Night 1 – Biggest Winners
Elizabeth Warren – Warren stayed steady and consistent as the front runner all night carving out her path as Bernie lite and sticking to policy substance.
Tulsi Gabbert – After getting off to a slow start Tulsi really shined when things shifted to foreign policy. Her anti war rhetoric is beyond refreshing in a time with escalating tensions with Iran. Her appeal is very clear. No more endless wars and use those resources to build our infrastructure at home.
Bill De Blasio – Outside of citing Russia as the biggest threat to America De Blasio came out of nowhere with strong progressive rhetoric despite not having many questions directed his way. Despite the strong performance, I think his supporting Hillary Clinton over Bernie in 2016 will hurt his chances in that regard.
Julian Castro – Castro had some good moments especially on immigration but nothing good enough to make him relevant. He’s doing an Obama impersonation and identify politics won’t defeat Trump. Trump would metaphorically “choke slam” Castro through a table on a debate stage.
Beto O’Rourke – Beto looked like a deer in headlights all night getting attacked from all directions. Castro took him to town on immigration while others chipped away at his record. His worst moment is when he dodged a question on raising taxes on the rich by awkwardly and abruptly speaking Spanish, all while still not answering the question. It was brutal.
John Delaney – His main talking point is “let’s defend private insurance.”
Corey Booker – Booker has some good ideas but I think comes off as way too fake and way too scripted. He also tried some pandering and awkwardly tried answering a question in Spanish after Beto went down in flames. I think the base wants someone more authentic. Everything Booker says sounds like it comes off of a Hallmark card.
Takeaway: For me the only 2 interesting candidates are Elizabeth Warren and Tulsi Gabbert. Gabbert will be smeared by the shills for the military industrial complex and given less coverage in general which will make her road much more difficult. How she is selling an anti-war message that is unique and in line with the desire of the American people according to polling. Warren has carved a lane slightly to the right of Bernie which is smart, as the establishment would rather have anyone but Sanders. I worry if she could survive the chaos of a campaign against Donald Trump.
Night 2 – Biggest Winners
Kamala Harris – Kamala Harris highlighted an overall stellar performance by taking Joe Biden’s soul “Mortal Kombat” style on national television and possibly ending his career. Her anecdotal story that highlighted his problematic record and outdated philosophy exposed Uncle Joe as many of us predicted. Harris all of a sudden has rebranded herself from tough on crime prosecutor who laughed at the idea of marijuana legalization in 2014 to progressive warrior. Her rhetoric and delivery are fantastic but is she authentic? Or is she trying to be an establishment friendly alternative to Godfather of these progressive policies Bernie Sanders? What I do know is the establishment is going to abandon Biden like the GOP did Jeb Bush in 2016 and hop on the Harris bandwagon.
Bernie Sanders – As much as they try to smear him and ask him “gotcha” questions “Grandpa Bernie” just keeps trucking with his same consistent message. We have to tackle income inequality and fight the special interests that corrupt Washington. His views have been the same since the 70s and now everyone is copying his ideas that were called crazy just 4 years ago. Bernie has re-framed the conversation and forced the Democrats to the left with his populist ideas of “Medicare for All” and erasing all student loan debt through a tax on Wall Street. He exposes the Democrats corruption because if they were also trying to fight for the people they would embrace him as the leader of the party solely based on his popularity, but they hate him MORE than a Trump because he actually threatens the status quo and will raise taxes on them and all their news anchor friends taxes to pay for universal healthcare and education for our children.
Kirsten Gillibrand – I thought her focus on clean elections was strong but not enough to really make her relevant or stand out to the average person.
Joe Biden – Kamala Harris savagely targeted and eviscerated Joe Biden in his record of working with segregationists that had Biden dazed and confused for the rest of the night. Bernie Sanders followed up with the drop kick of bringing up that “Uncle Joe” voted for the Iraq war. Irrelevant Eric Swalwell followed up with the steel chair (wrestling reference) to the back slamming Biden for extending Bush’s tax cuts by cutting a deal with the closest person to the devil himself in the Senate, alleged turtle Mitch McConnell. Joe got exposed for his outdated philosophy and all of us Progressives are just saying we told you so. Why the establishment lined up behind someone with a terrible record, not in line with the party, and running a Hillary Clinton style campaign was asinine and every “expert” that said he was a strong candidate should be fired.
Mayor Pete Buttigieg – Mayor Pete although smart, young and savvy suffers from a severe lack of substance and actual ideas. His strategy of being extremely vague and calculating makes me feel like he’s another establishment safe alternative to Bernie who is leaning on identity politics of being young and gay. It’s great that we have such a diverse group of contenders, but I care more about what your policies are than if you are a “cool” person. Also his trouble with a high profile race related shooting under his police department is not helping his credibility in the Black community.
Andrew Yang – I like Yang and his fresh ideas but he did not do a great job at presenting them to the American people. Yang claims his microphone was cut most of the night which sounds outrageous but after what the DNC did to Bernie in 2016, it wouldn’t surprise me. Even so the times Yang did have the floor he looked nervous and not ready for the moment. It’s a shame because he has some truly unique ideas including a freedom dividend of 1000 dollars a month for every adult over 18 to stimulate the economy and cushion the middle class during the rise of automation. Hope he gets another shot and didn’t blow his chance to be a real contender.
New Updated Democrat 2020 Power Rankings
I’m riding with Bernie because I know he believes what he is fighting for and his closing statement was correct. If you don’t take on big pharma, the fossil fuel industry , the gun lobby, the military industrial complex, etc. Nothing changes no matter who is President. You’ve got to address the corruption that makes the government ignore the will of the people. I think Kamala’s rebrand is brilliant but it bothers me she only got so progressive in the last few months after she read the political winds. She is just adopting all of the views Bernie had before they were popular. I’m going with the OG (Bernie) who has been fighting for the same issues since he was a young boy in 1763 (LOL)!
Prediction: The establishment is going to abandon Biden and back Kamala or Mayor Pete. They will take anyone except Bernie.
Christopher Johnson also known as “C. J.” is the youngest columnist on this website. He started interviewing celebrities when he was 10-years old. Chris comments on sports, politics, current events and he writes movie reviews. In his spare time he is the Lead Guitarist for a band called The Courtland Experiment. Click here to visit his Archives Page to see more videos with Harold Bell and to read his commentaries and movie reviews. You can also follow him on Twitter and Instagram.