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My Thoughts on the Tuesday Debate


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Here are my thoughts on this first debate of the week:

  • No candidate was a clear winner; however, several had strong moments. 
  • No candidate was a clear loser; however, Bullock was very inarticulate and Williamson reverted back to debate 1 oddness in her final response, at least somewhat. 
  • As I predicted, Beto O'Rourke sounded more like he was preparing a run for the TX US Senate seat. 
  • Warren was once again the most specific candidate. 
  • Sanders was once again the most passionate speaker. 
  • Williamson, Ryan, O'Rourke--all candidates that flubbed the first debate---did much better in this debate. 
  • Delaney probably improved the most, but I"m not sure if it will help. 
  • I think Williamson, Ryan, Warren probably did enough to see a slight rise in poll #s. 
  • Sanders will stay about where he's at, and will likely remain so as long as Warren, Williamson, and Gabbard are still in the race. 
  • Buttigieg did not perform as well as I thought he would have, but he was above average. 
  • If the winner is the debater that helped their chances: Then Williams, Ryan, Warren were probably the winners. 
  • If the loser is the debater that hurt their chances or didn't do enough to really warrant a campaign for president, then: Bullock, Klobuchar, Hickenlooper, and O'Rourke. The three non-senators should run for the senate. 
  • If judging between progressives and more moderate wings of the party, then the Progressives clearly won with the audience. The more moderate wing had too few ideas or alternatives. 
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I should add that the biggest loser in this debate was the CNN moderators. They were too quick to cut people off. It seemed like that was their first priority over a substantive debate. 
 

"Gov. Hickenlooper, your name is too long. Your time is up."

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Yeah the moderators were pretty awful, both in the format and the questions they asked. Basically every question was from a conservative perspective talking point. 

Bernie and Warren were the clear winners imo. Warren had clear plans and her talk on structural change is what we need. Bernie, like you said, had the most passion and did a good job pushing back on the centrist/conservative talking points on things like Medicare for All and Green new deal. 

Williamson had some great answers, and then some weird ones as well. I don't see it helping her campaign much. 

Delaney was hammered all night and 2 years after announcing he's running, will remain at 0%.

Ryan, Bullock, Hickenlooper did their campaign no favors, didn't hurt or help, but obviously can't afford to be mediocre. 

Buttigieg did well. His problem is he doesn't have a lot of policy substance in his answers, but they way he answers questions makes him seem more intelligent and appealing. 

Klobuchar and Beto were pretty forgettable. At a time where their campaigns are struggling, they did no favors to themselves

 

We'll have to see what happens tomorrow, but I think Bernie and Warren may go up a couple points in the polls, Buttigieg may regain a little bit that he lost over the past couple months. Beto will continue to drop. Everyone else stays at 0-1%. Maybe Williamson hits 2% in the polls just because of her weirdness, but I doubt it

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1 hour ago, ThePotatoWalrus said:

Tim Ryan didn't put his hand over his heart during the anthem in a weak and pathetic attempt to raise his profile. Just comes off as disrespectful IMO

That doesn’t sound like something he’d purposely do. I think his brain just wasn’t working. 

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25 minutes ago, vcczar said:

That doesn’t sound like something he’d purposely do. I think his brain just wasn’t working. 

He's standing next to 9 other people that did it (even Williamson, who didn't at first but did after seeing everyone else do it). Additionally he opted to clasp his hands in front of his waist and didn't defend himself about it and deflected it when asked after the debate. He knew what he was doing.

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I am a sociology professor so i gave actual school grades to candidates:

Bernie:A+

Detailed assessment:He brought the fire to the stage,fought for progressive values and against moderate attack fantasticly.I think this performance was much better than the last one and that he will go up in polls after this,he embraced angry old man himself and made it a powerful strenght

Warren:A 

Detailed assessment:She was a powerful sidekick to Bernie on this stage.Her performance was neither better nor worse than the last time so her numbers will stay the same.

Williamson:B-

Detailed assessment:She didnt perform great and maybe she doesnt deserve the grade i gave her but i couldnt give her anything less because she was much better than the last time around and she did her homework ;).She might have a slight jump in the polls

Pete,Beto,Klobuchar:C

Detailed assessment:I put those 3 in the same description because i have same opinion of their performances.Intelligent,organized but forgettable.Their numbers will not move.

Bullock:E

Detailed assesment:I disagree with him on many issues but he was better than the crowd i am about to give F to so he deserves to have at least a bit higher grade than them.

Delaney,Ryan,Hickenlooper:F

Detailed assesment:They were terrible and pathetic.They should just drop out and stop wasting our time.

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Delaney and Hickenlooper had the best platform. However, I think Sanders and Warren had the most impact on the crowd. Bullock did not reach my expectations, but was better than some others.

