Hot and Heavy Debates: Recap of the Second Set of Democratic Debates
Well babes, the races are really off this time because although the first night of the second round of Democratic debates might not have been too steamy, the second night sure was. All our main talking points are essentially the same, but we’ve got new competitors and new viewpoints from old contestants, so hang on tight ‘cause here’s a quick recap:
We’re in Detroit, Michigan this go-round, which is important in itself because Michigan is a swing state and every vote counts. The first night was actually pleasant compared to the second, and while many people thought Senators Warren and Sanders were going to go head to head, they got along quite nicely. Sen. Sanders even agreed with Sen. Warren at one point when he was egged on by the moderators.
The fact of the matter is that these two, are two of the few who are pushing for radical reformation in the White House. Senators Warren and Sanders received a lot of shade for wanting to do so, Sanders in particular. During a heated debate between Sanders and Rep. Tim Ryan about Sander’s “Medicare for All” healthcare proposal, Ryan stated that Sanders couldn’t guarantee all of what Sanders was promising. “I do know that, I wrote the damn bill!” said Sanders, very excitedly. And while Ryan thought that he was being slick or funny when he said, “You don’t have to yell,” let’s take a moment to appreciate how worked up Sanders is getting. In the dull moments of the first debate, it seemed at times that Sanders and Warren were the only ones with passion and who got a little angry when people told them they couldn’t do something.
Warren, for example, retaliated when Rep. John Delaney voiced his centrist views by saying that we should introduce “real solutions, not impossible promises” and that we shouldn’t rely on “fairytale economics.” “I don’t understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for President of the United States just to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for,” she said with a slight roll of her eyes, I might add.
Now, let’s talk “talk points”. The biggest one of the first night was obviously healthcare. All the candidates basically agreed on universal healthcare, but there was a big fuss over which system to implement, just like in the first round of debates in June. The main issue was whether or not we should allow Americans to have private insurance as well as a government issued one.
One surprise surfaced in the form of self-help author Marianne Williamson. Remember her? The one all the Republicans wanted to support because she was such a joy to watch in the first round of debates? Well, she brought her A game this time. Williamson brought up some valid points when she talked about race and how it’s still an underlying problem in America. Don’t get me wrong, she still used her curiously wacky vocabulary, but when she said that what happened in Flint, Michigan would never have happened where she was from because everyone was white, she made everybody take another look at her.
Our last little surprise of the first night of debate came from the debut of Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock. He made his statement by saying that the Democratic party has been swinging too far left, but he was promptly shot down by Warren when she challenged him about not wanting to rule out a first nuclear strike. Sorry, Bullock.
The second night of debates went hot and heavy not two minutes into the debate. Yes kiddos, if you only wanted to watch one night, the second night was the one to keep an eye on.
The first sticky situation of the night was that former Vice President Joe Biden was sandwiched on stage between Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker, who both attacked only him all night. Before the debate Biden was quoted saying that he was “too polite” during the last debates, but he kinda started doing the same things he did last time when he came under fire, which just so happened to be for a majority of the time. He cut himself off and refused to talk about some pretty important topics.
Almost every single candidate went after Biden for something he did during his many years in governmental roles, but Booker came after him the hardest (after all, that is what his whole campaign revolves around). Booker not only lashed out against Biden for his role in the 1994 crime bill, which according to experts is linked to mass incarcerations, but Booker also accused Biden of invoking President Obama only when it seemed necessary and benefited Biden. This seemed to ring truer than ever when Bill de Blasio challenged Biden on his actions as Vice President when Obama was responsible for mass deportations. Biden simply said he kept those conversations private and then accused de Blasio of telling everyone’s secrets. There was never a real answer there.
Sen. Harris also received backlash while she was trying to dish some out to Biden. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard came out of left field and challenged Harris for her record as a prosecutor. Gabbard brought up that Harris put “over 1,500 people in jail for marijuana violations then laughed about it when she was asked if she ever smoked marijuana.” Gabbard also claimed that Harris blocked evidence that would have set a man free and that she voted to keep cash bonds in place. Harris didn’t look too happy about this comment but she didn’t have much time to retaliate not only because of CNN’s ridiculous time constraints but also because she was getting shade from de Blasio and Sen. Michael Bennet about her healthcare views. But hey, the more shade is thrown at you, the better you’re doing.
Now, someone who didn’t do too hot was Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand. Not only was this her debut, but her talking points were leaked before the debate, so when she went to attack Biden about his quote from the ‘80s stating that women who work outside the home cause “deterioration of family,” he was ready for her. He simply said that he didn’t believe in that viewpoint anymore and then questioned why she never brought it up before when she had proudly stood by him. “I don’t know what happened, except you’re running for president,” said Biden. Ooh, burn.
And that’s basically it babes. After this second round of debates, we didn’t really learn anything new from these candidates, but we did get to see some new faces. Our front runners are still going strong and we might see fewer people in the next set of debates. Until next time.
I got my information from The New York Times, CNN, and The Daily Show With Trevor Noah.
Cover image via ABC News