Election 2020: Live-Blogging the Live-Streaming of the Dem Presidential Debate, Day 1

Welcome to the live-blog of the live-stream of the first installment of the first Election 2020 debate. Ten Democratic candidates face off on one debate stage in the Democratic presidential primary debate.

You know the way a live blog works, right? Earliest stuff is at the bottom, last stuff is at the top. Remember, I’m in Paris tonight so the debate started at 3:00 AM local time and I was too damn tired to do the math so all the times are in local time just subtract six hours and you’ll be fine. Also, I overslept and missed the beginning of the debate. Long story, but the alarm was set too low to be effective. Luckily, it didn’t wake Mrs. Psy, though.

6:00 AM Well, that’s a wrap! Conclusions: Castro, Warren, and Booker did good. Castro, really did himself a solid. Beto was shown up for the big concept generalist kinda guy that he is. I don’t think he’s a detail person, which is not a bad thing, but it does explain why he has such trouble sounding like he’s talking about specifics even when he is. Inslee did himself some good tonight. De Blasio, who probably, had the most room to grow helped himself.

Klobuchar, Ryan, Delaney, and Gabbard probably didn’t move the dial very much. Klobuchar did a bit just because she had a zinger, but I kept expecting her to yawn during the middle of her monologues. She has got to lose her nasal voice if she wants to be taken as anything but a whining complainer.

5:40 AM The soundbites on healthcare showed a lot of preparation by many of the candidates. Warren stood out.

Castro brought up reproductive justice and not rights and Verlina Maxwell is explaining why its important. Castro may have done himself a good one here. He’s come up over and over again.

Apparently Klobuchar’s Inslee zinger is the zinger of the night with There are three women on the stage who’ve been fighting for women’s rights.

5:35 AM All foam and no beer, another practiced Klobuchar spontaneous line.

5:35 AM Just checked in with Twitter. Man #DemDebate is moving fast. I can’t do it. My head is spinning by even taking a look.

5:30 AM The student panel is really good. The two young women of color and the one young man, both sound really well informed and like they watched this carefully. They were articulate and detailed in their points: The young man gives props for the public health approach to gun violence. And, one of the young women about Warren’s “detailed” — how detailed can you be in your 30 to 60 seconds talking segments — answer on putting people back to work and job training.

They gave the winner as Castro by four to six. With honorable mentions for Warren and De Blasio.

5;25 AM Soundbiting on immigration. Klobuchar makes a great point about our need for immigrants. Castro kicking Beto’s ass on DREAMERS and other immigrants.

Inslee may have done himself some good here when he was saying that he welcomed immigrants and Trump was trying to threaten him with sending immigrants to states with sanctuary cities. He sounded earnest and genuine when he was doing it.

5:20 AM Fact checking: Castro was RIGHT on Trump’s immigration policies causing increased desperation and increase in immigration.

Beto got it wrong! Oxycotin manufacturer has not been held accountable but had been in court and paying settlements.

5:15 AM Another short break. So, did anyone strike the right emotional tones? I didn’t see any of the white guys be overtly angry. Maybe they were, but that crowd of nameless identityless white guys didn’t get angry which would’ve given then credibility.

Passion: I didn’t see much of Warren because oversleeping. But, they say she lacked energy. I’ve only seen Warren be energetic and passionate. Her soundbite on guns was passionate and the talking heads got it wrong. So, maybe she was. Klobuchar has a nasally voice which can grate and doesn’t sound passionate. I heard her talk about LGBTQ+ rights and she sounded like she was wading through her talking points and talking about her military experience. Booker sounded passionate about asperational hope thing. I’ll get back to it. I want to pay attention to the fact-checking segment.

5:15 AM Now they’re talking to the mayor Miamar Florida who was not on the stage, but is running. Why? He’s criticizing the debate for lack of focus on gun violence on student loan debt. Several candidates have student loan positions, why didn’t they jump to those talking points? Oh, because Warren is an honest candidate and doesn’t really do that. Hopefully, that’s not missed by the viewers.

