Democratic Presidential Debates

A Sense That Pete Buttigieg Is On The Rise As A Moderate Alternative To Joe Biden

The big winner of the Ohio Presidential debate this past week seems to many to be Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Indiana, who is seen as on the rise as a moderate alternative to Joe Biden.

Mayor Pete has been successful in raising large amounts of money in the third quarter, and his debate performance demonstrated his intelligence, his knowledge, and his perception of what Americans want, similar in his understanding of what Americans were looking for as when they voted for Barack Obama in 2008.

He is not promoting “pie in the sky”, massive changes in four years, as Bernie Sanders, and even Elizabeth Warren are doing, knowing full well that the nation is not going to elect a Democratic Congress large enough in majority to do the kinds of path breaking changes that Franklin D. Roosevelt and Lyndon B. Johnson were able to bring about in 1935-1936 and 1965-1966, respectively.

As Pete has said, we first need to recover from the chaos and anarchy of Donald Trump, and to expect the nation to go to the far left, and support a required end of all private health insurance, is simply not reality.

This blogger takes the view that Americans should have a choice of keeping the health care coverage they have, or move toward government control through Medicare, but not force it on everyone over a four year period, and always allow private health insurance as an alternative, left up to the decisions of individual Americans and their families.

A long range goal is extend Medicare in stages, first to those between 50-65, then those in their 40s, then those in their 30s, and continuing on, but again with private insurance allowed if preferred.

And in foreign affairs, Mayor Pete would offer a revival of American respect and responsibility, veering away from the disastrous and reckless diplomacy of Donald Trump, and would restore American rationality and respect among our allies, and recognition that he would not be pushed around by authoritarians as has been occurring with Donald Trump.

A young, dynamic President is needed, and Mayor Pete fills the bill, following in the Democratic Party tradition of John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama. A new generation of leadership is required.

Ohio Debate On Tuesday Will Start Winnowing The Field Of Democratic Candidates For President

The Columbus, Ohio debate among 12 Democratic Presidential candidates will likely start the winnowing of the field, which is much too large.

As things stand now, Senator Elizabeth Warren and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg seem like the candidates that are gaining.

Warren is taking support away from Bernie Sanders, who is recovering from a heart attack, and will be watched closely on Tuesday for signs of weariness. Sanders knows Warren is a problem for him, and has pointed out that she is a believer in capitalism, and is not a Socialist, which actually helps Warren’s image.

Mayor Pete is likely the major moderate Democratic alternative to Joe Biden, who has to deal with the issue of his son, Hunter Biden, and Ukranian connections, although it seems clear there is no corruption involved, at least as far as we know at this point. Also, Joe Biden is coming across, sadly, as not quite up to par mentally at times, a very worrisome situation for him. Meanwhile, Mayor Pete continues to make a great impression, including in the CNN gay-lesbian-transgender debate this past Thursday, and has gained a lot of financial support.

Whether Kamala Harris can recuperate from a decline in support is debatable. Beto O’Rourke and Julian Castro have also failed to take off in recent months, and have made some errors that harm them.

While Cory Booker gained enough financial backing to stay in the race, it still seems unlikely that he is going to be a serious candidate for the Presidential nomination.

Andrew Yang has had unexpected good fortune, but still it seems a real long shot that he can get anywhere gaining enough support to move forward.

Amy Klobuchar so far has not made much of a dent, and Tulsi Gabbard and Tom Steyer, in their first debate, do not seem likely to make any real move toward serious contention.

So Tuesday’s debate will likely narrow the field as we move closer to the Iowa Caucuses and New Hampshire Primary four months from now.

The Third Democratic Presidential Debate In Houston: First Impressions

Early impressions are as follows:

Julian Castro, Pete Buttigieg, Cory Booker, Beto O’Rourke, and Elizabeth Warren come across as the best.

Expect that Castro, Buttigieg, Booker, and O’Rourke will rise in polls, and Warren will continue to gain on Joe Biden.

Biden is not doing as well as one would expect, and neither is Bernie Sanders.

Kamala Harris has likely not gained by this debate, and the same for Andrew Yang.

Amy Klobuchar might gain, but is not shining as much as this blogger thought she would.

Overall, the ABC debate is much better than the two earlier debates sponsored by MSNBC and CNN.

The candidates are avoiding attacking each other, and clearly, any one of the group would be far better than Donald Trump!

Winners Of First Night’s Second Democratic Debate

Last night’s first night of the second Democratic debate has clear cut winners, and they are so called “moderates”:

Pete Buttigieg

Steve Bullock

Amy Klobuchar

All three did extremely well, and meanwhile, Bernie Sanders was shouting, and Elizabeth Warren was shaking, not good impressions to witness.

