Debate Thoughts Blogging

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January 14, 2020 9:14 p.m.
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10:23 p.m.: Warren has dominated this debate so far. That seems unquestionable to me. But winning on points doesn’t always translate into the race itself. Biden has also had a good night simply because no one is really attacking him and he’s making the points he wants to make. He’s ahead. Maybe not in Iowa but nationwide. So in terms of the race itself I think this debate is going well for both of them.

10:08 p.m.: Do not miss my colleagues’ debate live blog which apparently I can’t join.

10:02 p.m.: The debate about the Warren-Sanders conversation was messy. Warren’s comments were similar to her press release: state quickly and unequivocally that Sanders did say it (and by implication is lying) and then quickly pivot to other general comments. Sanders’ answers were weird in large part because he sort of tried to change what was being discussed. That seemed shifty. On balance Warren got the better part of the exchange. But I think it could have gone a lot worse for Sanders. Warren closed the discussion with this which was very strong.

9:24 p.m.: There were some decent answers on the foreign policy discussion. But Blitzer framed it in a very confusing and misleading way. Combat troops? Does that mean the U.S. Navy in the Gulf? Qatar, Bahrain? By framing it around Iran’s demand for a U.S. withdrawal from the Middle East he had people answering whether they supported something like the British withdrawal in like 1971. That’s not what any of these candidates are talking about with the possible exception of Sanders. And I don’t think he really is either.

9:13 p.m.: Warren’s answer was the best on the foreign and defense policy questions so far tonight.

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