Personally, I think Buttigieg seemed not that exciting.

Ryan, Klobuchar, O'Rourke were nearly invisible for me.

Williamson was better than last time but still unconventional.

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4 hours ago, ThePotatoWalrus said:

Tim Ryan didn't put his hand over his heart during the anthem in a weak and pathetic attempt to raise his profile. Just comes off as disrespectful IMO

I agree that this was my biggest take away as well.  I don’t think he was being intentionally disrespectful.  It’s just the latest in a series of “Tim Ryan doesn’t know what to do in basic moments of human interaction.”

Not only did Ryan manage to look around a room filled with people placing their hand over their heart and not recognize he was supposed to do the same...he was also the first/only candidate not to acknowledge the rest of the candidates when he walked out on stage.  The rest were all shaking hands, saying hi, etc etc.  Ryan just walked onto the stage looking like a 20 foot plank of wood and didn’t move.

Do these things matter?  Of course not.  I’m sure he was just very nervous.  But it was a string of bad optics for a candidate who can’t afford failure.

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My take away:  I became so bored that I left the room repeatedly, and eventually turned the TV off and went to bed.

I was surprised by how much time Delaney got, but I don’t think he used it well.  

Bernie combed his hair and it freaked me out.

Buttigieg had a spot on his forehead that was really distracting to me, trying to figure out what it was.  At first I thought it was just an insect that landed on him, but it never left or moved.  And when he turned to the side, you could still see it — it was 3D.

It looked to me like maybe he was actually injured on his way out to the stage, and it was a wound where the skin was torn (with the skin still barely attached to his forehead).  

Whatever it was disappeared during a commercial break, but as dumb as it was, I think it hurt as it distracted from his message.

Marianne continues to strike me as someone who is just extremely unbalanced mentally.  She had some lines that really resonated with the audience, but she strikes me as just as incompetent as Trump.  Not as evil!  But just as incompetent.

Bullock was the standout for me, although I actually don’t know yet whether I like him or not.  Maybe it’s just that he’s new blood.  He looked confident on stage, made a coherent argument, and had a voice (much like Pete’s, but in a different way) that could cut through the noise and make you listen.

I could see Bullock maybe eventually reaching Pete’s level of polling (about 5%) but not higher.

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5 hours ago, Rodja said:

I am a sociology professor so i gave actual school grades to candidates:

Bernie:A+

Detailed assessment:He brought the fire to the stage,fought for progressive values and against moderate attack fantasticly.I think this performance was much better than the last one and that he will go up in polls after this,he embraced angry old man himself and made it a powerful strenght

Warren:A 

Detailed assessment:She was a powerful sidekick to Bernie on this stage.Her performance was neither better nor worse than the last time so her numbers will stay the same.

Williamson:B-

Detailed assessment:She didnt perform great and maybe she doesnt deserve the grade i gave her but i couldnt give her anything less because she was much better than the last time around and she did her homework ;).She might have a slight jump in the polls

Pete,Beto,Klobuchar:C

Detailed assessment:I put those 3 in the same description because i have same opinion of their performances.Intelligent,organized but forgettable.Their numbers will not move.

Bullock:E

Detailed assesment:I disagree with him on many issues but he was better than the crowd i am about to give F to so he deserves to have at least a bit higher grade than them.

Delaney,Ryan,Hickenlooper:F

Detailed assesment:They were terrible and pathetic.They should just drop out and stop wasting our time.

I think you did more on your policy bias than on how they actually debated.

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Am I the only one that's concerned about tonight's debate? I disliked how CNN seemed to provoke fights rather than try to let them get their policy differences through how they spoke. Each question was phrased with a fight intended to spike ratings. I was disappointed in that. I'm concerned that they will force together a fight between Harris and Biden, that maybe neither of them would want to have. It seemed like lowballed journalism, and it certainly made me dislike the questions' phrasing. 

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4 minutes ago, Hestia11 said:

Am I the only one that's concerned about tonight's debate? I disliked how CNN seemed to provoke fights rather than try to let them get their policy differences through how they spoke. Each question was phrased with a fight intended to spike ratings. I was disappointed in that. I'm concerned that they will force together a fight between Harris and Biden, that maybe neither of them would want to have. It seemed like lowballed journalism, and it certainly made me dislike the questions' phrasing. 

Most of the questions also seemed to be from the conservative side, or just a plain based conservative talking point, which in the first debate was very much designed to have Warren/Sanders/kinda Mayor Pete against the other 7. So I think you are spot on and I'd agree 100%. It was worse moderation than the first round of debates for sure.

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Here’s another way to look at last night’s debates. Sanders, Warren, and to a lesser extent Buttigieg and Delaney each showed themself forceful and tough enough to face Trump at a debate head-to-head. The rest lacked that debate energy. I’m not calculating Williamson in this.  She would be an interesting matchup since she seems both the most anti-Trump and the most Trump on the stage at the same time. 

