Biden Comes Under Attack From All Sides in Democratic Debate

Senator Kamala Harris confronted the former vice president in a searing moment over racial equality, and others attacked him on policy and generational divide.

Comments: 262

  1. Joe Biden showed us all grace and dignity, and that he can move the country forward. Working with the other side of the aisle is a time honored skill that has benefited our nation for over two hundred years. Camilla Harris, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders have demonstrated that they will bring even more gridlock to Washington.

  2. @William His performance was terrible. He rambled and got lost in his rehearsed comments.

  3. @William I agree with @observer. It was shocking how old and out of it Biden looked. He stumbled over sentences, stopped abruptly several times, and seemed like he had some memorized answers that he was having trouble remembering at the moment. He looked so old and out of it that I was counting the number of years to the end of the first term to see, in my head, whether he would have enough marbles left to make it that long. (I don't agree with @Observer about Harris -- who seemed disingenuous with her attacks on Biden about race, using "bussing" as her example. She was from a decent neighborhood with extremely highly educated parents and she was bused into super liberal Berkeley. She also lived in Canada for awhile as a child but she would have you believe that she was from some poor horrible place with sad, sad parents and had to force her way through lines of anti-black protesters to attend school. I'm beginning to doubt that she was bused at all, now that I'm writing this, but rather exaggerated what would have been a regular commute to school or something. Hard to know because the story was so outrageously exaggerated to make a political arrow. For this reason, the lack of honesty here and the urge to use a hot-button issue purely for political gain, I do not trust her. And do not want her to be the nominee.

  4. @William Let’s get real. There’s going to be gridlock if there is a Democratic president, no matter who it is, if the Senate is still controlled by the devil’s sidekick.

  5. While I do think this was a good summary of the debate in general, I think that pre-conceived favouritism is sometimes occurring on these types of articles. NYT is my favourite and most long-standing source of news and opinion - but I do think you are at times undermining Sanders or Harris and the things they are bringing forth in the campaign arena. Sanders is leading in most states' polls, yet I still don't see an in-depth article like the NYT piece on Warren. Harris was brilliant as well. Remember you have a lot of power in influencing opinions of voters for 2020. This is not about who bickered with who - this is about who the best possible candidates are for the Primary. Sanders and Biden are definitely on top, followed by Harris and Buttigieg. We must give every credible candidate the right and fair amount of exposure. It would be great to see in-depth, personal pieces on each of the prominent candidates. Fair exposure leaves the public with more important information about the candidates and thus, creates more engagement from now until November 2020.

  6. The baby boomer generations time is up. Joe Biden's response to Kamal Harris is a verbal brochure for my opening statement.

  7. He is the only one I would ever consider. None of the others is a viable candidate.

  8. Biden was weakened during the debate, but it was his own doing. The question from Harris, for example, was easy to foresee. He needs something other than hot and bothered indignation. he also needs to answer questions directy: Harris's substantive issue was that discrimination cannot be solved as a local issue -- the weight of the federal government is, at times, appropriate, for example, same-sex marriage and, on Harris's view, school integration. The issue deserved a well-considered response, but Biden seemed unable to deliver. if that trip him up, how is Biden to survive relentless attacks from Trump? I'm just not seeing it given Biden's performance during the debate.

  9. @te So what are Harris' civil rights policies?

  10. @Eagle other commentary I’ve read is that she needs to be fact checked. She comes from a more privileged background than Biden and many of the other panelists. I doubt she rode a bus in grade school.

  11. @SRG "I've read" is not considered a primary, or even a secondary, source.

  12. Whoever wins the nomination, one thing is for sure.... ...Bernie has won the battle for the soul of the party. What an amazing accomplishment. Democrats, tick. NOW - the working class in red states. THEN- make America humane.

  13. @EC poor Bernie but he is amusing.

  14. @EC Yes that's true - but may hurt the Democrats in a general election by scaring so many moderates.

  15. Sander’s total lack of any rehearsal or practice (as reported here earlier) was obvious. He looked confused, angry, and overshadowed on the stage. He better check his ego next time and do some prep work.

  16. He still has a base that they need to win. Confused or not confused.

  17. @Stefan nothing ever changes with him. He's a walking stump speech who just carries on as though he's at a rally.

  18. @AM His lack of change is a good thing. Throughout his career he has remained steadfast. He can be totally trusted to stick to his principles and pursue the policies on which he campaigned. The others, not so much.

