.C. and didn’t last night. As stated above those leaving Steyer are likely going to Biden.
Finally Senator Warren.
As we talked about yesterday she is the same lane as Senator Sanders and needed others to take him out for her. She couldn’t do it herself for fear of alienating that base. That didn’t happen to the extent she needed, so no progress here. She did rant at Bloomberg a lot and took him out for Biden. She may be the best debater on the stage but her tone leads to a thought she is like a run on sentence.
Bottom line is:
Biden wins Saturday. Going into Super Tuesday it’s Sanders and Biden with Bloomberg hoping his ad spending produces a miracle.
As of this writing I don’t any of the others being viable after Super Tuesday.
Wouldn’t that be something, three 77+ year old white males fighting it out.
HAVE A GREAT DAY.