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The Debates Round 2 Part 2- Punching Bag’s Fair and Balanced Scores

The Debates Round 2 Part 2- Punching Bag’s Fair and Balanced Scores

The second part of the second round of Democratic Primary Debates … is in the can. Again, ignoring my despair and sadness with their far left positions and only looking at how they presented themselves on stage, here is how I believe they fared and how their poll ratings will be affected. Just like last time, ratings are from -10 to +10.

First, some highlights of the content:

Climate change  – PANIC!!!  Oh My GOOOOOOODDDDD!  IT’S TOOOOOO LAAAAATE!!!!!!!

Trump – racist, racist, racist, racist, racist, racist, racist, racist, racist, racist, guilty, guilty,guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty, guilty…


OK, on with the scores.


Bill De Blasio +2 –  Looking respectable, high energy, very good speaker. He challenged Biden, Biden cracked slightly. He had some powerful moments, where he was able to say “as mayor of the largest city in America.”  This is a good meme for him.  Based on his performance he deserves a substantial boost in polls. And if people didn’t know about his record and that his city hates him, he might very well get that boost. Realistically, nothing here for him. Time to return to NYC, with tail tucked…

One quick note. Even if he managed to make his way to the nomination, he sunk his chances of actually being President with the remark that he will “tax the hell out of rich people” (and apparently a website to the same effect). That one quote makes him despised and mistrusted by the people who create jobs and build economies and who have made America great.

Kristin Gillibrand -6 – Gillibrand has occasional moments of excellent messaging, but this performance was disappointing.  In the last debate, she was head to head with Kamala Harris and lost only slightly. This time she was just a footnote. Her manner reminds me of a high school cheerleader, not powerful, not presidential.  At one point, she seemed surprised and distracted by a moderator question, and had to dance a bit to answer.  Went through the whole ordeal that she is a “white woman of privilege” and what that means and how apologetic she is, which, if she had a ghost of a chance of winning in the primary, would sink her in the general election. This may play to her base though, and people who like her will like her more.

Tulsi Gabbard +8 – A shockingly beautiful display, she was an angel in bright white, with a good tan, voice low, confident and powerful, VERY presidential.  She attacked Harris and got away with it, scoring substantial points. The commentators were kind enough to point out that she was the sole military veteran on stage so she drew focus on a number of important issues. Very powerful and distinguished closing speech.  When the camera flashed from Gabbard to Harris, Harris appeared unkempt and tired.  Harris had more airtime, but Gabbard surprised everyone.

I know a lot of Hawaiians were critical of her decision to run, and she is taking friendly fire from the party. However, this may be the performance that boosts her into higher polling numbers. And it’s a good thing, because this is probably her last chance.

Kamala Harris +4 – Harris was surprisingly sedate at the beginning, with a tendency to get a bit too technical. After a warm-up period, she became the focus of attention, perhaps not quite measuring up to Warren’s stage presence but attacking a lot to great effect.

She could have done better though. She became surprisingly defensive on her record when under attack. This is not an attractive situation for her, in fact, she seemed ugly to me during that defense with an underlying anger and resentment that was very un-presidential. Almost Hillary-like.

I believe she got a disproportionate amount of airtime from the CNN moderators (turns out Joe got more…), to the point of unfairness, but it was perhaps a tribute to her lawyerly skills, much to her advantage. Very noticeable when the camera went from Gabbard to Harris, she looked tired and unkempt by comparison. Her opening and closing speeches should have been much more energetic, given her position in the polls.

Harris is in a true contender position, but she will not get the boost she was hoping for with this performance. She must do much better in the next round to keep her 3rd/4th place standing. This is good enough at this stage, though, it buys time and campaign contributions to sustain her to the next stage.

Joe Biden +1 – I believe we saw the true relaxed Joe Biden this time, not especially sharp, but still a very agile political speaker.  I mentioned back in February that he had no chance in hell of winning because his opponents have been gathering ammunition for a very long time (and they have plenty of it). If his ‘friends’ are finding this much to attack him with, think what the Republicans will bring! At one point he was being double teamed by Harris and Gillibrand, and he seemed very perplexed.  But Joe took shrapnel from every candidate at one time or another and kept his sense of humor. His attacks against Booker and Harris were not overly effective, easily fended off, it lost him points.

