Morning After Notes on Debate Night #1

  • I think Steve Bullock is an interesting candidate.  Too moderate for my taste, but he could have some broad crossover appeal.  Unfortunately, I think he’s in too late to make a serious push for the top spot.  Question is does he try to hang around in the conversation so he’s a white male option for the #2 job if Harris or Warren get the nomination.  Or does he punt and go for the Senate seat in Montana?
  • Another reason to be for Warren.  She was on the right side of the first use of nukes question.  As Commander in Chief, I can why you wouldn’t rule out first strike with conventional weapons.  It doesn’t make any sense to me why you should try to keep first use of nukes on the table.  She owned Bullock on this issue.
  • The healthcare debate was pretty good.  Moderates were able to poke holes in the Sanders version of Medicare for All plan.  I watched the CNN after debate show and the panelists actually pushed Warren pretty hard on this question.  I think you saw the beginning of where she can go with her argument in the general election, if she gets there.  She mentioned that Labor would have a seat at the table when it came time to negotiate on the transition from the current system to single payer.  That might end up being where they can find common ground with the Medicare for All that want it crowd.  I’m going to keep an eye on this.
  • Also on healthcare, I think tonight’s debaters will make sure to point out that, regardless of the differences on the Democratic side, Trump and Republicans tried to take away the ACA entirely and take health insurance away from millions of people.
  • Another healthcare point.  I think it might be worthwhile to pin down any of the candidates who talk about a public option in general terms (I’m looking at you, Joe Biden) and see whether they mean creating some sort of public option to be tacked onto the ACA or whether they’re looking to expand Medicare.  I think Dems may favor Medicare for All who want it, but wouldn’t look as kindly at a “tinkering around the edges of the ACA” way to expand access to healthcare.
  • Finally, the VP stakes.  Right now, I think the nomination comes down to Biden, Harris, or Warren.  Sorry Bernie.  As I’ve said before, I think the Dems will look for a diverse ticket.  Zero chance that Joe Biden selects another white male as his running mate.  So, at this point, I think Klobuchar is a good fit for Biden.  Bullock, O’Rourke, Buttigieg or Castro (pending his performance tonight) are the matches for Harris or Warren.  I’m torn on the idea of whether the progressive Warren would go for a moderate to balance her ticket or not.  I think Harris has been straddling the line, so she can go either moderate or progressive.  As it stands now, I think Booker is on the outs in the VP stakes.  He’s really only a fit for Warren in balancing terms.  I’ll update this thought depending on how tonight’s debate goes.
  • From last night’s group, I think Ryan and Hickenlooper need to go.  I think there’s a place for the next couple of months for Klobuchar and Bullock, since they’re solid VP candidates.  Delaney and Williamson made some splash and they might try to stick around, but I don’t see a spot for them at the top of the ticket or VP.  They should go.  Everybody else probably has enough in the way or supporters or polling to get to Iowa.


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