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Nancy Smith

On Night 2 of Democratic Presidential Hopefuls' Debate, the March to the Left Quickens

June 28, 2019 - 6:45am
Joe Biden, Bernie Sander, Kamala Harris
Joe Biden, Bernie Sander, Kamala Harris

If Thursday night in Miami proved anything, it was that the middle ground within the Democratic Party is sinking fast. Moderation is losing. It's grown old and unattractive, apparently, and as creaky as a farmhouse staircase.

When former vice president Joe Biden, 76, stepped onto the stage at the Adrienne Center for the Performing Arts, he was leading in the polls and in the money chase. He was the man to beat. But as night 2 of the Democrats' presidential debate wore on, the progressive candidates opposing him painted him as an out-of-touch relic, a centrist unable to keep up with the leftward leanings and pugilistic mindset of party activists.

Clearly, hard-lefter U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, the only black woman running for president, got the better of him. At least, she stood up and was counted. All of a sudden Biden's ability to sustain his lead in the race isn't as sure on Friday as it was on Wednesday.

I Beg to DifferIn one powerful moment, Harris, a Berkeley graduate and former prosecutor in California, invoked race, challenging Biden to apologize for working with segregationist senators and for opposing aspects of school busing in the 1970s. She made it personal, telling Biden she benefited from busing as a young student.

Biden didn't apologize, but his counter-punches missed the mark.

Said an Associated Press wire report, "Throughout the debate, Biden had a mostly subdued presence and did little to draw bright distinctions between his policies and those of top-tier challengers like Harris and Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

"His high points," concluded the story's author, "were his invocations of his alliance with President Barack Obama and his record on getting tough legislation on guns passed."

Vermont's 77-year-old U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, along with Sen. Elizabeth Warren, are probably the most notable of the race's raging liberals. Sanders came out Thursday night shouting and subsequently annoying some of his most committed supporters. One of his Twitter followers told him to cut it out.

“Bernie, I respect you but STOP YA DAMN YELLING!” tweeted an activist at the handle @RadioDexter.

And, “I wish Bernie would stop yelling at me,” wrote a New York woman who called herself a sports fanatic and animal lover.

With more at stake for the frontrunners, the second Democratic debate far more fireworks than the more tepid event the night before.

Said FOX News, "By and large, the moderators went down a list of Democratic issues as defined by the left of the party, and the candidates largely pandered in their answers.

"Interestingly, when asked what issue they would bring before Congress, this group of mostly seasoned politicians ducked the issue for fear of alienating one constituency over another."

Also, it would also appear impeachment is a dead issue, because certainly it was of little interest to the presidential candidates. What IS of interest to all of them is giving free health care to undocumented immigrants. That's now a consensus issue among the candidates.

Most candidates on both nights vowed to decriminalize illegal immigration. Which led conservative pundits to conclude they cannot identify a single candidate among the Dems' ranks who can defeat Donald Trump.

Who were Thursday's winners and losers? These aren't my choices, but most media opinion writers agree with this list. It comes from Mark Penn, managing director of the Stagwell Group. He was chief strategist on Bill Clinton’s 1996 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton’s 2000 Senate campaign, and Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign.

WINNERS

Joe Biden. He successfully showed he could stand up under withering challenges and recite a list of his accomplishments. He was generally articulate, on point and unflappable. But his response to the attack by Kamala Harris has holes, saying his vote against federally ordered busing was not a vote against busing.

Kamala Harris. She went in with a mission of having a confrontation with Biden, who is holding 50 percent of the African-American community votes. She went after him on the issue of race, and her attack will be the most replayed moment of the debate, elevating her status and perhaps reclaiming some of an important constituency from Biden. She had the most aggressive style of all the debaters and that may help her if the voters are looking for someone they believe won’t wither under attacks by President Trump.

Pete Buttigieg. His answers were generally articulate and he was careful to take some moderate positions like questioning "Medicare-for-all." His answer on the police shooting in his city was obviously rehearsed and very tentative, but he got through it. Nevertheless, he remains a candidate with a growing hold on younger voters who can’t be counted out. 

LOSERS

Bernie Sanders. He generally repeated his attack on corporate America over and over again and it sounded hollow. His performance on Thursday night is unlikely to stop the advance of Elizabeth Warren, who is splitting the party’s most progressive voters.

Kristen Gillibrand. She swung for the fences with an impassioned defense of women’s reproductive rights, but her attempt to go after women’s votes seemed inauthentic and forced. She likely did not advance her candidacy much in this debate.

THE REST

The rest of the candidates generally were losers even as they gave some articulate and interesting answers. But they will likely remain far behind the frontrunners.