  19. I'm worried the Democrats are going to blow this. Democrats win the Presidency with forward-looking candidates who excite not just Democrats, but the country. Democrats lose with "safe" candidates. Let's pick someone who can win over Midwesterners *and* excite the base.

  20. @Fullonfog Would be interested to hear who you think that might be.

  21. @Mark Crozier to win the Midwestern vote (or Moderate vote), it can’t be the one who supports either free heath care to up to 22M undocumented persons, elimination of private insurance, or defacto open border policies. In all seriousness, taking them at their word, that leaves Klobuchar, Delaney or Ryan (not surprisingly, 2 of 3 from the Midwest).

  22. @Fullonfog The base isn't the problem. It's the leftwing that is the democrats' problem. They demand absolute fealty to the progressive agenda. They just don't realize how unpopular these stances are. Or don't care. They completely misjudged the last election, believing Hillary was too "moderate". Too moderate for them, perhaps, but not for the majority of democratic voters. She was just a lousy campaigner and strategist.

  23. While there are many problems with Biden, his inability to quickly recognize his error in not apologizing to Kamala Harris highlighted why so many are ready to move on from him and others like him. The old establishment Democrats rarely admit that they were wrong, and if they do, they somehow connect it to the times in which they governed. These times have changed, and people actually stand up for what they believe in. This is a big reason why Hillary didn't win, and if Democrats aren't careful, this is why they will lose again if they nominate Joe Biden.

  24. @Greg Also, the NEW establishment Democrats rarely admit that they were wrong, and if they do, they somehow connect it to the times in which they governed.

  25. @Scott K will future democrats apologize for the failure of our war on poverty? The out-of-control costs of anything they touch (healthcare, medecine)? And the fact that they still haven’t solved any of the issues they harp on? Time will tell.

  26. @Scott K Is that why Pete Buttigieg did indeed admit to not doing enough to make his police force more diverse? Nice try.

  27. If the progressive candidates focus on identity politics again they are going to get wiped out just like Hillary did. White voters in Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Floria don't care about that. They want their union wages back. And Biden, being 76 years, had to work with Segregations as we had apartheid in the USA then. Thomas Jefferson also had slaves as did the Greeks. But that's no reason to rip up the constitution or replace democracy with something else. Using this word "racist" is a dangerous kind of Chinese Cultural revolution that could impose thought controls on the people as it has already imposed speech controls. Just look at book publishers today. They've already hired "sensitivity editors" (aka censors) to avoid cultural slights. It's scary and a good reason to vote Republican lest the campus radicals and people like Booker or Harris were to come to power.

  28. @Walker Rowe How ironic that you claim the Democratic Party would “replace democracy with something else” — presumably meaning socialism, conveniently putting aside the fact that even the candidate who describes himself as a socialist isn’t one — in an era when the GOP is at war with democracy as we know it. Be conservative if you like, but the worst thing that could possibly happen to the US, and indeed the entire world, would be having to endure four more years under the likes of the devil and his sidekick, trump and McConnell.

  29. Biden will not win this election unless “people like” Booker /Harris/or a “campus radical” is his running mate. If you think the “union boys” in his camp will be enough for Biden to win, you’re sadly mistaken. If the socialists and minorities ( which you just euphemistically described by referring to various candidates ) do not turn out to vote, The Dems will lose this election. The party is changing. Being a moderate will not be enough for any Democratic candidate to win.

  30. @Walker Rowe Trump looks sane compared to these Democratic candidates.

  31. Of course all the other Democratic candidates have to take down Biden. He's the Great White Whale of this contest. He better get used to the feeling of being harpooned.

  32. These debates are a charade. As a Dem, it’s embarrassing to watch the candidates jockey for mic time, only to pimp their evasive soliloquies with a blatant disregard for the rules of engagement. Further, their pleasantries toward one another and “pick me” finger gestures are beyond awkward. Let’s hear less “attacks” and more concrete answers, please. It’s sad to watch the state of this Party, and this dog and pony show only reinforces how unraveled Dems have become. Also, let’s hear more from Andrew Yang, please — he’s the only one up there with truly unique ideas — and apparently the only one with enough decorum to follow the rules.

  33. @JN "Less attacks and more concrete answers" could transform the entire election process, with voters actually being informed about whom and what issues they are supporting. Negative campaigning and attack ads communicate to me that the candidate who wields them has little to offer. Just look at Trump.

  34. @JN totally agree. I had a very toxic and defeated feeling after last night. He and Pete were the only candidates showing respect to the moderators. Needs to change and fast.

