Live-Blogging the November Debate

By | November 20, 2019

6:00–Now might be a good time to mention that the top 5 Democratic candidates (Biden, Warren, Harris, Buttigieg, and Sanders) have not changed at all in 2018. It might be also be a good time to ask why the fuck nearly 20 other people are still running?

6:02–Disappointingly, the first question is not “Tulsi Gabbard, why are you here?”

6:04–Elizabeth Warren takes a swipe at appointing ambassadors just because they contribute to your campaign. [Trump had appointed an ambassador who gave him a million dollars.] Making this the 1,200th thing Warren has said she won’t do once in office. “No ambassadors who gave you money!” isn’t something I hear a lot at protests. I think more Americans care that America has NO ambassadors in several important countries. Warren sometimes comes up with new moral codes to follow.

6:06–Bernie Sanders makes the case that the race can’t just be about Trump, and not everything can be about Donald Trump. Well…yes and no…

6:09–Biden is asked about possible ethical breaches, and makes the (correct) statement that Donald Trump is afraid of him. “What we know is that Vladimir Putin does not want me to be President” and you have to wonder why that is since he really seems to want America plunged into a Civil War.

6:12–Warren and Booker mildly disagree about a wealth tax, and you can see Booker walking the tightrope between sucking up to Wall Street and not wanting to alienate Warren’s hugely popular message.

6:17–Mayor Pete is asked about why he often strikes a conciliatory tone on the campaign trail. Nothing this guy says sounds all that sincere.

6:24–Right as I was about to fall asleep, Tulsi Gabbard comes out to infuriate me. I swear they only let her participate because every reality show needs a villain.

6:27–Hell yes! Somebody finally goes after Tulsi Gabbard for being a fake-ass, Trump loving Trojan horse, and (no surprise) it’s Kamala for the win! It only took 5 debates, but it’s about damn time.

6:30–I’ve seen dozens of people wonder why Tulsi Gabbard always wears the same white suit. I think it’s because her handlers recommend it for brainwashing purposes. “White suit = good guy” like the old Westerns where the hero wore a white hat.

6:32–Andrew Yang is asked his first question more than 30 minutes into the debate. Right off the bat, he dodges the question to suck up to Tom Steyer, congratulating him on spending his money to fight climate change. But I’m not sure how Steyer’s biggest acts of philanthropy (funding his Presidential campaign) really has anything to do with climate change.

6:34–Pete is asked the extremely relevant question about why voters should trust him to beat Trump when he lost his only statewide race by double-digits. [Andrea Mitchell especially is asking questions I haven’t heard a million times before.]

6:35–Amy Klobuchar has this habit of smirking victoriously after her own lame jokes.

6:37–Biden is doing much better this debate than he normally does.

6:39–Cory Booker always seems so pleased with himself. He brags on himself here, saying Mayor Pete is not the only former Rhodes Scholar turned mayor. He must have taken image consulting from the same guy that told Amy Klobuchar to laugh at her own jokes harder than anybody else does.

6:41–Bernie is asked about “lock him up” chant about Trump, and looks very hesitant to endorse it. This is in sharp contrast to the way Trump treats his political foes.

6:42–But Biden comes out straight and says he’s not for “lock him up” chant. Also says he won’t direct his justice department the way Trump has done.

6:44–Very mild disagreement between Sanders and Biden here, but you can tell the moderators want this to be more of a thing than it is.

6:45–Andrew Yang scores a genuine joke about the United States basically being the only country in the world that doesn’t have guaranteed paid family leave. Of course…the Universal Basic Income is his answer…

6:48–Amy Klobuchar answers something again by shaking slightly. Do you think she gets delirium tremens?

6:50–The only people I’ve ever seen do that shaking thing are alcoholics going through withdrawals.

6:52–People on Twitter are suggesting Klobuchar change her hairstyle to one that won’t showcase her shaking so badly. OR she could just drop out and let people who actually have a chance at the nomination talk more.

6:54–Yay! A commercial break!…The only time I say that is during these debates.

7–Tom Steyer says he cares more about climate change than any other candidate on stage. Bernie Sanders has something to say about that…

7:05–I don’t know how Tom Steyer just magically inherited the mantle of “Climate Change candidate” from Jay Inslee once he left the race. Steyer actually hasn’t done all that much to combat climate change.

7:11–Biden makes the case that Trump has collapsed our allies.

