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Excellent Democratic debate shows no clear winners or losers

I didn’t think any of the candidates had a particularly good or bad night. Unfortunately, the media aftermath seemed to be all about whether Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren were on the outs.

Democratic 2020 presidential debate
Participants in Tuesday's Democratic 2020 presidential debate included former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar.
REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

Last night’s Democratic presidential debate was excellent (according to me), and left me with an overwhelming feeling that anyone on that stage would be a considerably better president than the current occupant of that office.

I didn’t think any of the candidates had a particularly good or bad night. My first sentence above captures how I feel: No winners and the only loser, in a sane world, would be the current incumbent, who, on the best night of his political career, would have come across as infantile and dangerous compared to any of the six who were on the stage.

I didn’t learn anything much about their issue differences (which, again, are small compared to any issue  positions of Donald Trump) nor did I have a strong impression about which of them might have the chance of beating him in November. I’m committed to maintaining a position that the much-sought “electability” quotient is unknowable.

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I should mention, although you’ve probably picked up on this already, that the punditocracy seems quite obsessed with a possible frostiness between two of the leading contenders, Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, and the analysts were all studying footage (with no sound) of Sanders and Warren talking briefly after the debate.

It’s possible that Warren seemed annoyed and Sanders seemed dismissive. The theory is that this is a follow-up to Warren saying on Monday that Sanders told her during a meeting in 2018 that he didn’t think a woman candidate could win in 2020 — a proposition which, if it is true, would be unwise and could have offended Warren, now the leading contender of that distinguished gender. Sanders denied saying it.

(In fact, Sanders was asked about the alleged remark during the debate, and he pointed out in reply that in 2016 a woman candidate, Hillary Clinton, had received more popular votes than Trump, an answer that worked well enough for me, at least.)

But, to my astonishment (considering how I felt about the entire two-hour exchange, which I summarized above), the media aftermath seemed to be largely about whether the two senators, known to be friends of longstanding, were quarreling. If so, it’s dumb, and if not, it’s even dumber that the talking heads have decided to make that the big takeaway of the evening.

Further your affiant sayeth naught.