Joe won some clashes and lost some clashes, but appeared to keep his sense of humor. He was addressed frequently as Mr. Vice President, actually a huge advantage.

I thought after the last debate that he had fended off Harris just fine, but he was sunk by the media’s hunger for a sound bite. His poll numbers have gone back up to his pre-first-debate level. This time, while his performance was fine, I believe his numbers will start to drift down – not quickly, but with a definite trend. Warren and others will rise.

Andrew Yang +5 – Yang was much more cogent, clear and relevant this time. His arguments were clear and distinguished from others, established very well as unique and different, I believe he will get a couple more points out of this performance and enhance his cult following. He is still not a contender, but perhaps in a position to make a push. His opening and closing statements were both very good. I believe he became a real candidate after this. Boost his poll numbers to 3-5% – and then he will either sink in the next few weeks or find some new way to get attention. This, by itself, will not sustain a run up the poll standings.

My old friend Democrat consultant Steve Marchand is taking over his campaign in New Hampshire. Marchand is a power player in this small but important state, with one of the earliest primaries and generally believed to be a bellwether.  If Yang can manage to get into the low double digits by primary time, a win in NH would catapult him to contender status.  With Marchand in the mix, the chances of this are not zero.

While this may help him in the Democrat primary, I believe his comment that it is too late on climate change and that we must “move people to higher ground” would sink him in the general election. He really shouldn’t say stuff like that.

Corey Booker-6 – His whole manner tonight was over-acting and artificial energy, he appeared un-genuine. He was an apt debater, but he seemed much more like a commentator than a presidential candidate. I liked his performance last time, this time not.  Nothing presidential about him. Maybe he was auditioning for a job at CNN? His campaign is toast.

Jay Inslee – 5 – I thought he did reasonably well in the last debate, but this time he looked weird, like an old, somber Drew Carey.  He is still overshadowed as “strong old white guy” candidate by de Blasio. His attacks on Biden were not really effective and I don’t remember anything else he said. Time to hang it up, Jay.

Michael Bennett -10 – Bennett had occasional moments of energy and compassion, but they were too few and far between.  He seemed awkward, he was a poor speaker (compared to others on stage), he was very sedate in the opening, he frequently looked rattled and because his communications skills were not up to the level on the rest of the stage, his messages were not getting through. His stage presence was not very good, He looked small on stage. He still sounds like a cartoon character to me. Nice guy, good ideas, but time to ride off into the sunset.

Julian Castro -7 – Seemed reasonable and articulate, and he had some moments in the last debate, but now he appears to me to be the consummate bureaucrat. He had little in the way of spark in this debate, nothing to generate additional support. If he stays in the race, his only path to success is to pair up as a vice presidential candidate, probably with a third-place primary candidate next spring.

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  1. RedBull

    They say all the Americans they talk to hate their insurance – and they want to fix it. So how do they dismiss the fact that the insurance they have is the product of the ACA which ruined insurance in this country? They act as if it didn’t happen yet, but it did and it IS the problem!! They caused the problem and from one side of their face they say they have solutions and from the other side they say the Republicans want to take it away. It doesn’t make any sense at all.

    Build the wall.

  2. Dolee Renee

    All the Democratics have to do is match “uncle Joe” with an African American candidate for VP (Harris). That will turn out the black vote and Trump will be history. Hillary should have done this in ’16.

    • RichM

      , Harris is NOT african American per her parents.

      • Karen M Helms


  3. Annette

    I am more worried about socialism, now more than ever,.PRESIDENT Trump has good policies ,hes already done some outstanding thing’s, and quess what? Who’s taking about that!!

  4. Carol

    Just more democrat lies, fake promises, foolish illogical and costly solutions to every special interests groups’ problems and their health care solutions are ridiculous. Well, President Trump surely won this debate.

