I watched the first Dem debate last night. Quick impressions:
- Elizabeth Warren was omnipresent at first, speaking 6-7 times in the first half hour, but then largely disappeared the rest of the way. I am guessing someone got to the NBC moderators to let them know people were keeping track. She has "plans," but other than demanding more research about various issues, she didn't seem to have a plan for actual governance. NBC did her a favor by limiting her exposure in the second half of the debate.
- Oh, everyone here in Minnesota is rooting for Our Amy, but she doesn't have the chops. Her magic surname means nothing across the St. Croix River. She got off one semi-amusing line about conducting foreign policy in pajamas, which was probably a shot about Trump's Tweeting habits, but other than that she didn't register.
- Beto O'Rourke was a disaster. He's the emptiest of suits and his near miss against Ted Cruz in the last cycle tells you more about Cruz than it does about O'Rourke. He has nothing to say and doesn't say it especially well, either. He demonstrated the ability to speak high school level Spanish, though. Muy bien, dude.
- Cory Booker is a demagogue of the first rank, but he comes off as a bit, well, loony. He's long had a history of telling dubious anecdotes (his mythical pal T-Bone comes to mind), and his assertion about hearing gunshots in his neighborhood is an admission against interest -- sir, if you were mayor of Newark, shouldn't you have solved that issue by now? Many words, little substance.
- Julian Castro wants to pass the Equal Rights Amendment. And he'd also like complete open borders, apparently. He also wants "reproductive justice," but not for the unborn. And he'd like transgender women, who don't have a uterus, to have the ability to have an abortion, too. He's in touch with his world, I guess.
- Tulsi Gabbard has no shot, but she's interesting. She's a non-interventionist and that's an increasingly popular stance. She is also an attractive woman, but it didn't seem to help her much yesterday.
- Bill De Blasio is not going to win. He's a left-wing Chris Christie with even less charm. He's likely to get run out of office in New York in the next election cycle. Other than that, he's just fine.
- John Delaney sounded sensible. But he looks like Mr. Peterson on The Bob Newhart Show. And we haven't elected a bald dude president since Eisenhower. And John Delaney is a former backbencher congressman from Maryland, not the Supreme Allied Commander.
- Jay Inslee was actually kinda frightening. And he looks like former Gophers coach Tim "Get That Chili Hot" Brewster. He's a one-note samba about climate change and came across as the sort of guy who would strap non-believers onto a windmill.
I am glad a sizable mountain range separates Inslee from the rest of the country.
- Tim Ryan is, from what we're told, a congressman from Ohio who has represented the Youngstown area for a long time. As Ohio congressmen go, he's far less entertaining than his predecessor James Traficant was, but he's got the baleful stare down pat. Here he looks like he wants to strangle Tulsi Gabbard with his bare hands:
So who won the debate? Donald Trump. We'll see what the second clown show looks like tonight.