5:20 AM Now we’re highlighting. Some soundbites. A good one, Who here would change their insurance to Medicare? Booker and Warren address gun violence. I thought Warren did pretty good by saying you have to take unpopular stands like regulating gun violence. Booker says license gun owners like car drivers… that’s my and many other people’s public health point. That resonates with me… is that identity politics? Probably not unless you’re reaching for the nerd vote, I suppose.

5:00 AM Who messed up? Klobuchar had moments when called out Inslee for mansplaining. What about identity politics: all of the Spanish, Beto, Castro, Booker. De Blasio made connection with black son. Pandering 102 for Beto when speaking Spanish. Everyone thought that he’s reaching and trying too hard. And, not answering the question. But another unknown says her phone blew up when Beto started in Spanish.

Was it pandering was or not? He’s a white man named Robert? What kind of uninformed point is that?

De Blasio resonated with his father’s suicide story — I got that one wrong.

Booker spoke about being black saying my community a lot. Reached for whites by talking about white accidents. The black guy is saying that no one talked about gun violence and didn’t try to take on Smitch.

5:00 AM Spins that Castro on best night. Attacked Beto on illegality of crossing border. Google search for Castro has increased 250%. Castro brought passion and policy even better than Warren.

Low expectations for Castro and sky-high for Warren. Warren didn’t bring the energy partly because she wan’t on stage with other front runners, but she didn’t screw up or gaff.

They wrap. Now on to post-coverage with Morgan Radford — whoever that was. Says top five got top five times, plus Castro. Seems surprised. I’m happy that Castro got time. He’s a good candidate, but he’s not assertive enough.

4:50 AM The sound was out and then out of synch with the video… somebody is yammering on about not wanting to be president to be president, I want to be president to get America working about. Waste of breathe to be honest.

Inslee wants to save ourselves. Dramatic: This is our moment.

Ryan: Nothing worse than being forgotten. We’ve been divided… ran away with the gold (?)… back on offense… Lift’s everyone up.

Sounds like closing arguments.

Gabbard: service above self. A lot of her 45 secs gone with just to get to government of by and for the rich and powerful. Our WH will be about the people and we’ll all live in nirvanna or something.

Castro: In Spanish says, My name is Julian Castro and I’m running for president to emphasize the opportunities in USA from immigrants to federal reps in Congress and running. We’ll say adios to Trump! That’s a practiced zinger line.

Klobuchar: I’ll listen. I can win — is that a zinger aimed at Beto? — I’m not an establishment party candidate — at Warren — big money — Biden?

Booker: Given his time in Spanish answered with gracious. Not gonna fight Trump on his turf but fighting him with hope and aspirational rhetoric.

Beto: Molly turned 11, congratulations! On stage for her and the immigrants on concrete floors etc. Fighting for futures and movements like in Texas that brought everyone in. This is our moment!

Warren: Born in Oklahoma, brother in military, dream to be a public school teacher, no money… her well-known rags-to-riches. I’m in this fight… I’ll fight for you as hard as I fight for my own family.

4:47 AM A break! It’s been fast and furious since I’ve woken up. It has been surprisingly well controlled in spite of Todd’s ineffective thank you’s. Good questions from the moderators. And, some holding people to answering with, I understand, but that’s not answering the question, when they try to just jump to talking points.

Kornacki is on in a taped segment on the primaries schedule and the sequence of early primaries. Good information that I can’t quite pay attention to.

4:40 AM We’re going onto impeachment by Todd to Beto. Rule of law since Washington. References Washington’s resignation of his commission for some reason. Then talking faster than a bullet train.

Not enough Maddow, too much Todd.

Maddow goes to Delaney about prosecuting Trump about leaving office. I guess there’s always a first; supports Pelosi’s decisions who knows more about it than all of us combined. — I’ve done 400 events, it’s not the issue that comes up and sequays to kitchen table issues. Maddow cuts time.

Klobuchar jumps in over Todd’s objections. She says protect the elections over Smitch.