  35. @tazzy19 Not to forget Elizabeth Warren from the night before. I think she and mayor Pete are the only ones who showed heart, courtesy and critical thinking.

  36. Biden behaves with dignity, yes, has tons of experience, like it or not, and best of all has name recognition (let's not forget, everyone had heard of Ronald Reagan and of Donald Trump). Vigorous debate is ok at this stage--but if the famous Democrat Circular Firing Squad keeps up its attacks for too long, it will have done much of the Republican Attack Machine's demolition job for them!

  37. @Camille Naish I couldn't agree more. They need to be careful because they are giving Trump clips- he will edit to serve himself,

  38. @Camille Naish Except his ideas are old and his history of choices that he made are poor at best. Yes, he is a fine man but that is not enough to build a new and better future for this county.

  39. @Michael He doesn't have a history of poor choices at all. The choices he's made reflect the times that they were made in, and things have changed over that time period. I thought he expressed an open acknowledgement of that and a progressive willingness to adjust and update his thinking and approach.

  40. IMO, the elder statesmen need to retire

  41. @JP Sanders? He's the oldest candidate. Warren? She's 70.

  42. @JP Good idea! You said “men” and that certainly would not include Warren, who is sharp as a tack, even at age 70.

  43. @JP Pelosi? She's the oldest and highest Dem statesman of all.

  44. It was as though the fellow Democrats, all those except Joe Biden, had gotten together somewhere before the debate to strategize how they were one by one going to take Joe Biden down. Biden looked dumb-founded. He sounded dumb-founded. We can imagine how he must have felt. It seems way early to be debating a 2020 election in the first place. But for all Joe Biden’s hopes and all Joe Biden’s years, this show of political undoing may be the very reason many Americans just stay away from and abhor politics. Politicians preach it’s all about and for “the people” - but is it? Stark contrast between congenial Wednesday and cut throat Thursday. Yet it’s all about getting the right candidate, right? Or is it? Remember Bernie and Hillary, folks, and then enter Jill Stein. Oh, please, figure out something promising, Dems. We cannot allow another Trump Wednesday morning on November 4th, 2020.

  45. @MIMA Perhaps I missed it but I don't remember Sanders attacking Biden on his past beliefs. Maybe because unlike people like Harris and Buttiegieg, Sanders has actual policy positions that he didn't develop based on where polls say where he should be.

  46. Sorry, but I am unable to forgive Bernie for giving us Donald Trump.

  47. @Austin Weird Please...you're not keeping Austin wierd (and progressive) - your falling for the old centrist, straight-as-an-arrow, scapegoating because you can't quite bring yourself to admit that the Democrats and Hillary were clueless as to what the people wanted in 2016. So she decided to run on a platform of nothing more than"it's my turn now." Thanks Dems.... BTW the saying in Austin is no longer "keep Austin weird," it's now proudly "keep Austin corporate."

  48. I’ve volunteered for decades on one Democratic campaign after another where the moderate choice was trounced by one Republican wolf-in-sheep’s-clothing after another. Joe Biden has a distinguished record and early mass appeal, and it’s fine to let him lead the initial charge keeping Trump off-balance. Trump seems to fear him the most. But at the end, we need a Hotspur, or better, a Joan of Arc: a fiery insurgent with a passionate commitment to the working class and a fearless commitment to slashing the corporate-evangelical-oligarch Axis that has snatched our democracy. A team that will restore hope and classic American fairness and that understands that we are at the last possible moment to save ourselves. It might be too late. Nonetheless, I want to ride into battle behind fearless woman warriors like Warren and Harris. They grasp the peril we face.

  49. Sarah - curious it you are on hiatus from US for 4 years - I get it if you are. Didn’t end well for Joan of Arc. There’s too much at stake in this next election to just fight the good fight. We must defeat this national embarrassment. The most compelling woman I heard yesterday was Justice Kagen in her dissent in the gerrymandering case. So much more at stake in this election than immigration and health care.

  50. @Bohemian Sarah I found it noteworthy that Mayor Pete was the only candidate last night -- or any night in the past 20 years -- to strongly stand for the separation of church and state, and to talk in terms of religious freedom for all people, whether they align with an organized religion, with agnosticism or atheism. Thank you, Mayor Pete. The reactionary republican party is forging a future that looks a lot like the supposed fiction of The Handmaid's Tale.

  51. @Gman Also too much at stake to vote based on gender, which is not only bigoted but also foolish in that it limits the list of possible winning candidates to beat trump.

