|John Hickenlooper speaks at first of two Democratic presidential |
primary debates in Detroit, July 30, 2019 | Paul Sancya/AP
In a discussion with KOA’s April Zesbaugh and Marty Lenz after the debate, I highlighted some comments on a debate full of controversy and possibly the last debate participation for several candidates.
- The debate highlighted the divide between the party’s left wing represented by Sanders and Warren (representing about 30% of the party) and a moderate wing that finally spoke up and had a message.
- Although, as usual, the frontrunners dominated the time. Five moderates, all struggling for a spot in the September debates, made their mark. Hickenlooper, with a meme, was joined by a little recognized John Delaney, new participant Steve Bullock, Governor of Montana Amy Klobuchar and Tim Ryan, all hunting for their breakout moment.
- The challengers to liberal orthodoxy had a number of good lines that will now be repeated as the debates extend to the fall.
- Steve Bullock – Wish-list economics, here and now, not pie-in-the-sky
- John Delaney – Democrats now have their own repeal and replace – your health care insurance will become illegal (no doubt Donald Trump will say “and making illegal immigrants legal).
- Amy Klobuchar – It’s not winning the argument, but the election.
- Our opponents lack ambition and courage (Warren)
- Why run if you don’t want to overturn the system (Warren)
- Talking about what they won’t do, won’t fight for (Warren)
- I win in the polls (Sanders)
- We’re all extremist to Trump (Buttigieg)
- None of the lines will stop the arguments, and the least persuasive, but most frequently used by the left is “stop using Republican talking points.” If the criticism is valid, fact based, who cares if it came from the RNC, DNC, ACLU or NAACP.
The next round of polls and fundraising will tell the story, but clearly Hickenlooper loves being on stage. His final line of the night was: “What a night, I love it.” It may be his final debate line period.