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11 hours ago, MysteryKnight said:

Yeah the moderators were pretty awful, both in the format and the questions they asked. Basically every question was from a conservative perspective talking point. 

It's likely the eventual nominee will have to answer Republican talking points.  Framing questions that way gives the viewer an idea of how the candidate will fare in the general election.

None of the candidates did especially well.  Williamson came closest, she at least said some interesting things, but she'd make a terrible president.

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3 minutes ago, pilight said:

It's likely the eventual nominee will have to answer Republican talking points.  Framing questions that way gives the viewer an idea of how the candidate will fare in the general election.

None of the candidates did especially well.  Williamson came closest, she at least said some interesting things, but she'd make a terrible president.

But they were framing it in more of a “You said this, now this person, fight them!”. I’m not claiming it’s a talking point, but the questions were made to induce fights, which I found distasteful. 

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3 minutes ago, admin_270 said:

According to this The Hill article 

https://thehill.com/policy/technology/455465-marianne-williamson-most-searched-for-candidate-during-democratic-debate

most searched for candidates from last night's debate were

1. Williamson

2. Sanders

3. Warren

4. Buttigieg

Doesn’t surprise me. I didn’t declare winner. I came close to saying it was Sanders or Warren but I wasn’t sure if it was just my political bias making me think that. What’s funny is that after I thought that, I read about 5 other progressives thinking the same thing but thought it might just be their bias. I think Williamson and Buttigieg get a boost on google primarily for being relatively unknown but also have unique stage presence. 

Williamson is drawing a lot of positive and negative reactions. I found out that one of my friends worked for her. He said she could barely administrate a non-profit, often missing payroll. 

On top of this some of her old Twitter comments are quite scary. I think GOP voters ignored much of Trump’s former comments, but I don’t think Democrats will. I expect her to rise to maybe 10% at most—15% in a three way race for the nomination. 

I tend to like outsider candidates—Kucinich and Sanders, for instance—but she and Trump—while they occasionally provide good talking points—are almost the total opposite from what I want for a president. 

This said, I’ll be relieved when she isn’t in the debates anymore because my worst fear is that she Trumps the Democratic primary. I don’t think it will happen, but I didn’t think 2016 would happen in the primaries or general. I have to allow for the fact that all reason will break down and the worst result in the election will occur. Not even the polls can make you feel safe.  

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While I disagree with them, I thought that Delaney and Bullock did well to show themselves up as the moderate opposition. Delaney has really outdone any expectations for him as he seemed to be the main opposition versus many others on stage who would have seemed to have been the main foil to Bernie/Warren first. 

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Is googling exclusively good?

During the debate, I was googling "Buttigieg forehead" to figure out what that spot was.

I imagine google searches for Marrianne Williamson could be at least some people like me who listen to her speak and think "Who the fuck is this, did she murder the person who was supposed to be on this stage and steal her identity or something?"

 

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My tiers (calculating only for how the candidates were perceived by me for my own support of them)