  52. Biden was less cranky than Sanders (who isn't), but seems old, even frail at times, and grossly unprepared. His answers didn't always scan. No wonder his staff has been limiting his events. He projects the same air of fatigue that Clinton did, or something similar. And his line about holding the torch was way to close to "You kids get off of my lawn!"

  53. @Lev Raphael Maybe Sanders is cranky because he sees clear solutions to many problems the country faces and his opponents are too cowardly to sign on to them. And he certainly didn't seem frail to me.

  54. @Lev Raphael What are you talking about? HRC did not display and "air" if fatigue. She was ill for a week or so during her campaign and the R's tried to project that as some kind of weakness, which it as not.

  55. I think, once other candidates prove they can beat Trump, Biden's support will evaporate. I think we saw some of that last night.

  56. @Steve--The prospect of a Biden run is more appealing than the reality of it. This will probably not end well for Joe.

  57. @Steve,and just who is it that has demonstrated that they can beat trump? It's fair to say that as of yesterday no one had great confidence in any of their abilities to put together a constituency that would defeat the worst president in our history. which of these candidates can win over voters and take over the rust belt needed to gain office.

  58. “You have been an absolutely fantastic guy for the past twenty-five years, but you had a nuanced position I didn’t like once in 1973.” Give me a break. I tell you what Kamala, let us pull every transcript of every argument you ever made in court and see exactly how many things you’ve stated over the years that can be made to look bad when taken out of context. I bet that we find dozens of quotes that can be completely twisted around to assassinate your character in such a way as to totally misrepresent it. What you did yesterday doesn’t demonstrate skill, it only shows a Trump-like willingness to say anything when cornered and desperate for a win. Kamala Harris did manage to accomplish one thing last night, she is the first top tier candidate that’s likely to have been crossed off of the VP list.

  59. @AndyW: Except that mr. Biden’s rejection of busing at the time affected her personally and negatively when she was a young student. She did not take anything out of context. It was Biden’s tone deafness that made him state he could work with segregationists - why on earth did he say that, what did he think to achieve with that?

  60. @AndyW what she did was straight out of Bernie's playbook. It was akin to Bernie basically accusing HRC of being responsible for the sins of the father. I liked her, but lost respect last night. She was impactful when she argued against "food fights", but then started one.

  61. @AndyW I think 'opportunistic' yes, but not so much ' it only shows a Trump-like willingness to say anything when cornered and desperate for a win', rather a choice to vent her feelings around what she saw and sees as the great evil of segregation, as well as her cherishing the notion that busing was instrumental in getting her where she is, and beneficial to many women making their way under new gender expectations. Expressing that feeling might bolster her image as a genuine person for some. Others, perhaps like yourself, will see it as a weakness.

  62. It’s like these people do not know that a vast majority of Americans support moderate restrictions on abortion and like their private health care

  63. @Jake, I have private health insurance with my employer. My deductible is $3750/person or $7500/h&w. I would jump on a public option in a second. Most Americans do NOT like their private health insurance.

  64. @Jake Private health insurance, in most cases, is one of the benefits offered by employers. When the employees lose their jobs, they also lose their health insurance (and probably change their minds).

  65. @Donna Yes, most of us only "like" our private health care because it's what we have. I'm all in for public health care.

  66. Hey K. Harris: Joe Biden “carried water” for President Obama for eight years- he defended him 24/7 with great loyalty and enthusiasm. Your attacks on Joe Biden went too far.

  67. @Mike Biden defended states rights in 2019. He is out of there.

  68. @EC Actually his response was ill advised as he failed to defend himself factually. It sounded like he was defending states rights. But what he voted against was busing in certain circumstances having nothing to do with states rights. He did want federal intervention and mandated busing if a state and/or local authority segregated schools intentionally. What he did not want was mandated busing where there were factors not intentionally meant to segregate.

  69. @Mike Winning for Democracy. "If you don't like the heat, get out of the kitchen"

  70. I like Biden (and most of the Democratic candidates), but he should have had a better answer in his pocket than “I wanted it left up to local governments “ when asked about his previous stance on bussing. That lack of a well considered response is worrisome with regards to his touted electability.

