Winners: Harris, Buttigieg
Fine: Biden (first hour), Sanders (first half hour), Gillibrand, Swallwell
Horrible: Biden (second hour), Sanders (last 90 minutes)
Never want to see or hear from again: Yang, Williamson, Bennett, Hickenlooper
Bernie and Biden started out well. Then Bernie crashed and burned when he was asked how to get Medicare for All plan passed and he resorted to his Magic Wand theory, where tens of millions will simply demand it and it will scare Mitch McConnell and they will all magically back down. He never recovered, continuing with the same empty rhetoric we heard in 2016.
Biden lasted a little bit longer, and gave good answers on Obamacare and having a Medicare for All Public Option, but then around 10 pm, Kamala Harris ripped out Biden’s still beating heart and ate it live on stage. Seriously, I have never seen a political killing so skillfully and beautifully performed. Biden should have said he was sorry that his words were hurtful, and that was not want he meant, and that his position on busing in the 70’s was wrong, and then pivot to his good civil rights record. But he got angry instead, pulled out a grenade and blew himself up.
And he never recovered. He even got destroyed by Michael Bennett of all people on the 2011 Debt Limit deal.
Harris is the undisputed winner of the night. She should get a massive polling bump from tonight. Biden should start losing points. For those who supported Biden because they think he is the strongest candidate against Trump, well this debate performance will disabuse them of that.
Buttigieg gave a great answer on the police shooting in South Bend, and his answers throughout the night were very good as well. He was a winner too, but not as good as Harris.