Fun stuff, a ton of Democrats a jockeying for position. To get that one sound bite that may extend their candidacy until next debate.
Last night, there were some surprises, however the most of the candidates who needed a hit from the Miami debates struck out. Beto O’Rourke, an early favorite isn’t likely to advance to Houston. He isn’t fast on his feet. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota failed to move the needle,America still doesn’t know who she is and her positions are. I’m not sure of John Delaney, did anything memorable to extend his stay. Tim Ryan who?
Last night was the debut of Montana’s Governor Steve Bullock a centrist who mixed it up with progressives Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders.
Bullock opposes dismantling the Affordable Care Act and replacing it with Medicare favored by Warren and Sanders thats unpopular with most Democrats.
“At the end of the day, I’m not going to support a plan that rips away quality health care from individuals. This is an example of wish-list economics,” Bullock said. “It used to be Republicans that want to repeal and replace. Now, many Democrats want to as well.”
“I’m a pro-union, pro-choice, progressive Democrat who won three elections in a red state, not by compromising, but by getting stuff done,” Bullock said in his opening remarks. “That’s how we win back the places we lost — by showing up, listening and focusing on the challenges of everyday Americans.”
Bullock, opposes decriminalizing border crossing. If Bullock makes the next cut, he will be a formidable candidate this fall.
Elizabeth Warren is on top of her game. She has style, she didn’t raise her voice and yet she commanded the stage. When John Delaney came for her, she chopped him down.
“I don’t understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for. I don’t get it,” the Massachusetts senator said in response to Delaney. “…We need to have the courage to fight back against that, and until we’re ready to do that, it’s just more of the same. Well, I’m ready to get in this fight. I’m ready to win this fight.”
Like many who has seen her I had low expectations of Ms Williamson. However it was Marianne Williamson and Pete Buttigieg brought something Fresh to the debate. But it was Williamson who received the loudest applause of the evening. She was also the most Googled person of the night AND she was the most discussed candidate by blacks on twitter. One person said she was the only person who talked about Flint Michigan.
“Ms. Williamson, many of your opponents support a commission to study the issue of reparations for slavery, but you are calling for up to $500 billion in financial assistance. What makes you qualified to determine how much is owed in reparations?”
“First of all, it’s not $500 billion dollars in ‘financial assistance,’ it’s $200 to $500 billion dollars payment of a debt that is owed. That is what reparations is,” Williamson responded, prompting resounding applause from the crowd.
““All that a country is is just a collection of people,” Williamson explained. “People heal when there’s some deep truth telling. We need to recognize that when it comes to the economic gap between blacks and whites in America, it does come from a great injustice that has never been dealt with.”
“That great injustice has had to do with the fact that there was 250 years of slavery, followed by another hundred years of domestic terrorist,” she added.
“What makes me qualified to say $200 to $500 billion dollars? I’ll tell you what makes me qualified, if you did the math of the ’40 acres and a mule,’ given that there were four to five million slaves at the end of the Civil War… if you did the math today it would be trillions of dollars,” Williamson said, “and I believe anything less than $100 billion is an insult and I believe $200 to $500 billion is politically feasible today.”
Slavery has caused “an emotional turbulence that only reparations would heal,” she concluded, as the crowd cheered and applauded.
As the leading candidates sparred over policy details, especially the party divide between the progressives and moderates, she broke through once again.
“If you think any of this wonkiness is going to deal with this dark psychic force of the collectivised hatred that this president is bringing up in this country, then I’m afraid that the Democrats are going to see some very dark days,” she said.
Bernie Sanders met with Cardi B, a few days ago. His campaign feels much like 2016. He’s still angry, healthcare/Medicare is front and center. Student Loan forgiveness. Giant companies are evil. He talks about energizing the youth harkening back to 2015 and 2016 when he drew large crowds of college students. He seemed to resent being questioned about Medicare.
Tonight Diversity is on stage.