First Impressions On The First Democratic Debate We Watched

Democratic candidates all in a row (click on photo for host ABC’s coverage)

Hate to say this, but we kept thinking “where’s Trump to liven this up”?

We wonder what the New York Times was watching that prompted them to call this a “lively evening”? But who cares what we think? We barely do.

It’s going to take someone truly inspirational to beat Trump. And nobody is truly inspirational. There’s no Obama in this group. No emerging star who can really break through we don’t think. At least not yet.

Still, we remain optimistic Trump is beatable. As optimistic as we were pessimistic in 2016. Our friends who all insisted Hillary was a lock back then think Trump is a lock now. Maybe they’ll be wrong and we’ll be right again. Or maybe our political prescience was just a fluke.

So then we’re looking for someone who’s just sane. Who can best stand next to crazy and look normal. In substance, that’s Biden, who also exhibited a broader knowledge of foreign policy than anyone else (although Americans still don’t really ever care about that so he’s got to be careful not to talk about it too much). In appearance, we are a little reluctant to say it, but Biden looks embalmed. Please, please get a consultant for your make-up. Please. We know this sounds mean and petty but it’s huge.

Klobuchar seems so canned. Has all these little sayings and quips. Even in moments when she seems genuine, veers back into trite. Can’t believe we thought she might be the answer at some point.

Beto and Mayor Pete are great. Communicate well. Have good ideas. Refreshing. Give us great hope for the future. Maybe because we’re middle-aged, think they need to put in a little more time at what they’re already doing before they’re ready to do bigger.

Andy Yang: if he’s trying to be taken seriously and not as an oddity, he sure is working hard at pulling stunts like a contest to give cash away that took up most of his opening statement and made him look like an oddity.

Cory Booker talks a lot about the past; his inspirations, but never quite gets around to saying what he’ll do. Needs to get to his point in a less peripatetic way.

Julian Castro: when he accused Biden of not remembering what he just said “2 minutes ago”, he was wrong about what Biden had just said. Which tells us he was planning to pull this stunt no matter what. Which makes it reprehensible even if you think candidates should be getting more down and dirty.

Kamala Harris was impressive at times, but better when speaking for herself than in back-and-forths (of which, to be fair, there weren’t many). Except for a very weak closing statement: gotta be careful about telling stories about anonymous constituents praising you to your face. Trump’s “Sir” stories are one of the few things that don’t work for him public-speaking wise. Don’t go down that road! However, our opinion of her did go up.

Opposite for Elizabeth Warren, who we’d been liking more recently. Came across as such a “politician” on her first answer in question about “Medicare for All”. That question couldn’t have been a surprise. But answered it as a person whose first instinct is to lie. Then says to themselves “why did I lie? I didn’t have to lie”. But then it’s too late.

Bernie is Bernie.

We never thought we’d say this, but maybe Hillary needs to run again?! Or as surprise VP…?

But as we said, just first impressions…

One random thought we had while we were watching the debate:

Do these get cleared by Trump now before they get sent out?