Just a few impressions from last night’s Dem debate in Las Vegas. Nothing substantive.
Mike Bloomberg did terribly. He was awful. He failed to answer questions adequately and came across as a thoroughly unpleasant individual. Warren’s take-down was masterful as he tried to explain why he wouldn’t release from NDAs those women with complaints about sexual harassment at his company. He certainly didn’t look like the man in all those expensive commercials he’s been running. He should have known his billions wouldn’t protect him at the debate.
Liz Warren was active and on top of everything. Yet it wasn’t in the same way that annoyed me so much in the past. She seemed less flighty, more grounded. And was obviously very well informed.
Sanders was Sanders, on full display. Puffed up and pontificating as though he’s the only one with all the answers. (Does he ever talk about anything besides “Medicare for all”?)
Biden was back, more or less. He still speaks rather haltingly, but at least this time he seemed awake and engaged.
Buttigieg was his usual well-spoken self. I still worry sometimes that he’s maybe a bit too slick with all his memorized lines. But still, he’s so smart and likable. I think his military service can be credited for the maturity he shows.
And lastly, Amy Klobuchar. Not quite as much to say as before, and she had one unpleasant little spat with Buttigieg that hurt both of them.
So here we are. Bloomberg and Sanders are non-starters with me (although polls keep saying Sanders is going to lead the pack all the way to the convention and that really has me worried). Biden may be clawing his way back in. At least he looked a lot better this week. Warren has become quite the cheerleader and attack dog and does make a lot of sense — except perhaps for her Medicare plan. Buttigieg remains the same — calm, intelligent, reasonably moderate. Klobuchar did not do as well last night as in the previous debate, but she’s solid and level-headed. Maybe everyone is overlooking her because she’s not threatening to do anything drastic.
I enjoyed good lines like Mayor Pete’s “We shouldn’t have to choose between one candidate who wants to burn this party down and another candidate who wants to buy this party out,” even though they make me worry about the candidate being too scripted. And I still don’t understand how Sanders’ and Warren’s freebies for all will be paid for. I think it’s dangerous to contemplate completely destroying and then rebuilding our health care system (and the immense, intricate economy that goes with it) in a very few years when it took decades to get where we are. As a doctor’s daughter, longtime medical association employee, and Medicare recipient, I simply don’t believe Sanders’ approach will work.
With Super Tuesday rapidly approaching, I still don’t know who to vote for. Maybe Buttigieg or Klobuchar. Maybe even Biden if he does reasonably well in Nevada and South Carolina. He was, after all, my first choice once upon a time.