Last Night’s Democratic Presidential Candidates Debate

Since this process is like the game musical chairs, an elimination contest, we could start by eliminating (and I hope they are absent from the next debate) Tulsi Gabbard, whose presence is counterproductive, and Tom Steyer, who, having paid tens of millions as an admission price to be on the stage, has made the good though generalized and somewhat vague points he has to offer, and should now devote his energy and resources to aiding critical campaigns of other Democrats. Andrew Yang has no chance of being on the ticket, and he too should be eliminated, though I’ll miss him –– his remarks are mostly crisply delivered and interesting. I’m concerned about Biden’s age and mental acuity. I’d feel better if he dropped out.

 Keeping in mind that the need to decisively defeat Trump is by far the most important consideration, my takeaway is that the nominee must have a lot more appeal than Hillary had to swing voters in critical northern states –– Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, and Pennsylvania –– and that the ticket must be one that elicits a very strong turnout of African Americans and other minority voters. It’s too early to guess what would be the ideal ticket, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out to be Klobuchar and either Kamala Harris or Stacey Abrams. Or would an all-female ticket strike too many otherwise amenable macho-type guys as a punch in the gut?