Democratic Presidential Debates

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.

The First Debate Mix: What To Expect

The first debate among Democratic Presidential candidates takes place on Wednesday June 26 at 9-11 pm on NBC and MSNBC.

It includes the following ten candidates:

Elizabeth Warren

Beto O’Rourke

Coey Booker

Julian Castro

Tulsi Gabbard

Jay Inslee

Amy Klobuchar

Bill de Blasio

John Delaney

Tim Ryan

This is a mix of three US Senators; four former or sitting US House members; a former Mayor and Cabinet Officer; a Mayor; and a Governor.

The one who needs to shine, based on her high poll ratings, and therefore expectations being high, is Elizabeth Warren. This author and blogger would imagine she will do very well in this debate.

Beto O’Rourke has slipped from an early boom, and will decline further if he does not perform well, based on analysis of the news media and public opinion after. My gut feeling is he will disappoint and slip further.

My “favorites” among this group, Julian Castro and Amy Klobuchar, need to make a great impression, and I tend to think they will benefit by this debate.

Also to be watched is Tim Ryan, who represents the Rust Belt Midwest probably better than even Klobuchar, and while not well known now, seems likely by my gut feeling to do well enough to gain traction.

Jay Inslee, with his emphasis on climate change, should gain some attention, but it seems doubtful that he will make much progress.

Cory Booker, Tulsi Gabbard, Bill de Blasio, and John Delaney are highly doubtful to gain much at all in this debate, in the judgment of this author and scholar, but we shall see.

This is all speculation, and there will be plenty of debate after about the reality of what this debate does to thin the field of candidates.

My projection is that the last five candidates mentioned—Inslee,Booker, Gabbard, de Blasio, and Delaney– will all lose financial and poll support, leaving the other five—Warren, O’Rourke, Castro, Klobuchar, Ryan–still in the race!

Trump Clearly Deranged As He Fumbles From One Threat To Another, Undermining American Democracy

Donald Trump has threatened imminent war with Iran in the past week.

Donald Trump has threatened massive tariffs on Mexican goods in the past two weeks.

Donald Trump has threatened massive waves of immigration raids and mass deportations in the past few days.

On each of these threats, he has backed off.

No one can predict the change in moods of Donald Trump from one day to another, and his lies have multiplied to such an extent that no one knows whether he has any concept of reality.

Trump is clearly deranged as he fumbles from one threat to another, undermining American democracy and international stability.

And Mike Pence gives us no optimism, as he clearly has no willingness to challenge any of the inconsistencies of Trump, seeing himself as the heir apparent to Trump.

The domestic and foreign crises that America faces are massive, and now we face the donnybrook that is likely among Democratic Presidential contenders, who will begin to split and divide amongst themselves starting on Wednesday and Thursday nights in Miami.

It is hard to have any optimism, as this blogger and author returns from two weeks of living in ignorance, and now realizing how the situation facing all of us looks worse than ever!

Back From Wonderful Vacation In London And Paris With My Older Son, And Ready To Resume Regular Commentary On American Politics, Government, And History

I am happy to announce that I have returned from a wonderful vacation in London and Paris with my older son, and am ready to resume regular commentary on American Politics, Government, and History.

I had never traveled overseas since my younger son was Bar Mitzvahed in 1996 in Israel, but my older son has done a lot of travel in Europe, some for work purposes, and also for vacations. He wanted to treat me to an all expenses paid trip to my two favorite European nations, the United Kingdom and France, to honor me for Fathers Day, and for his 40th birthday, with him being born on that day in 1979.

We saw all of the historic and cultural sites I had always wanted to visit, and it enriched my historical and cultural knowledge, and increased the bonding I have for my older son, but with equal feelings for my younger son as well. This was a trip of just the two of us, since we had not spent much time together over the past decade since he moved to the Washington DC area, and myself continuing to reside in South Florida.

I was totally out of touch for the two weeks in regards to the news, and only now am catching up on the events, including the danger of war with Iran; the resignation of White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders; the threat to have mass deportation of undocumented immigrants by Immigration and Customs Enforcement; the usual maniacal behavior and utterances of Donald Trump; and the preparations for the first Democratic Presidential debates in Miami this coming Wednesday and Thursday, June 26-27, with Joe Biden and Pete Buttigieg not having the best fortune in this past week, and Elizabeth Warren seemingly surging for now, while others are hoping for a breakthrough as a result of these two nights of debates.

I plan to comment daily on those events and trends that seem worthy of the most attention, and I am glad to invite my readers to return to a daily interaction, although while visiting Washington DC in two weeks from now for tourism and family, it is possible I might miss a day or two as a result.

Thanks, everyone, for your patience, as I took the most wonderful and enriching trip imaginable in the past two weeks.

Two Week Hiatus From Commentary, Will Return On June 24 Before Democratic Presidential Debates Begin

This blogger and scholar will be taking a two week hiatus from commentary, returning shortly before the Democratic Presidential debates in Miami, Florida.

This will be the longest break in commentary, as for many years, no more than one or two days has passed without some posting, and even that occurring rarely.

So to my readers, tune in the week of June 24.

Reality Of Democratic Presidential Contenders: They MUST Win Home Or Regional State Primary Or Caucus To Survive To Later Battles

With up to two dozen or more Democrats as Presidential contenders, history tells us that such candidates MUST win their home or regional state primary or caucus in 2020 to survive to later battles.

