Last Night’s Democratic Presidential Candidates Debate

As Jennifer Rubin noted in her Washington Post analysis this morning, the race became no less fluid as a result of last night’s debate. Let’s hope that the number of contenders on the stage will be sharply reduced in the next one. Certainly Gabbard and Steyer will be gone. Neither O’Rourke nor Castro supplied any reason why they should remain in consideration. Of the three front-runners, I think Biden is too old, and he shows it. Bernie, who had been fading, bounced back with surprising vigor and acuity, and cannot yet be counted out, though I wish he would be. Warren failed to lay out how her many commendable initiatives would be fiscally responsible, or why her proposed wealth tax would not be vitiated by avoidance schemes. Klobuchar, Buttigieg, and Booker each turned in a good performance, but none of them appear likely to surge in the polls. Harris is appealing but her performance was spotty. Andrew Yang might be a good pick for Secretary of Commerce, but not much else. 

I don’t see any of the candidates as a front runner at this point. I think Warren could pull away from the pack, but only if she starts being a lot more more pragmatic than she has been so far. At the moment, I think that the least problematical of the lot is Amy Klobuchar. A ticket of Klobuchar and Senator Chris Murphy, of Connecticut, who is not currently in the race, would be hard to beat.