This author thinks all three will still be part of the equation going forward.

But tonight’s second debate will reshape the race, and decide who will be able to move forward, along with these three.

Clearly, Sanders and Warren are not going anywhere, but the number of moderate competitors will be growing in numbers.

Can Montana Governor Steve Bullock Move Ahead In Polls After Second Democratic Debate, And His First?

Montana Governor Steve Bullock, a late announcer for President, who was not able to be in the first Democratic Presidential debate in June, will be on the stage next week at the second Democratic Presidential debate in Detroit, thanks for California Congressman Eric Swalwell having withdrawn from the Presidential race.

Bullock represents the Rocky Mountain West, from the fourth largest state in land area, but 8th least in population, and third least densely populated, and often called “Big Sky Country”. Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park are found in its territory, and it has become a leading tourist attraction state.

It is a state of agriculture, ranching, oil, gas, coal, hard rock mining, and lumber.

Bullock has been Governor since 2013, and was the only incumbent Democratic Governor to win in 2016, when Donald Trump won the White House. He is seen as successful in gaining goals he has set as Governor, despite a majority Republican legislature. He has chaired the National Governors Association since 2018.

Bullock is perceived as a moderate Democrat who has supported traditional Democratic beliefs, but has said that the Democrats need to look beyond urban areas, and appeal to rural and suburban voters, which makes a lot of sense.

He would be 54 at inauguration, just about the average of all Presidents (which is 55), and a rare youngish white male contender in a field of four old white men (Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, Jay Inslee, John Hickenlooper).

Whether he can make a dent at the second Democratic Presidential debate and be noticed will be one of the major elements to watch this coming week.

The Possibility Of A Latino President: Julian Castro

The idea of a Latino President is becoming more possible, as former Obama Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, who also was Mayor of the 6th largest city, San Antonio, Texas, has reached the 130,000 donors needed to be able to participate in the third Democratic debate in September.

This development, along with his excellent performance at the first debate and making fellow Texan former Congressman Beto O’Rourke look weak by comparison, elevates Castro to a much more serious candidacy.

With people of Hispanic ancestry being one of every six Americans, and with Mexican Americans being two thirds of all Hispanics, Julian Castro can be seen as a possible President.

There is no larger minority in America than Mexican Americans and of Hispanics totally, and Castro has proved he can govern a major city, and a major federal bureaucracy as a cabinet officer.

Castro would be 46 at the time of the next Presidential inauguration, the third youngest President in American history, about a month younger than Bill Clinton, and about six months younger than Ulysses S. Grant.

It would also mean that “a new generation” of leadership–with John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton, and Barack Obama—would be added to by Julian Castro, making them the second, third, sixth, and fourth youngest Presidents in American history.

Can Mayor Pete Buttigieg Gain Support Of African Americans, A Crucial Democratic Voting Bloc?

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg was perceived as having done well in the first Democratic debate, but yet did not gain in public opinion polls, and a lot of it, beyond his being gay, is his inability, so far, to gain African American support, a key voting bloc for Democrats in any national election.

The racial situation in South Bend, where recently a black man was killed by a police officer, has made any attempt to improve Buttigieg’s standing among African Americans ever the harder.

But also, many African Americans are extremely devout Christians, and they have an issue with the idea of a gay President, who also has a husband.

So the question is whether Mayor Pete has any real chance of being the Democratic Presidential nominee if he cannot win over substantial African American support.

That will be a key factor in the turmoil surrounding the Democratic Presidential sweepstakes.

The Second Night’s Democratic Debate: Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg The Stars, But Eric Swalwell And Marianne Williamson Gained Notice

The second night’s Democratic Party debate has two clear winners—Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg.

But Eric Swalwell and author Marianne Williamson also impressed this author and blogger, although no one in reality would think that Williamson would have any chance to win the nomination.

Joe Biden’s dominance is no longer such, and it could be a sign of troubles ahead, as his performance was lackluster, while not eliminating him, but a lot of homework is ahead if he is to keep his lead in the polls.

Bernie Sanders came across as strong in his views, but one still has to wonder how his ideas can be seen as pragmatic and possible, were he to be elected, which seems doubtful.

The remainder of the list—John Hickenlooper, Michael Bennet, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Andrew Yang—did not come across well to this observer.

So at this point, while nothing is final, one would think the true competitors are, besides Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, the following in no special order:

Elizabeth Warren

Kamala Harris

Pete Buttigieg

Julian Castro

Amy Klobuchar

Jay Inslee

Cory Booker

Eric Swalwell

We are far from knowing who will be the nominees of the Democratic Party, however, and the people will decide in the caucuses and primaries beginning about seven months from now.