As a result, we will see winnowing down of candidates during the month of February and early March 2020, after some candidates drop out as a result of a poor performance (by comparison and journalistic judgment) at upcoming debates being held monthly starting in late June and the early primaries and caucuses.

So IF Bernie Sanders or Elizabeth Warren fail to win New Hampshire and or Massachusetts. their candidacies will be effectively over.

So IF Amy Klobuchar, or Pete Buttigieg, or Tim Ryan fail to win Iowa or Minnesota or Michigan or Ohio or Missouri, their candidacies are dead in the water.

So if Julian Castro or Beto O’Rourke fail to win Texas, they will be knocked out of the race for the White House.

So if Kamala Harris or Cory Booker cannot win in South Carolina, with its heavily African American Democratic registration, their Presidential candidacies are doomed.

So if Kamala Harris, or Eric Swalwell, or Tulsi Gabbard, or Jay Inslee, or John Hickenlooper fail to win California or Nevada or Washington, their campaigns will effectively end.

All of the states mentioned above have their primaries or caucuses taking place between February 3 and March 10.

The state of New York will also have its primaries in either February or early March, still undetermined, and Cory Booker or Kirsten Gillibrand would be expected to win that state in order to survive for a longer period.

Notice that the one “national” candidate who does not need to win any specific state or group of states to be viable is former Vice President Joe Biden, who could lose some, win some, but would likely have greater staying power in the race than anyone else.

So by the “Ides Of March” (March 15 or two days later, March 17, when Florida, Arizona, Illinois, and Colorado have had their primaries), we are likely to know who the Democratic nominee is for President.

More Presidential Contenders In 2020 Than In 2016: All Time High

America is about to witness the largest number of Presidential contenders in its history, as up to 26 Democrats are getting ready to compete in the first two Town Hall debates—on June 26 and 27 in Miami and July 30 and 31 in Detroit.

This includes Senators, Governors, Congressmen and women, Mayors, and businessmen and women, including seven Senators, four Governors, six Congressmen and women, four Mayors, a former Vice President, three businessmen and women, and a former state representative. Some of these are former governors, members of the House of Representatives, and former Mayors.

The Republican Party had set the all time record of 17 contenders in 2016, and it led, sadly, to Donald Trump winning their nomination and the White House.

This number of 26 is pure insanity, and needs to be cut down dramatically, and assuredly, public opinion polls, financial support, and staff growth will quickly eliminate many once the first two debate dates are done, as comparisons on issues and personality, and the likelihood of mistakes and blunders will narrow the field.

Expect that at most ten contenders might survive to the point of the Iowa Caucuses, the New Hampshire Primary, the Nevada Caucuses, and the South Carolina Primary, all taking place in February 2020, before the massive Super Tuesday on March 3, when 12 states, including California, Texas, Massachusetts and Virginia have their primaries.

If one had to guess now who will be the final ten, they would be in the estimate of this blogger the following alphabetically: Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julian Castro, Kirsten Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren.

If that is the final ten, it would include the former Vice President, six Senators, two Mayors, and one Congressman. It would also include four women, one Latino, one mixed race, one African American, four white Anglo men, three white Anglo women, and one gay male and one Jewish male.

The Democratic Presidential Debate Did The Nation Proud!

When compared to the Republican Presidential debates, last night’s Democratic Presidential debate was superb, and did the nation proud!

All three candidates—Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley—were exceptional in their performance.

All three were civil, intelligent, comprehensive, and compassionate in their domestic and social agenda.

All three were balanced, reasonable, knowledgeable and measured in their statements on foreign policy issues.

Any of the three would be an outstanding President in the Oval Office.

Having said that, it seems to me that Bernie Sanders, already ahead in many public opinion polls in Iowa and New Hampshire, probably gained the most by his performance last night.

Hillary Clinton, however, held her own, and Martin O’Malley, who in any other year would be a likely front runner, looked good, but still, it is clear that his quest for the Presidency is a lost cause for 2016.

The Democratic Presidential Debate Will Be One Of Substance, Intelligence, And Sincerity, Unlike The Republican Debates!

The Democratic Presidential debate taking place in Las Vegas, Nevada tonight will be substantially different than the first two Republican Presidential debates.

It will include only five candidates, unless Joe Biden shocks everyone and shows up at the last minute.

It will include three former Republicans in earlier life—Hillary Clinton, Jim Webb, and Lincoln Chafee.

It will include a declared Socialist, who is really a Democratic Socialist, Bernie Sanders.

It will include three former Senators, a sitting Senator, and a former Governor.

It will include five people who have their differences, but not that much chasm between them, and they all have records of substance.

It will include five people, all with great intelligence and sincerity.

Any of the five could fill the office of President, which cannot be said of the majority of Republicans who are running for the Presidency.

None of these five candidates have demonstrated a mean spirit, or prejudice, or narrow mindedness in their political careers, while almost all of the GOP candidates have ugly things about their backgrounds, records, and public utterances.

The talent in the Democratic Party is far greater than in the Republican Party, which now has probably its worse set of candidates in its entire history, and even worse than in 2012.

When one looks back at GOP Presidential contenders in the last few decades, they include some really competent, decent, and well intentioned political figures.

That cannot be said about the GOP in 2015, which is in the process of disintegrating before our eyes.

The only good thing about the growing indications of the self destruction of the Republicans is that they will be replaced by a new group that fits in the mainstream, and will force the Democrats to work harder to keep a moral and ethical edge on the new party that will emerge.