Former vice president Joe Biden, former mayor Michael BloombergSen. Elizabeth WarrenSen. Bernie SandersSen. Amy Klobuchar, former mayor Pete Buttigiegand billionaire activist Tom Steyer gathered on stage in South Carolina for the CBS and Twitter Democratic Debate on Tuesday evening.
The format did not fit well together, and there was a lot of crosstalk and hand movements during the debate. But the hashtag buzzed on Twitter, the shots were fired and reacted, markings were recorded, bets were made, and eventually some came forward, some … not so much.
This is how Mediaite scores the debate.
Top: Amy Klobuchar
Sen Klobuchar did not take serious hits, which can sometimes be enough for a soft victory. But she also managed to end up as the voice of reason and calm on stage. Take a look at this, from Getty Images.
Sen. @AmyKlobuchar (D-MN) responds as a former vice-president @JoeBiden and @TomSteyer enter it during the primary debate of the Democratic President of South Carolina # DemDebate2020 📷: @WinMc pic.twitter.com/HL92lONWFH
– Getty Images News (@GettyImagesNews) February 26, 2020
It is almost the thematic image of the night.
In a political debate, it is common to choose the winner or loser based on how much they have to win or lose in the overall race, but sometimes the winner may be just the one who seemed to win. And based on public perception, that person was Senator Klobuchar.
Second place: Joe Biden
Sanders and Biden came in as a leader, a status that Biden has had for months, often far ahead and well on its own. After the recent results in the primary, they both had something to prove and a lot to lose. But unlike Sanders, Biden didn’t lose it. It’s hard to hit the hard, talking moments too much back and forth (although our losers are below) will beaten for them), and even more so if the net result were to become more self-confident and together.
Biden put it on, and after avoiding serious injuries of the Sanders variety, he could certainly see a recoil in his step in the polls after the debate.
Runner-up: Pete Buttigieg
Mayor Pete makes this list for the fairly conventional reason that he has not been destroyed or has taken serious hits. He also received a number of good ones, which puts him just above the ‘participation trophy’ level. It was a good performance, not a show stealer, and he came off as a patient in the face of intense frustration because … well just keep reading.
Bernie Sanders had, as expected, the target on his back during Tuesday’s debate. That can sometimes work to one’s advantage. But not in this case. Sen Sanders was a punching bag for two hours, in which everyone took turns taking bites. His reactions, emotional and irritated, have never measured. They had him out of balance and he watched it. This, from MSNBC regularly Tom Nichols, it actually says it all:
I can’t believe I’m saying this because Trump is an idiot and a bad debater, but he would eat Bernie alive.
– Tom Nichols (@RadioFreeTom) February 26, 2020
Elizabeth Warren and Mike Bloomberg and Tom Steyer
There was also no ransom in this debate, although Mayor Pete came close. For the rest you have won or lost. And these three only lost slightly less than Sanders. Bloomberg had his failed attempt at humor. Warren had a failed attempt to destroy Bloomberg. And Tom Steyer had a failed attempt to look like a serious candidate.
Their exchanges were cruel, they hurt each other without helping themselves, and the whole thing was a mess. That brings us to …
CBS and the CBS moderators: There was a pandemic of chaotic bickering, time-hogging and sagging on stage in South Carolina on Tuesday evening. The outbreak was so severe that candidates had a fight with the audience, shouted matches with each other and had more hands in the air than a Friday night outdoor concert.
On Twitter the moderators were dragged, dragged again and dragged a little more for the chaos. In the end, much of what happened was as follows:
– Caleb Howe (@CalebHowe) February 26, 2020
Now you could blame the candidates, but they are, after all, subject to the format. So many of those accusations end up with CBS. Like a lot.
The debate was a lot to watch and the clips will continue for days. Not much has been learned. Except that the CBS may need a little more practice.
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