The Best Performances In The First Debate: Julian Castro, Elizabeth Warren, Jay Inslee

Last night’s first Democratic debate saw some definite winners:

Julian Castro

Elizabeth Warren

Jay Inslee

The biggest winner was former HUD Secretary and San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, who came across very strongly in competition with fellow Texas and former Congressman Beto O’Rourke on immigration and in his overall performance. He is someone that this author and blogger has been impressed with for a long time, and realize he was on the short list for Hillary Clinton in 2016, and might have made the difference in bringing out more Latino votes, had he been on the ticket. I think he can be considered now a major player, number 6 on the list, with the likelihood that funding and poll numbers will increase dramatically.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, the only major player in this first debate, also came across strongly, and very principled, but might have hurt herself by her moving closer to Bernie Sanders in competition for the far Left of the Democratic Party.

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee also impressed, with his strong stand on climate change, and his overall background record as an outstanding Governor, and his funding and poll numbers may also increase dramatically. And the Pacific Northwest deserves attention for the national ticket.

New Jersey Senator Cory Booker and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar also improved their image, but not to the extent of Castro and Inslee.

Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan, much more moderate, also deserves some more respect and attention, but it will not be easy for him to gain traction as much as the five mentioned above.

The remaining four–Beto O’Rourke, Tulsi Gabbard, Bill de Blasio, John Delaney—seem to be left behind as this author and blogger sees it.

Clearly, there are many different ways to look at any debate, and there will be plenty of analysis and evaluation in many different directions.

But at this point, I would say Julian Castro will soon join Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, and Pete Buttigieg as the top six of all.

We shall see soon whether any of the other six debating tonight join that group as a serious contender.

The Second Debate Mix: What To Expect

The second Democratic Presidential debate will take place on Thursday, June 27 from 9-11 pm on NBC and MSNBC.

It includes the following ten candidates:

Joe Biden

Bernie Sanders

Pete Buttigieg

Kamala Harris

Kirsten Gillibrand

Michael Bennet

Marianne Williamson

Eric Swalwell

John Hickenlooper

Andrew Yang

The group includes the former Vice President and US Senator; four other US Senators; a member of the House of Representatives; a Mayor; a former Governor; and two independent, out of government candidates.

This debate has more of the so called “heavyweights”—Biden, Sanders, Buttigieg, Harris—with the other six candidates seen as much weaker in likelihood of long term survival.

Joe Biden must defend himself as the clear front runner, and avoid any more gaffes, after some controversial statements about his past ability to cross the aisle and work with past racial segregationists, as well as his continued habit of touching and hugging women and children, violating their personal space. He could be harmed by a poor performance, but one must remember how good he was in debates in 2008, and against Sarah Palin and Paul Ryan in Vice Presidential debates in 2008 and 2012.

Bernie Sanders will come across strongly, but has many concerned that he cannot carry the nation in the upcoming Presidential election, with the fact that he embraces the word “Socialist”, which can be abused by Trump and the Republicans against him. He will be engaged in major combat with Biden for sure, as Sanders attempts to overtake him in future polls and fundraising.

Pete Buttigieg has been involved in a major crisis as South Bend, Indiana Mayor, with the recent murder of a black man by city police, and he is under attack for the racial troubles involving the law enforcement community. He should do well in the debate, but can he overcome the massive lead of Biden and Sanders over the rest of the contenders, is the question.

Kamala Harris should come on strong as well, but will need to clarify her stand on the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which she compared months ago to the Ku Klux Klan. The assumption is that she will continue to flourish and possibly grow in support.

Some people think Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang, outsiders who clearly have great ideas and intellect, might shine, but somehow, this author and blogger does not see it succeeding.

Of the remaining four, it seems to this author and blogger that Eric Swalwell has the best shot of survival, just a gut feeling, but that Kirsten Gillibrand, Michael Bennet, and John Hickenlooper have little chance of lasting much beyond the first couple of months of the debate season.

My gut feeling is that out of this group that Biden, Sanders, Buttigieg, Harris, Swalwell, and possibly Williamson and Yang will survive to go on for another day.

This would make the 20 candidates diminish to 12—-and one can say only possibly Steve Bullock, Montana Governor, who was not allowed in the first set of debates, might still have a shot of those few who are not in this debate, leaving Seth Moulton, Congressman from Massachusetts, and the new announced candidate, former Pennsylvania Congressman Joe Sestak, out in the cold.

So expect out of 23 candidates, 13 will make it to the future debates.