Before delving into the Tuesday night debate among a dozen Democratic hopefuls, here’s a pop quiz: Name the Starbucks multimillionaire who was going to run as an independent because too many of the Dems were too far left.
It was Howard Schultz. He removed himself for fear that a third-party candidacy might result in a victory for President Trump. If that is a clear and present danger, and Democrats say it is, maybe 10 of them ought to do the same and take a powder. (There are actually a few others with support too paltry to make the stage. I will miss spacey author Marianne Williamson.)
Yes, yes, I know it will be difficult for the also-rans’ egos and their dedicated (if tiny) band of supporters, but it is time to be an adult and realistic (qualities that challenge many Democrats) and end your hopeless campaigns.
Inadvertently or not, CNN seemed to acknowledge Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s newfound front-runner status by throwing her the lioness’ share of the questions and allowing her to be challenged and to fight back.
Both Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar went after her, as did others, and I give Warren props for standing her ground and holding her temper. She repeatedly was asked if her grandois plans — she said she has 50 of them and had posed for 70,000 selfies — would include a tax hike for the middle class. She should have said “no.” Instead, she said high-income earners and corporations would pay more. So she got asked again a question I thought she had answered.
Before I forget, let me give Klobuchar credit for one of the best lines of the night.
When Warren suggested that not everyone was as hot as she to take on billionaires, the Minnesota senator said, “Not even the billionaire wants to protect billionaires.”
The billionaire was Tom Steyer, making his first debate appearance and picking a spot out in left field. He bragged he was pushing to impeach Trump more than two years ago, which shows me he’s more political than evidence-based.
Poor Bernie Sanders. What the hell can he do to shake suspicions that his heart attack disqualifies him from serious consideration? Can he do one-armed pushups like Jack Palance did when he won the 1992 Oscar for supporting actor?
It’s sad this happened to him when it did, like Lynne Abraham fainting at the start of the 2015 mayoral debate. It’s tough to come back from this, especially when Sanders’ poll numbers already were sinking.
What he did, was talk loud. Hardly any of the other 11 raised their voices at all, while Bernie did it almost every time. Call it passion.
Sen. Kamala Harris said it was outrageous that the subject of women’s reproductive health had not been raised in previous debates. She defined this as a “justice” issue, but did not define what she was talking about as “abortion.”
Sen. Cory Booker chimed in to support Harris, saying he would form an office of reproductive freedom in the White House, and later volunteered that he is a vegan. As usual, he was so earnest it almost hurt.
Entrepreneur Andrew Yang said the U.S. meddled in elections, and Klobuchar shot back there was no equivalency between fhe U.S. and Russia.
Rep Tulsi Gabbard said she supports Roe v. Wade, but would prohibit abortions in the third trimester unless the life and health of the mother were at stake.
That will get some attention, but not as much as an earlier remark that CNN and The New York Times, sponsors of the debate, referred to her as a Russian “asset.” I doubt that happened just as she said it, and the commentariat will be fact checking that today.
Here’s something I would like fact checked: Warren says that if there were a 2 cent tax on every dollar earned above $50 million would pay for infant child care, universal pre-K, pay all college tuition and forgive all student loan debt.
Some of these folks need to join Howard Schultz.