7:13–Sanders is asked point-blank if he would withdraw from Afghanistan even if it allowed the government we set up to collapse and the Taliban to take back control. He starts off by criticizing Biden for voting for the Iraq War.

7:14–Andrew Yang is asked what he would say to Putin in his first phone call as President, and laughs. Even he seems amused at the idea of him talking to Putin.

7:20–Elizabeth Warren is asked if more people should be in the military, and she says yes, while at the same time relaying a story about her brother being in the Vietnam War and the heart ache from that…Does that sound like something more people should go through?

7:23–It sucks that so many candidates are still there. Why are they? Hard for the chosen 5 to have a real chance to get their points across with all this noise and clutter.

7:24–These are the things I think about during the commercial break…

7:26–Now is a good time to ask “How many movies does Adam Driver really NEED to be in?” Since both “Marriage Story” and “The Report” are commercials for this debate…

7:30–Tulsi Gabbard even LOOKS like the villain in a spy movie…or a YA dystopia where the villain talks in calm-seeming corporate speak.

7:31–Joe Biden appears to be getting tired.

7:33–They ask Kamala Harris about Pete’s relationship with African American voters. It’s clear they’re desperate to get the candidates going at each other.

7:35–Harris makes the good point that black women are saluted for bailing out the Democratic Party (Alabama senate race, Hillary in 2016), but rarely get proper reward for it. Seems like supporting Kamala Harris in 2020 would be a great start.

7:41–Unfortunately, Cory Booker is not asked “Why don’t you drop out and endorse Kamala Harris rather than being a spoiler for her?”

7:44–Booker and Biden square off…somewhat awkwardly. I’m not sure this helps Booker and I know it doesn’t help Biden, but this is the 2nd or 3rd time they’ve done it.

7:45–At one point, Biden says he has the backing off the only African American woman in the senate, Kamala says “I’m right here.” Everybody laughs, but Booker and Biden look flustered.

7:50–Kamala is killing it tonight, but she’s killed it before and seems to get little benefit from that…Whereas Warren, Mayor Pete, and Biden have never really had a great debate performance, but keep going up and up poll-wise.

7:54–Amy Klobuchar talks for the first time in forever, and I honestly forgot she was there…What if Mayor Pete was like “Where the fuck did you come from?” and looked startled like they snuck up on him.

7:58–Tulsi Gabbard launches into a ridiculous attack on Pete Buttigieg for saying he would send military advisers to Mexico. Of course, America has been doing that for decades, but this is another Putin talking point.

8:00–Mayor Pete FINALLY calls her out for meeting with Assad and basically parroting Putin talking points. I can’t see for all this shade, better take off these sunglasses.

8:05–They finally get around to closing statements.

8:05–Cory Booker’s closing statement includes a shot of his beard–I mean, “girlfriend” Rosario Dawson.

8:06–Tom Steyer reminds you that he’s still there, and he’ll spend every last penny to keep it that way.

8:07–Tulsi Gabbard name checks Martin Luther King Jr. and tries to pretend she’s a social justice warrior in her closing statement. God, this woman is full of shit.

8:10–Andrew Yang says he went to Washington, told them things they already know, and was surprised they didn’t seem like he told them something new, so that’s why he’s running for President.

8:12–Amy Klobuchar once again makes the false point that she can win in red states. Minnesota is the only state in America that never voted for Reagan.

8:15–Kamala Harris has been on fire tonight. It’s no secret she’s been my favorite from the beginning, but this is her best performance since the first debate. It kills me that people now talk of her as a second-tier candidate. She absolutely deserves to be in the same conversation as Biden/Warren/Buttigieg.

8:17–Bernie says his dad came to America as an immigrant…word is he struck it big as a prospector during the Gold Rush.

8:19–Elizabeth Warren goes into a long tangent about the revolving door and “ending lobbying” as we know it. Unpopular opinion: it really does feel like Warren is against too many things at one time. Tonight alone, she’s against ambassadorships to donors, the revolving door, lobbying, Big Tech, Wall Street, the Military Industrial Complex, private health insurance, Big Pharma, and many other things…

8:20–Joe Biden ends on a hugely optimistic message. This is being complained about by the sour-heads on Twitter, but Americans NEED to hear this. The people actually up for grabs (those that aren’t political junkies) WANT to hear this. Too much of this just feels like name-checking everything that’s wrong, and that’s a turn-off to undecided voters.

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