Should the DNC cancel all of the rest of the debates after last night’s apparent debacle in South Carolina? Hey, I did my part — I didn’t watch it, having a
life previous engagement in the evening. Politico’s analysts came to the conclusion that nothing much is learned in these debates, especially when handled so poorly by the moderators.
Could’ve told them that six or seven debates ago. Or even ten:
The Democratic debates finally reached double digits, and perhaps it’s time for less talking and more voting. With South Carolina casting its ballots on Saturday and California, Texas and many other states voting on Tuesday, this was the last debate before Bernie Sanders’ status as the new 2020 frontrunner is either cemented or halted.
POLITICO Magazine asked 15 experts, insiders, activists and political professionals to watch and tell us who won, who lost and how the race changed. This time, consensus was hard to come by. Did Joe Biden complete the comeback he began in Nevada? Or did Sanders, who seemed less composed than usual, maintain his pole position? Was Mike Bloomberg impressive, or just able to clear the low bar he set for himself last week? Is anyone listening to Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg and Tom Steyer? One point of agreement: Amy Klobuchar’s long streak of debate victories has been snapped. …
JENNIFER LAWLESS: … The criticisms were the same as usual: Sanders’ worrisome relationship with the NRA, Buttigieg’s billionaire donors, Bloomberg’s racism and sexism. The narratives were the same as usual: Biden has done the job; Warren has a plan to do the job; Klobuchar gets stuff done. And the content was the same as usual: The first 38 minutes of the debate focused on electability, and the rest could be summarized as an unfocused discussion that touched on a lot of important issues, but didn’t give any one of them justice.
This is a long way of saying that the debate changed nothing. Sanders entered the stage as the frontrunner and emerged with that status intact. Biden started out with an advantage among African American voters and sustained it over the course of the next two hours. And the other five candidates similarly walked off the stage in much the same shape as they walked onto it.
If I had to come up with a motto that emerged from this debate, it would be an homage to Nike: Just Do It! It’s time to vote. We don’t need another debate. We don’t need another town hall. We’ve reached the point of the primary season where these debates provide little in the way of new information.