OPINION: An honest review of the Democratic debate



Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks as Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., listens during a Democratic presidential primary debate, Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Disclaimer: I reviewed this debate from a satirical and comical lens, basing my observations on the candidates’ behavior rather than the issues at hand. If you’re interested in a deeper analysis of the issues covered, this isn’t it.

Before getting into the gritty details of tonight’s debate, let me preface this by saying that this was the first debate of the 2020 election that I didn’t accidentally fall asleep to. Now, whether this is because I was eating pretzel sticks during these two hours or perhaps because I was staying awake to write this article, I’ll never know. Perhaps it’s a combination of the two.

I categorized my opinions regarding each candidate into sections, mostly for the purpose of making it easier to read and analyze.

Now, let’s get right into it.

Immediately upon viewing the stage, it became pretty obvious who had been knocked from the stands. Beto O’Rourke, may your campaign rest in peace. The other candidates were eating him alive anyways. Besides him, I found myself missing the ethereal energy of Marriane Wiliamson. Would she be a good president? Nah. But her vibes brought some positivity to the debate for sure.

Elizabeth Warren:

Roughly two minutes into the debate, Warren decided to set the precedent for the evening by indirectly snubbing the other candidates. After claiming that “money buys its way into Washington”, she went into a spiel about donors and not making the highest bidder an ambassador. The candidate then mentioned that she asked her running mates to join her in this notion and guess what? Nobody did. Why can’t people boast about their achievements without dragging other people down?

Other than that, I’d consider Warren the star of the night. Overall, she did pretty well, and Maddow plus Maddow’s moderator squad gave her so much time to express her views. In some ways, she reminds me of Hillary Clinton, but not enough to turn me off to her candidacy.

Pete Buttigeg:

Next, Buttigeg was up to bat. Time and time again, the mayor has proven himself to be a fantastic speaker and an all around great candidate for president. His temperament is even, his tone is measured. One thing that bothers me about him, though, is that he repeats a lot of the same phrases wherever he goes. I heard him on a radio show recently where he essentially said a carbon copy of something he mentioned on the debate stage, and he even said it again tonight. Most candidates do this though, so I digress.

Anyway, can I just mention how great Buttigeg’s posture was tonight? Admirable.

Listen. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a huge Mayor Pete stan. However, I simply don’t think the country can handle him yet. We went from the first African American president to someone like Donald Trump. He brought our country backwards in so many ways, and because of that, a large portion of the country has been polluted by his policies and inappropriate behavior. I don’t think this country will vote for the first gay president or the first woman president at this moment in time. I so much would like them too, but at this point, I’ve lost faith. 

Just vote for who has the best policies, not based on their skin color, gender, or sexual orientation… okay?

Joe Biden:

I’m pretty sure that Biden was thrown into the mix after that. Honestly, I never really listen to what he says, and even when I try to listen, I don’t get it. His answers to basic questions simply aren’t that good. I don’t know what America is thinking by putting him in the lead. He had his chance back in the day, let someone else take the cake.

Besides, Biden always looks guilty of something. His face is permanently sad and remorseful – if he was a dog breed, he’d be a Bloodhound.

The fact that Biden is most likely going to be our next nominee is aggravating to me. He has some policies I support and seems to be a good person, however, his delivery is off. The way he conveys his messages are confusing and full of stumbles. This country deserves someone who can walk the walk and talk the talk. Biden cannot, indeed, talk to talk.

Kamala Harris:

Harris got a few sentences in following Biden, which is totally not a coincidence. Ever since Biden and Harris’s “beef”, if you will, the moderators have been trying to get them to interact like that again. Whenever one of them talks, the other seems to be called to talk right after. This whole thing is rigged in favor of certain people and dynamics.

All that aside, half the words that come out of her mouth sound canned. It’s like Harris is trying to make deep, viral moments out of everything she says. Her favorite line? “That little girl… that was me.” We know, Harris. We know.

Also, if I had a dollar for every fake smile that Harris flashed on this stage tonight, I’d be able to buy my mom and I a delicious five course meal… with a 30% tip.

Bernie Sanders:

The next candidate up on my list is Bernie Sanders. Sanders is a dear. Really, he is. I find him pretty hilarious because of his no nonsense attitude. I generally enjoy his comments, but he’s about one “I wrote the damn bill” away from seeming disingenuous. You wrote the damn bill? Okay, boomer. Your efforts are greatly appreciated, but can you deliver if you become president?

I feel like most of the claims Sanders makes aren’t backed up. You want free college, so do I, but how will you get there? If he could back up his bold thoughts with specific plans and make these specific plans known to the people, his credibility would boost a ton.

Tulsi Gabbard:

I initially wasn’t going to write much about Gabbard, because, quite frankly, I don’t know much about her. Once, I looked up why she had a grey streak in her hair and found out that she had served in the military and got it during her service. Respectable, right? Well… allegedly… according to Harris… she spent time on FOX News snubbing Barack Obama. 

Harris’s uncovering of this fact led to some audience reactions, probably to her delight. If there’s one thing that Harris enjoys, it’s spilling tea. Personally, I don’t understand the big deal. Not all Democrats like Obama just like not all Republicans like Trump, why isn’t everyone entitled to their own opinion? Anyway, Gabbard spent the rest of the evening looking forlorn and defeated. I bet you that she’ll be wiped off the stage for the next debate.

Amy Kloubachar:

In other news: “I raised 17,000 from ex-boyfriends!” proudly exclaimed Amy Kloubachar in one of the most entertaining quotes of the evening. Now, I don’t really like this woman, but that was pretty funny. Half of me was wondering how many rich ex-boyfriends she’s had in her lifetime… while the other half was applauding her commitment to raising money. You couldn’t pay me to beg my ex for money.

Also, props to her for being the first one to plug her website. I mean, it’s literally just her name and anyone could Google it, but okay. Name drop it. Kloubachar then started the chain of candidates to start mentioning their social media presence.

Andrew Yang:

Ah yes, the man with no tie. Yang didn’t have a lot to say tonight, as he usually doesn’t get an opportunity, but he did share a tender moment with Steyer. I remember this stood out to me because candidates so rarely compliment each other. Steyer responded with “Thanks Andrew!”, as nice people do to express their appreciation for other nice people, resulting in one of the only audience laughs in the night. As the evening dragged on, Steyer looked at Yang with the expression of a puppy who had just found his new home. 

Tom Steyer:

Besides his infatuation with Yang, this guy wasn’t given the chance to say much. It’s a real shame, because he seemed like a good guy. Now he’ll be erased off the ballot faster than you can say “I wrote the damn bill”.

Cory Booker:

I’m not sure how he got pushed all the way to the edge of the stage, but that’s where Booker spent the evening. Because of this, the poor guy barely got a word in. He could be a good pick for vice president due to his strong voice and pretty nice policies, but not for president. He’s not memorable enough.

My closing thought of the night is as follows: dear candidates, please spend less time talking about anyone besides yourself. Whether it be about Trump or other people – you aren’t here to prove their invalidity, you’re here to prove your own validity. You won’t get there by spending your time harping on them. Rather, tell us about your policies, your dreams, your hopes for our country. You’ll get a lot more votes that way, I promise.