4:35 AM A viewer question from Holt for Beto and allows Beto to talk in general about strengthening alliances. Hickenlooper jumps in to talk about his dad returning from Okinaowa with half his leg blown off which led ultimately to his suicide. He links to Congressional approval for war and the War Power Acts. Beto tries to jump back in, but Maddow expertly quiets it and goes to Ryan.

Ryan: I’ve been in Congress 17 years this president doesn’t have people appointed. Engagement etc.

Shoots to Gabber: We have to bring our troops home; is that what you’ll tell the parents of the soldiers killed, engagement?

Todd wants to go down the line — whatever that means — but lets Ryan go anyway. And, Gabber kicks his ass!

Whoa, the first shots fired in the debate: the Taliban didn’t attack us on 911, Al Queda.

Biggest threat: Hickenlooper, Trump; Warren,

4:30 AM Booker highjacks a Klobachur question about LGBTQ+ rights to say that it is not enough we must address violence against LGBTQ+, especially the trans community likening it to lynching and experience of civil rights.

Maddow returns to Klobuchar with a question about what she’s done for black and Latinx communities. She says that’s a first up here like that is a spontaneous statement, but obviously, it was practiced.

She shoots it to Castro as the only Latinx running. He talks about Mother Emmanual Church massacre and connects it to individuals who have been murdered by police.

4:30 AM Ryan is talking about being a blue collar party… fundamental problem and none of this will get done. He goes over and Todd, thank you Congressman.

De Laney jumps in to a lot of in effective, thank you Congressman, by Todd. De Laney says he can get a carbon tax through Congress, I guess by magic or something because he doesn’t say how.

4:30 AM Well, dammit, I overslept. Didn’t hear the alarm. So, egg on my face, I guess.

First up, Inslee talking about climate change, surprised? Inslee talks like he was being strangled like he’s fighting to get his words out. He says my state and I’m the only one.

Second, Beto sounds like he is talking generally even when he’s trying to be specific. We will put eight million people to work.

Third, Castro talks about Puerto Rico, rolling his r’s! And sounds like he’s more reacting and not pro-active.

11:00 PM I’m watching and listening to Buttigieg be interviewed by Stephanie Ruhle. She asked him about his police shooting and race problem in South Bend. He flubbed the question. He’s been criticized for not being warm enough in his live response to his citizens. They don’t feel that he feels them. It seems to me that he is sincere and wants to do something about it — BTW, no one has solved this problem; no city, no state, no president — which sounds like a cope out to me. But, he doesn’t really get it. Cognitively, he might. When a white person is pulled over in a traffic stop, they kick themselves and worry about paying the ticket. A black person worries for their life. He cognitively gets it, but there was no passion there.

What we know is that sadness creates sympathy and likeability. He needs to seem more sad about the killing. He needs to be more angry about systemic racism.

10:30 PM I’ve just finished the dishes while listening to Kasie Hunt‘s interview with Bernie Sanders. He just sounds hostile. It’s the wrong question! It isn’t about eliminating private insurance; it’s about having what everyone else in other countries has… Which dodges the question. The easy answer is to not explicitly outlaw private insurance. It is the case that he can demonstrate that it is cheaper to have Medicare-for-all for most of us even though we’ll be paying more in taxes because it will be more than offset by savings in premiums and deductibles and better healthcare.

He really sounds hostile. All of the things that we talk about are supported by the American people, all right? That all right sounds hostile defensive. Hold on a second… is defensive and interrupts. He doesn’t have to be so.

And, then there was the Will you concede if it’s clear that you are not going to win the nomination? question. He really sounded very defensive. It’s a question of likeability and warmth. This time around he is not a warm nurturing caring person. He seems bitter about his loss in 2016 echoing the Ol’ Pussy Grabber’s Many people are saying that if the system was not rigged against me…

9:00 PM It’s only 9:00 PM. I’ve had half a bottle of wine, watched some mind-numbing Morning Joe segment — aren’t they all? — and a segment on Elizabeth Warren hosted by Steve Kornacki sitting in for somebody. Once you’ve let the segment get away from you on MSNBC’s website there ain’t no getting it back. I can’t remember, though because I watched Episode 1, Season 5 of The Blacklist on Netflix. Who knew they’re releasing Season 7? I tell you, the Great Chinese Firewall really sucks.

