I watched the Democratic Debate last night from Iowa featuring the top six candidates. Here’s my take on the candidates and their prospects:
Joe Biden: It’s bizarre that Biden, still ahead in most polls, is hailed as doing well in these debates as long as he shows up and avoids making major gaffes. To use a sports analogy, it’s as if you put your ace pitcher into the game and applaud him for giving up only ten runs while walking five and throwing three wild pitches. At least he competed, right? Biden didn’t do poorly last night, but he didn’t shine either. Mr. Excitement he’s not, and that doesn’t bode well if he’s the Democratic candidate for president against Trump.
Pete Buttigieg: Mayor Pete has one talent: he knows how to please older people with vapid talk that seems sincere and serious. He has almost zero support among African-Americans and very little support among people his own age and younger. What is his path to victory?
Amy Klobuchar: Klobuchar poses as the adult in the room, a moderate who rejects the “crazier” notions of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Clearly, she’s against progressive politics, but what does she stand for?
Bernie Sanders: Sanders is the one true progressive on the stage. The man is a model of consistency and heart, and he has the strongest movement behind him. He has the best chance of defeating Trump, but his dedication to people over corporations and profits makes him an anathema to establishment Democrats.
Tom Steyer: Steyer, a billionaire, has embraced climate change as his issue of choice. At least he puts his money where his mouth is, but he has virtually no chance to gain the nomination.
Elizabeth Warren: Warren’s campaign concocted a phony controversy in an attempt to gain traction as the Iowa caucuses loom. Basically, the Warren campaign claims Bernie Sanders said a woman can’t win the presidency. It’s total nonsense. Sanders denied it, and there are multiple video clips of Bernie advocating for a woman as president. After Sanders issued his denial, Warren refused to address it. She also appeared to refuse to shake his hand after the debate. Apparently, Warren thinks the best way to distinguish herself from Bernie is to play the gender card, just as Hillary Clinton attacked Bernie in 2016 for the alleged misogyny of the so-called Bernie Bros.
As the debate dragged on, I thought carefully about which one of these candidates truly has a chance to defeat Trump in November. Who has passion, vision, heart, and the ability to take on Trump and to call him out on all his lies and misdeeds? I see only one candidate who can do this and win: Bernie Sanders.