Thoughts on the Second Democratic Party Debate (Part 1)

  1. The Democratic candidates need to argue over the best way to improve health care coverage and settle on a party position before Iowa. Let them have a health care insurance summit in September to sort this out. Come to an agreement and stick by it. Make it clear to the voters before the Iowa contest. Doing a summit with the issues debated in the open could be a national event if the core of the process is televised. Make it an event that highlights the Democratic Party’s commitment to getting coverage for all Americans. The risk otherwise is that their entire caucus/primary season will be dominated by the internal debate, taking their direct fire away from the Trump Administration and GOP Senate.
  2. Mayor Pete was smart to talk about his military service in Afghanistan. Nobody else up there had that credential.
  3. I didn’t know Delaney was an ex-health insurance executive or salesman (outed by Bernie)
  4. The optics were bad for Hickenlooper and Bullock at the fringes of the line up. Hard to make your points when the main action is going on center stage with Warren/Bernie.
  5. Marianne W. had a surprisingly blunt argument for paying reparations to black Americans—the issue has to be grappled with. (But this can’t be done without compensating native peoples also). Beto spoke well on this issue also. This is an example of liberals going right to the very complicated entree issue without digging in to the potatoes and peas of everybody’s interest, no matter the race or gender. The Dems are not talking enough about economics and job growth and higher wages.
  6. Bernie and Eliz talking about free college is tone deaf. This is like the military draft deferment during the Vietnam War for people like Dick Cheney and Bill Clinton. Why the special treatment for college attendees without a corresponding aid program for the trades or service industry workers? What percentage of Americans have college degrees? 35 percent maybe nationwide. I think it would be better to make public education free through grade 14, adding two years community college or comparable apprenticeship. How do you announce a Jubilee-type debt relief for college grads, Sen. Warren, when people have struggled to pay off college debt since the 1950s? 
  7. I wish there had been more talk about Climate Change/Green New Deal.
  8. The candidates are too passive. The screaming headline news of the past ten days has been Trump’s unhinged racist attacks. The candidates should have ignored moderators and spoken directly to the viewers one after the other, slamming Trump’s behavior, and dared the network to stop filming.
  9. Sen. Klobuchar could surprise everyone in Iowa if she can make the requirements for the next two debates in the fall. I hear she is pouring people over from Minnesota, under the mainstream media radar.
  10. The health care talk will be more centrist in the debate tonight.
  11. The second- and third-tier candidates are fading fast. One of them has to pull a stunt or do something more imaginative to get attention. Otherwise, it will be Biden, Warren, Sanders, Harris after October 1 even if others are on the ballot.