So, Biden holds onto his lead. Harris is moving up. Sanders is going down. Elizabeth Warren and Buttigieg are the ones to watch.

Reach Nancy Smith at nsmith@sunshinestatenews.com or at 228-282-2423. Twitter: @NancyLBSmith

Comments

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Democrat 2020 Platform & Goals: -Open Borders. -Sanctuary Cities. -Elimination of ICE -Disarming Americans. -Infanticide. -Voting rights for illegal aliens. -Pack the courts with radical liberal judges (Like the 9th circuit) -Increase refugee’s from the third world. -Illegal aliens allowed to hold public office. -Socialism. -Free Abortions for all (Taxpayer funded) -The green new deal. -End of Electoral College -Free Medicare care for all including non citizens (taxpayer funded) -Raise Minimum Wage -Have adolescents vote -!00% free college for all, including non citizens. (tax payer funded) -Reparations for every race “harmed” by the white man. -Convicts, Terrorists voting. -Susie & Bobby using the same restrooms. -Late term abortions. -Pay check for every person in the US even if they choose not to work. Sources: Straight from the Democrat’s mouths.

Is there any intelligent leftists here? They are only name callers looking for a fight. So mature.

Humpty Dumpty Trumpty should be worried... He gets beat by every single one of them, and that is scary...

That's what Hillary said too. Ha ha ha ha ha!

Women and the Repubs are trying to push Harris as the winner and a somehow new, emerging leader...lol. Do not buy that rhetoric. The Repubs know and fear Joe and know they will lose badly in a head to head match-up with Biden. They see the odds in their favor against Harris for the most despicable of reasons, race and gender. It is a cheap ploy out of the Russians playbook to try to knock off the person they absolutely don't want to face in debates, head to head, anywhere...Biden

"Folks, I can tell you I've known eight presidents, three of them intimately." --Joe Biden, Aug. 22, 2012 . . . . . Well, I guess those three had to be Jimmy Farter, Slick Willie, and Obozo.

It's quite likely that Joe Biden is mentally retarded. So just smile at him and pat his back. But keep an eye on his hands!

who cares dumbass...get off Trump's D dufus...

It's amazing just how stupid this group of morons revealed themselves to be.

spoken like the namesake...

Mostly articulate group, with the exception of Sanders, the guy giving away money and the author... Any of the rest would obliterate Trump the Chump in a debate in the first 5 minutes...

The "march to the left" doesn't have to go very far left to be left of Genghis Khan Trump and his cult of fascists! The Democrats on the debate stage were clearly a breath of fresh air after thirty months of Trump and his TrumpNutz and the last 11 years of obstructionist McConnell in the senate. Normal people couldn't possibly find a legitimate reason to vote for those two again in 2020.

Way too late to "turn back" your "socialist ideology" now, Dems... It's SO OUT OF STEP with American culture ! It will take generations for Democrats to recover from their regressive posture...

I can tell you this. If Trump wins again, I'm moving out of the country. And this time I MEAN IT.

Is that like Obamas “Red line in the sand” with Syria?

Not a single American flag on the stage and they want the top job in America? No, you just lost my vote.

America hasn't been America since Trump and his deplorables took over.

Then GTFO

Giving Obama credit for Trump's economy is like giving Hillary credit for Monica's BJ.

Finally! Proof that life exists on Mars and they don't teach US history.

Oh, I thought obama did the deed.

I shudder at the thought of one of these lamebrained idiots occupying our White House. Every one of these ignoramuses would immediately attack our energy sector (they've all admitted so) which would crash our economy and lift the economies of the countries that we are forced to buy energy from. The DNC should be the number one enemy of every American.

Medication might help, don't you think? Give it a try.

It may have worked for you, but still, I think you should triple the dosage and make everyone happy.

Bernie Sanders, last night, made former Congressman Ron Paul appear like an extreme right wing, common sense, prognosticator.... who could have well been on his way to the presidency last night (given the low character & caliber of all 20 "Clown" candidates over the entire last two nights of liberal, socialist Democrats' mere palaver).

and you make Richard Simmons look like Arnold fat boy... haul *** back to NY and get a job tiny...

It's shameful how extremist left-wing these kooks and nut-bags all are. If John F. Kennedy was running today, these bozos would call him an extreme right winger.

So, "kooks" and "nut-bags" are bad - but a crass, crude, classless, corrupt, and probably criminal Trump - who's also a pathological liar, a serial cheater and adulterer, a consummate con man, and a forever fraudster - is BETTER! Laugh, laugh, laugh!!! LAUGH, LAUGH, LAUGH!

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