  • Tier 1
    • 1a: John Delaney was the winner of both the debate and my heart. He did everything he needed to do to prove he was the clear choice for me, moderate, successful, centrist in the face of the left-wing crowd and the far-left powerhouse on center stage. He masterfully rebutted and debunked the left-wing talking points used by Warren and Sanders and never once delved into the handringing sob stories several other candidates just love to throw into their stump speech.
    • 1b: Steve Bullock proved to be a very similar force in the debate, debunking Leftism when it needed debunking and leaving Warren sputtering and clueless for several exchanges just as Delaney did Sanders. I made these two my tier 1 because while they're both to the fringes of the stage, they at least provided a powerful voice to fight back against the two big losers. Bullock also brought executive gravitas that no other candidate sans Hickenlooper really presented forcelly, he gets my Number 2 spot. And all I'm saying is Biden/Delaney or Biden/Bullock and I'll be signing up to campaign against Trump every day.
    • 1c: John Hickenlooper was like a slightly worse Steve Bullock, giving him the number 3. He effectively defended bipartisan governing against Leftist attacks on its merits. Like Bullock he made his case about being a Democratic Governor. Similarly, his campaign slogan "We didn't get there through Socialism" is another point of great hope for me that the Democratic Party isn't about to go off the rails on a crazy train Ozzy Osbourne style. I particularly enjoyed his dismantling of Warren's Immigration Policy. 
      • All 3 candidates in Tier 1 performed well and were lauded for their ability to comprehensively hand Warren and Sanders their collective behinds
  • Tier 2
    • 2a: Tim Ryan could be running with the big dogs... but then he opens his mouth on ultra-protectionism. Beyond that he is another one that provided a valid case against Bernie and Warren's insane off-the wall policies like the government annexing portions of the job market, open borders-lite, and nationalizing sectors of the economy. He is certainly best improved in my mind, a title he shares closely with John Delaney, at least he didn't mention getting "wi-i-iped by China".
    • 2b: ORB MOM is the mother of my Orb Power and I love her very much. She transcends rankings and will be your next Commander-in-Chief. I felt the energy of her answrs despite heavily disagreeing with her policy. At one point I even found my body gyrating to her energy, she fires me up man. 
    • 2c: Back to your regularly scheduled programming with Pete Buttigieg who made some valid points and while not really grasping every concept the ones that the other did seemed to have some paltry opposition to Warren and Sanders but that might have just been him trying to be memorable. I believe it was him that called Warren and Sanders out for poor phrasing but overall he escapes Tier 3 by the skin of his teeth and the charisma of his campaign.
      • Tier 2 is full of people that "would be good if" and that's ultimately why they land here instead of with the 4 losers behind them, I like'm, don't love'm and I certainly don't gotta have'm.
  • Tier 3
    • 3a: Amy Klobuchar was eh at best. She wasn't very memorable and failed to use her Midwest background nearly as well as Bullock or Hickenlooper. She felt off and never buttressed her "I've won every time" stump speech with policies probably for fear those rural Minnesotans would be repulsed upon hearing them. Either way she didn't seem to have the guts to finish all her thoughts which, maybe it was a good thing but either way gave her a lackluster score. She also repeated the "I've one every race everytime everywhere" speech way to much and even cut herself off the final time she gave it because she knew she was repeating it over and over.
    • 3b: Beto O'Rourke is just my definition of a "why" candidate. He never should have run, he's not cut out for this, go back to Texas and run for City Council, don't even insult them by running for Senate or Governor. I don't have much else to say then he is the only candidate (including even Klobuchar!) that I really can't remember a single policy or outstanding piece of rhetoric used.
      • Tier 3 is filled with candidates that should know better but are just caught between "am I moderate, liberal or progressive?" WHO KNOWS ALL 3!!! Ineffective and forgettable they've really screwed themselves by this point.
  • Tier 5
    • 5a: Bernie Sanders went absolutely bonkers this debate. He was emotionally unbalanced (not as much as Warren), unprepared to defend his poor policy (not as much as Warren) and came off as believing he was entitled to the Nomination (not as much as Warren). He definetly believes what he's saying though. But what he's saying will doom the Democratic Party. He was quite simply terrifying and proved to me that the Socialism lives loudly within him.
    • 5b: Last Night's biggest loser was Elizabeth Warren! Warren was like Sanders but cold callous and calculated. She repeated several stump speeches several times just to fit them in together and snapped at the audience for laughing at her bullshit. She clearly thinks she's the righteous moral choice and my God was it satisfying to see her get jumped and taken behind the woodshed by everyone else. She lost her marbles and her cool clearly having her skin gotten under by the moderate opposition destroying her policies on national television.
      • These two scare me. Like really scare me. I called it Tier 5 and not 4 for a reason. These two would probably be even more dangerous for our Democracy than Trump and that is saying A LOT. They were angry, unbalanced, poorly prepared, and had their policies shoved in their face by people who, you know, aren't Socialists. I was quite frankly appalled that these two could be center stage in the Democratic Party. John Delaney, our winner, hit it right on the head when he said "This is no longer about choosing the best policies or most sensible solutions for them, this is about going on an anti-private sector crusade". And that's unnacceptable for an American President.

 

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Just now, Reagan04 said:

 

  • never once delved into the handringing sob stories several other candidates just love to throw into their stump speech.

I agree -- I absolutely HATE when candidates do that.

"Let me tell you about my friend John.  John is divorced, he has an unkempt mustache, he has served time for twelve unrelated larcenies.  Now, in MY healthcare plan, John's butt acne would be covered..."

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8 hours ago, ThePotatoWalrus said:

He's standing next to 9 other people that did it (even Williamson, who didn't at first but did after seeing everyone else do it). Additionally he opted to clasp his hands in front of his waist and didn't defend himself about it and deflected it when asked after the debate. He knew what he was doing.

No, he's a really oblivious person. @Actinguy points out another oddity in his behavior. I think he's just thinking too much about what he wants to say. I don't like Tim Ryan as a candidate, but he's one of those working class moderate Dems. It makes no sense that he would purposely not salute the flag to make a statement. I could see several Democrats doing that, especially those I like more than Tim Ryan, but I don't see Tim Ryan doing that. He's trying to win over moderates and independents. He's making no attempts at liberals or progressives. That would be a suicide move for him. He's just clueless when the cameras are on him. 

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