Nothing that happened on that glitzy stage in Miami mattered all that much. Some candidates performed well and others bombed but in the end, a good ground game in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina will matter infinitely more.
Hell, I don’t even think general election debates matter all that much: Hillary and Kerry destroyed their opponents, which is the political equivalent of winning the battle and losing the war.
One jarring thing about the debate was the performative Spanish speaking by several candidates. It started to feel as if it were a Canadian debate where they break into French from time-to-time. You say gracias, I say merci. Let’s call the whole thing off.
I have a few random thoughts about this random group of candidates:
Warren: My candidate performed well as always. There were stretches where she was quiet but she’s the frontrunner in this group so she didn’t need to mix it up with the likes of DeBlasio, Ryan, Delaney, and Gabbard.
Her closing argument was superb. It’s a good example of why I believe she’ll win the nomination and go on to be our first woman president.
Booker: He helped himself. He was strong, forceful, and passionate. He seems to have good chemistry with both Warren and Castro. A good thing since they’re her most likely running mates if she picks within the field of candidates.
Castro: The strongest performance of the night. He’s an impressive guy with a great back story. He’s making a real contribution to the race with his focus on immigration. It’s easy to imagine him cleaning up the Homeland Security Department in the next Democratic administration.
Beto: He’s an outstanding stump speaker but a poor debater. He came off as a nervous windbag who was trying too hard to be a 21st Century Bobby Kennedy.
It finally occurred to me who Beto reminds me of:
Like Walton Goggins as Boyd Crowder, Beto never uses one word when ten are available. And they both have big, scary teeth.
He should reconsider running against Senator Cornhole in Texas. Running for president was a bad Beto…
Klobuchar: I like the Senator from Minnesota, but this was not her best performance. Her closing argument was a dud: I’m electable yadda, yadda, yadda. Why? At this point in time, Trump looks like a stone cold loser unless his pals in the Kremlin bail him out again.
Inslee: In a word, inconsistent. Gave some good answers on climate change but rambled at other times. His makeup was a disaster. It made him look 20 years older than he is.
DeBlasio: Tall, annoying, and loud.
Delaney: Why was this bozo even onstage? He looks like a wrestling coach. I halfway expected him to apply a Half-Nelson to one of his opponents.
Ryan: He gave a decent answer early on about guns then became increasingly incoherent. He spent much of the second half giving forgettable answers about the forgotten people. I forget exactly what he said.
Gabbard: Ryan was so inept that he gave Gabbard a chance to shine. I hate to say that because she’s awful and should exit the race, stage left.