Many presidential hopefuls have set up podiums, flanked by a faux Biden or a charlatan Bernie, hammering out strategies with their aides to make the most of the few minutes they’ll have to get their message to the American people.
According to a New York Times report, candidates like Washington Gov. Jay Inslee realize that the debate is a rare chance to drum up some name recognition in a tightly-packed field.
“For a candidate like myself, who is essentially unknown, this is a great chance to make a first impression on the nation,” he told the Times. “I think the dialogue will be much more between the candidates and the viewers, than between the candidates.”
For those like former Vice President Joe Biden or Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), much of the deliberation is about whether or not to stay above the fray.
All the candidates, though, put their own unique spin on the long practice sessions. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) has set up camp in a car dealership with her staffers standing in for other candidates. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) punctuates his answers with pushups. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) has been studying tapes of the 2016 Republican debates, featuring a similarly crowded field.
The debates will be held this Wednesday and Thursday, starting at 9 PM E.T. hosted by NBC.