Debate Edition: Nevada

I put Warren at the top of my performance ranking too. She had a good bit of speaking time, finally. And she had good attacks against Bloomberg prepared. Noticed that she turned an opportunity to attack Sanders into an attack on Bloomberg. She seemed particularly fired up by Bloomberg.
 
Bernie in a strong second. “Socialism for the rich and rugged individualism for the poor” – I’m glad to see Bernie start to differentiate boogie-man Commie socialism and “things that benefit the unwashed masses” socialism. I think this is going to be a big thing as we go into Super Tuesday as the moderates try to make Bernie seem unelectable. And a decent line against Trump — they’re both socialists, but do you want socialism where billionaires benefit or socialism where thousand-airs benefit?
 
Biden third – not so much for any great performance (and he had some noticeable stumbles) but he didn’t stand out either positive or negative for most of the debate. Having the second lowest speaking time helped him here.
 
Buttigieg fourth. He had some good attacks, but he doesn’t do much to convey a policy beyond “can’t we all just get along”. Which, pragmatically, may well be answered with a resounding “no”.
 
Kobluchar fifth. She is lucky they didn’t go more into her Telemundo interview. Don’t remember the name of a foreign leader? Whatever. Yeah, everyone has brain farts. Don’t seem to have any clue about the policies of Mexico when you head to an interview with Telemundo prior to the primary in Nevada? That’s pretty astonishing given (1) her positions in the Senate and (2) the situation she was in. She didn’t seem to have much of an answer for her record as a prosecutor either – curious that no one seemed to ask Buttigieg a similar question about issues when he was mayor. Buttigieg had a well prepared attack against her on her voting record too. “I wish everyone was as perfect as you” isn’t much of a response. And she set him up for another obviously well prepared line about Senators feeling they are more important than Mayors and that “the arena” isn’t just Washington.
 
Steyer, Yang (who got name-checked even if he’s not running anymore), Booker and Harris (also name checked, also not running anymore), some dude who thought about running for president this year but thought the better of it. They all scored better than Bloomberg for me. Bloomberg had basically the debate I expected him to have – an easy last place finish. It’ll be interesting to see if this changes his polling trajectory. And I’m really looking forward to see if he adjusts for the next debate. And seeing if he had answers about red-lining, stop and frisk, changing party affiliation, etc is why I was hoping he’d qualify for some of the debates before he’s on the ballot. He had the lowest speaking time — which was a bit of a surprise given how much taking *about* him seemed to dominate the debate.
 
The “I’m the only one who is not a millionaire” spiel from Buttigieg is tiresome. “Millionaire” is someone with a million dollars in assets. I’m 43 and a millionaire. Half of that is retirement account, half is real estate (not literally, I’ve got like 20 bucks in my purse too). That’s not because I’m raking in Bloomberg money. It’s because I’ve been able to save a few grand a year since I was 20 – had a kid late in life, got lucky getting into IT. The fact that people in their 70’s have a mil or two … yeah, it means they’re probably part of the upper middle class. They’re probably not skipping lunch so their kid can get shoes that fit. But it’s sure as hell not true that anyone with a mil or two is “three Veyron’s in the garage so your personal shoppers don’t suffer the ignominy of showing up at Heinens in a Chevy” out-of-touch rich. And I’m surprised that someone doesn’t pick this thread up and go on about how Buttigieg’s own net worth would be significantly higher if they’d been able to take advantage of free public university tuition. Or how much do you need saved up to help pay for your kids’ college tuition(s). How much you need saved up to ensure decent health care as you age.
 
At that, use Buttigieg’s not-a-millionaire status to refute the “worked hard for that money” trope from the super rich. I have a friend who worked hard for a few years, sold a company to HP, and never worked again. I have another friend who worked two low-level retail management jobs and a part time gig with a cleaning service for a decade, took out massive loans to get a Uni degree, and works as a nurse now. I’ve got a friend who worked as a cop for a few decades, got shot on duty, and collects some disability payment now. They’ve all got about the same net worth today. I’m not saying Steyer or Bloomberg didn’t work hard for their money. But Bloomberg’s net worth is 64 *billion* dollars and my friends each have about three quarters of a mil in assets … did Bloomberg really work 85,333 times harder than any of these people? I’ll even spot him an order of magnitude – did he work 8,533 times harder? I think Mayor Pete’s net worth was estimated in the 100-200k range. Did Bloomberg work 320,000 times harder than someone who served in Afghanistan? And that’s not trying to play “I worked hard” with someone just scraping by who has two fifty in assets.
 
 
It’d be great if the moderators would have buttons to kill mic’s – there were a few times where we couldn’t follow what was being said because of others talking. Instead of trying to talk over the candidate to cut them off, just drop their audio.
 
 

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