Given a final opportunity to challenge rivals before Democrats begin selecting the party’s nominee, the candidates looked just as bored as the television viewers who were treated to stale recitations of campaign talking points. The reasonable conclusion is that both of America’s major political parties will be relying on Donald Trump to drive turnout in November.
“Sleepy” Not Limited Just to Biden
- Mark Barabak of the Los Angeles Times calls it“arguably the most soporific” of the debates.
- “The debate was not an especially flashy event with a runaway winner,” Vox charitably observes.
- Former Virginia Governor and Clinton fundraiser Terry McAuliffe: You know, I’m a little surprised. I thought it would be a much more aggressive debate tonight. I mean, this is the last shot you’ve got until the Iowa caucus in three weeks. The four front runners, nobody went after each other. I was really surprised at that. You know, Joe Biden has been leading this race since he got into it, nobody touched him tonight, nobody went after him. I mean, it was just shocking to me that this is your last shot to make an impression before we go in it.”
- Van Jones, Mr. McAuliffe’s CNN leftist colleague: “Dispiriting.” Van Jones saw “nothing” in the debate to suggest a Trump loss in the fall.
- Chris Cuomo added, “I think the consensus… is that this was not the type of night of ambition we expected.”
- Ronald Brownstein writes at the Atlantic: … the debate lacked the intensity that many expected… The evening’s most anticipated moment largely fizzled, too. Sanders flatly denied that he told Warren, during a private meeting in 2018, that he believed a woman could not win the presidency, as initially reported by CNN. And when asked about Sanders’s denial, Warren chose not to challenge him—detouring instead into a forceful argument for why women can win elections.
Do the Sleep Inducing Candidates Want the Job?
“A Warren or Sanders presidency would surely do enormous damage to American prosperity and liberty,” continues Mr. Freeman, who confesses to not being able to stay awake during the last 15 minutes of the debate.
But the optimistic message from Tuesday night is that it’s not clear either one of them really wants the job.
Meanwhile in Milwaukee, Donald Trump certainly acts like he wants to keep his job.
Read more from Freeman here.