With their own blood.
The groundlings at Stately Blaska Manor loves them a good political bloodbath, and Tuesday’s (02-25-2020) seven-way Democrat(ic) presidential gladiator match was Roman bread and circus maximus.
Nothing stimulates a candidate like desperation. Joe Biden fought like a rat in a burlap bag. The man needed to do a Lazarus after Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada. And boy did he pander to the black vote in Charleston, S.C. which, it should be remembered, is bright-red Republican.
Joe name-checked local Dem pooh bah Jim Clyburn, D-South Carolina. Turned Obama into a transitive verb. To every issue raised said he’d already solved it years ago, incongruously, and was the only one who had done so. ““Saying you fixed a problem that still exists does not make sense,” the New York Times observed.
Still, Uncle Joe also had the best laugh lines. The best line of the night, Ann of Althouse declares, was his “Why am I stopping? No one else stops. It’s my Catholic school training.”
The moderator Gayle King responds, “Vice President Biden, you’re a gentleman. Good home training. Thank you, sir.” But Joe Biden doesn’t want to be Gayle King’s good little boy. He says, “Yeah, gentlemen don’t get very well treated up here.”
We’re all talking here!
Why do candidates feel they have to use the full amount of allotted time and then run over that? Looking at you, Mayor Pete, Elizabeth, and Tom. That abuses the audience. A point made quickly sticks sharper. Brevity is the soul of wit, etc. etc. (Q. Then why is this blog so long? A. Shut up.)
The New York Times employs a large panel of pundits grading the candidates on a 10-point scale. Stretching the bounds of fair usage, the excerpts here are listed in order, from the Times’ debate winners to losers:
On Bernie Sanders: “He says his agenda is mainstream, so why does he need a revolution?”
About Mayor Pete: “He was trying to be the adult in the room, but by the end of the debate he was giving off strong annoying-little-brother energy.”
Re: Elizabeth Warren: “… the left’s answer to Ted Cruz: highly intelligent, ideologically articulate and wholly inauthentic. … Her hate for Bloomberg is the purest substance on earth.”
Pace Joe Biden: “Here’s the deal: He’s not as verbally incontinent as you remember.”
On Amy Klobuchar: “Klobuchar remains reasonable and centered, but this primary is a barroom brawl. She argued that her Midwestern roots make her the most electable candidate, yet she came in fifth in Iowa.”
Concerning Mike Bloomberg: “A television on the podium running one of his ubiquitous commercials would have been more effective.”
Re: Tom Steyer: ”If he were still in third grade, they’d give him a participation award.”
And still champeen!
Chris Cillizza of CNN lists as one of the winners, Donald Trump. A bitter, angry shout-fest in which virtually every potential nominee’s dirty laundry was aired? The President couldn’t have drawn up a better debate for his chances of winning a second term.
The Werkes’ own opinion is that Mayor Pete (too lazy to look up spelling of last name) is this year’s Martin O’Malley — too pasteurized and so earnest he makes your teeth hurt. The know-it-all kid in the front row who always has his hand up.
Bernie is banking that if crazy worked for Trump, it should work for him. Trump likes Kim Jong-un, I like Fidel. Actually got booed Tuesday in Charleston. Praise for Castro loses him Florida.
We thought Elizabeth Warren actually produced sympathy for Bloomberg with her latest Lizzie Borden act. This time the Righteous One got more blood sprayed on her than her target. She actually got booed, which made some think that Bloomberg had paid for a cheering section. Tickets cost $1,750 to $3,200!
A 7-way cannibal sandwich
National Review: “A bad night for Democrats; the debate diminished everyone who participated in it.”
Sanders had a strange answer that seemed halfway between ill-conceived radical pandering and a condescending view when he said he was “going to provide help to the African American, Latino, Native American community to start businesses to sell legal marijuana rather than let a few corporations control the legalized marijuana market.” What?
Warren dominated the first hour by interrupting so much that clearly CBS started to demand their hosts enforce the rules. But the problem for Elizabeth Warren is that the more people actually hear what she has to say, the fewer support her bid for president.
The NY Times is panicked that no one is up to the task of rescuing the Republic from the Orange Meanie in the White House. The Times’ Frank Bruni:
Nobody really looked good, and that’s another big part of what spooked me. I was watching a political party devour itself. It was all so unpleasant — and so unflattering — that candidates took to commenting on how unpleasant and unflattering it was.
Blaska’s Bottom Line: Just once we wish a Democrat — especially Elizabeth Warren — would say, “I don’t have a plan for that. There’s some things government can only muck up.”