  5. Rick

    Democrats/Socialism, takes away Everyone’s right to pursue happiness because, if a person works hard to make a better life, and ends up having more than someone else, the democrats/socialist want to take the “more” away from you and give it to a person that will not work. All incentive to try is lost. Eventually, the people who were trying, give up and become liberals/takers. Without the conservatives to pay the way, the whole thing crashes. Democrats are only about taking your money. Taking your freedom, and controlling every aspect of your life using the climate change hoax as a way to do it.

    • Alex Zappavigna

      Alex The Democrats policy on immigration and race significantly reduce the importance of both. To support open borders reduces the value of our citizenship. And their excessive use of racism really diminishes the actual meaning of racism.

    • FightingTheAmericanTalibangelicals

      Some of you need a History Lesson, Conservative Policies you like to say are paving the way for the rest of us. Reality shows for the last 40 years. Fact: Every Republican President since Reagan has crashed the Economy. Every Liberal President since then has restored the Economy. Your Economic reasoning is NOT supported by FACT. Now Trump Inherited the longest Private Sector Job Growth in US History…now it has Slowed to near Zero. Trump Inherited from Obama only the second time in my 61 years that an Administration REDUCED the Federal Deficit. Now the Deficit Spending is through the Roof into the Trillions of Dollars. WHO is GETTING all OUR MONEY? Only the Wealthy and Big Corporations. Just like the last 3 Conservative Presidents Trump is trying to crash what WAS a very robust Strong Economy handed to him. He ALSO Inherited the lowest Illegal Border Crossings in 40 years and managed to create a HUGE Crisis so “Mexico will pay for” the Donald Trump Memorial Wall….the Great Wall of Trump. By Stealing Money from FEMA and the Military! You people have been conned and you know it but blind “Patriotism” makes you “Proudly Ignorant” of fact.

  6. Keith Ricklefs

    I don’t see Elizabeth Warren on the list. Does anybody know did she drop out ? I thought she was doing well in the first debate. I am glad to hear some good from Carol and Rick aboout President Trump. I don’t know how the President can put up with all the condenming and bashing he has to put up with from Congress and alot of other people. We need to keep praying for our President. I am on his side too. My word Obama and Hillary out of office still stick the bad comments about Trump. They should be mature and let the President run our country. He would get alot more done however Congress is all bent on disagreeing on everything he wants to pass. I saw an article yesterday that they are trying to impeach Pelosi. I don’t blame them for she is taking illegal immigrants side and holding up the help to get safety on our borders. Democrats said no emergency. That is a downright lie. Just because of all their hatred towards Donald Trump.

  7. Patriotson

    Never watch a political party label themselves so radical that they have their moment in the spot light, not wrapped in pride of country; not patriotism but the ideologies of Engles and Marx, the historical proven experiment of human slavery that has sacrificed millions of humanity under a flag of a hammer and sickle.
    The success of lower taxes; historical unemployment by all ethnicity; robust economic economy cannot be debated as an American failure so the only discourse the socialist democrats is to enslave with a central all powerful government.

    • Indy

      UUmmm — you don’t understand government and issues. Talk about hiding behind a flag as the slavery supporters did (do) Conrad Trump hides behind the American flag — he whines how much he loves America — so much so that with his fathers help he got 5 deferments to avoid going to Viet Nam. He is manic to get all people of color out of America. Obama handed him an upswing economy after he brought us out of the budget downer we were in. The economy is robust BUT that’s the history of the economy — it goes up, then down, up, then down, up then down HELLO. He was going to destroy Isis — never did. get rid of Obamacare his first day in office — never did. Build a wall we don’t need and Mexico would pay for it — never happened. Trump has many issues — he is paranoid, he has no self confidence. Thus his need to brag about everything. He has divided America (with the help of the Republicans — and on and on. The man(?) is a buffoon. Face it.

      • KnockKnock

        Up and down? Not, that’s the climate!

      • Buddy

        Has more then you will ever have, who’s the idiot now

      • K. Kaas

        Leftists have divided American, not Trump or anyone else! And the further off-center dems go, the more divided we will become. The RIght has moved left over the years but not enough to suit leftist Dems who are the REAL problem.

  8. Sono Fabich

    I’m 75 years old. I’m going to vote for Yang’s thousand dollar a month gift to every American.
    It’s a bet that the United States can outlive me, but definitely both of us would be gone in 15 years.