Anywho, Joe and company were interviewing Carl Hulse the author of Confirmation Bias a book on the broken system we have of Senate confirmations of judicial nominations. Carl seems like a nice guy. He made several “funny” jokes about the upcoming debates. Elise Jordan gave him such a fawning look that I assumed she was give him a tug job under the table. But, Joe was just as bombastic as ever and, as always, never let Mika finish a sentence or question. It was painful. The whole revisiting the Kavanaugh confirmation was painful. Listening to them discuss the Merrick Garland nomination and non-confirmation and then the ha ha we’ll confirm a Justice in 2020 if need be situation was painful.

The run up to the debate is like being sent off to play with all of your terrifying cousins at a family reunion… again! Really. I may need another bottle of wine. Luckily, I’m in Paris! Had I mentioned that we’re in Paris right now? Well, we’ve been in Paris for about a week now and only have three more to go! Paris. What a great city.

8:05 PM Christ, in the run-up to this live blogging of the live streaming of the debate has had me re-reading blog posts from the Election 2016 presidential debates and been having my PTSD reactivated. Just now, MSNBC was running some of their old commercials from Election 2016. Man, my blood is running cold and I’m shaking. That’s fucked up, amirite?

8:00 PM We are gearing up to begin our live blog. We’re listening to MSNBC coverage of the campaigns. Right now I’m listening to discussions of the no good very bad weeks that Buttigieg and Biden have had over race. That tells you something about how white guys are going to do in this primary, don’t it? Race is going to bite some of these white privileged guys in the ass.

Buttigieg in particular has benefited massively from white male privilege. He’s just been assumed to be a qualified competent candidate, but his experience with the police shooting in South Bend is exposing him as the journeyman that he is.

10 replies »

    • Howdy James!
      You’d think that they would. When Inslee and Castro did mention him, and they got thunderous ovations. However, many of the electorate say they want to hear from the candidates about them and not just Trump. I get that, too. There has to be a balance between contrasting us with Trump and then what they want to do.

      I’m betting that we’ll hear more about Trump during tonight’s debate.



        • Howdy James!
          I loved the, I’d call NZ and say, Girlfriend! Oh man. She had a different perspective than everyone else on stage, which can be refreshing. No body, not even the moderators, knew how to respond to her, though.



  1. Yep, race is going to be a minefield for some. The Democrats can’t win without the Black vote, all of it, but have to get it without being seen as doing “reverse racism”. That means generalizing the issues, like police behavior and the criminal justice system without sounding like “All Lives Matter”. I keep thinking that that is a place where the diversity of the candidates can be made to work for them or against them. Whatever, it has to be a team effort, a full court press.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Howdy Bob!
      As I’ve been reading up on the upcoming debates, many in the punditry class are suggesting that there will be attacks on the front runners, especially Biden and, maybe, Sanders. I’m hoping not. I’m hoping that we can keep it civil this time ’round.

      We’ll see how that goes. The good thing about both Biden and Sanders is that they can both be relied upon to implode, especially Biden. He’s got a track record, you know.


      Liked by 1 person

      • Agreed about Biden. His recent gaff is really misunderstood as being about tolerating racists. That’s not the point. He was talking about a Senate that no longer exists, where even enemies could do the horse trading and make real deals. That Senate was buried along with John McCain and the tombstone was carved by Lindsey Graham when he became a Trump lackey. It is my way or the highway now and freezing out the opposition has replaced any semblance of bipartisanship. The goal of the GOP is to be the true ruling party and achieve Newt Gingrich’s wet dream of the permanent majority. Biden has been away from the Senate too long. He is in a time warp without a time machine.

        Liked by 1 person

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