Impressions from last night’s Democratic debate
With an almost-reasonable number of Democratic candidates taking the stage last night, I decided I’d force myself to watch the “debate.” I’ve been ignoring the race for quite a while, only catching a few headlines, and decided I should finally take a first-hand look. After all, I’ll be voting for one of these candidates.
Tom Steyer. How did he even manage to get on stage? Nevertheless, he had some worthwhile things to say about the urgency of climate change, his number one issue. Whether he knows anything at all about international affairs is quite another thing.
Bernie Sanders. Still touting his pie-in-the-sky ideas, including immediate Medicare for all, without the faintest idea of how to pay for it. Ditto free college education for everyone.
Elizabeth Warren. At least she’s softened her stance on Medicare for all, admitting it will take longer to transition to it. And while she may (or may not) have a more thought-out plan for paying for it, a “debate” is no place to try spelling it out in detail. And I’ll admit I’ve watched too many Saturday NIght Live impressions of her; she seems a little bit too hyper, too excited, in a distracting sort of way. Nevertheless, she’s obviously very smart and very well-informed.
Pete Buttigieg. So well-spoken (rehearsed?) it hurts. Logical, reasonable, deep thinking seemingly beyond his years (he’s only 37). His plan is still Medicare for all who want it. And he admits it will take time to gradually implement it. Notably, this time he also admitted those who don’t want any insurance will still have to pay a small fee. And he’s right. Insurance pools don’t work unless everyone is in. He also qualified the “free college education for all” proposal by saying of course he doesn’t mean free for rich people.
Joe Biden. So likable, so reasonable. Maybe too much so. He’s not as well-spoken as most of the other candidates and that, unfortunately, makes him look older. He favors building on the existing Obamacare, adding a public option to help people afford insurance. His closing statement was based on intangibles — but still of paramount importance — about America’s values. Nice to know somebody still remembers and respects those things.
Amy Klobuchar. Once I got past the harsh (strong?) make-up, I was very much in agreement with what she had to say. She was intense in a calm sort of way. Well-spoken in presenting her moderate ideas. She had the presence of mind to pitch herself to the audience of Iowa voters who will be among those voting in March. I was favorably impressed with her ideas and presentation, and could see her as president, although at this point she looks like a long shot.
So who won and who lost? To me, no one really stood out for any reason. Except Steyer who, although earnest about climate change, really has nothing else to offer. And I’m liking Klobuchar better as I see her more.