  71. Both Joe and more so Bernie are just simply too old. It has nothing to do with their policy proposals or accomplishments. I'm 75 and now understand experientially what advanced age does to the mental faculties. Everyone, when they get to this point, is headed downhill in terms of acuity, and in four more years it will only get worse. Joe is a year older than I, and Bernie is older still. We went down this road with Reagan, who it's now clear was in early dementia while still in the White House, and both Joe and Bernie are now older than he was at the same point. Even if they appear OK now, it's just too risky to put someone this old at the helm for four years and hope they will stay up to the job. Move aside and let the young ones have their chance.

  72. @John Binkley Well said sir, well said. I'm 63 yrs of age and I hear you loud and clear but I would have heard you much clearer ten years ago...the hearing is going!

  73. @John Binkley Let the primary's play out. If the up 'n coming are sooo much better, then they will show it, and the voters will reward them for it. Until that happens, these experienced candidates are leading the field and still providing the younger pol's a struggle. Being old, isn't a disqualifier in our constitution. Yet.

  74. @John Binkley Forget numbers. If you watched yesterday's debates you may have noticed the difference between Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders. They are both the same age: Sanders is still full of life and energy; Biden is like a mummy that someone unwrapped and dressed up in new clothes. Biden belongs somewhere in a shop window, not in the White House. P.S. Just because your own mental faculties are waning does not mean that the same is true of all people in your age group.

  75. Watching last night from the perspective of a 70 year old, sad to say Joe and Bernie just looked "old". While I respect Joe Biden for who he is as a man and what he's accomplished, and Bernie for his passion, Kamala Harris and Mayor Pete stood out. I can easily see Kamala Harris standing up to whatever DT throws in a debate, and winning, showing all Americans what intelligence, dignity and class in a president look like. He should be very afraid...

  76. @Interested Reader I’m not going to “pass the torch” just the sake of passing the torch. Those young folks on the stage have to prove that they’re more than just tough debaters. Trump is tough but everything else about him is a total disaster. They also have to show that they can govern, negotiate, compromise and do all the other things a good president has to do and be.

  77. @Interested Reader If Kamala was as hurt as she came across she should have found a way to process it long before stopping the music during a presidential debate to emotionally attack Joe Biden. Her attack came across as politically motivated more than anything. Her grandstanding demonstration was very un-presidential.

  78. @Interested Reader As Sanders had by far the most progressive positions of anyone on the stage, it seems that perhaps we need to pass the torch back to his generation. I don't care if Sanders looked like Methusalah, he still has the best policy proposals of any of the Dems running.

  79. Observing the debates, I feel sure they are all fine people, and any one could serve as President with competence...it certainly would be a welcome change. I did feel Ms Harris made a specious and unfair attack on Mr Biden. Observing this sincere and fine man, with numerous home runs on the board, attacked in this way did not go down well with me. I felt it was self righteous, and self serving, sounding more like a prosecutors brief than fully sincere. No one commented that this grieving father is not only there for the Democrats, the future of the US, but also for his lost son. I think Mr Biden should let it wash over him, continue to focus on the disastrous Presidency of Trump, which is leading the US over a cliff.

  80. @Hugh Garner Biden has no chance. The only thing he has going for him is name recognition, and history is littered with many failed candidates who falsely believed that was enough to become president. Time for the next generation. That same next generation that Biden road the coattails of into the Vice Presidency.

  81. @Observer Biden has a good chance, although I do believe the media is trying to "Hillary" him. He actually made lucid points last night and is likely to appeal to disillusioned Trump voters.

  82. @Hugh Garner She will be the darling of the left and media for at least one week.

  83. On Joe Biden: While still vastly superior to Trump, I'm not sure Joe has the outright desire to be President and I think if he'd opted to stay out of it, that would have been the ideal scenario. Out of the septuagenarians, let it be Warren or Sanders. I would personally LOVE to see Bernie as POTUS but its a major hill to climb. Much as I admire him personally, his appeal is quite narrow. On Kamala Harris: Why not a Warren/Harris ticket? I think this would be a great combo for the Dems. Failing that, Warren/Castro. Either way, it works for me. I also thought Kirsten Gillebrand came off very well.

  84. ..."as a group of moderates led by Mr. Biden raised doubts — and repeatedly expressed something verging on alarm — about Democrats’ embrace of the far-left ideas pioneered by Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont." There is nothing 'far left' about Bernie's ideas. Bernie has a message of economic fairness and environmental justice. Moderates are people who have been taken over by corporations and will continue to do nothing of substance. The 'far left' is the direction that the Democratic party must go if it plans to develop ideas that truly benefit people. Medicare for All makes us join the rest of the world in having insurance for all people and is provided at a price that is affordable. Shame on Hickenlooper for saying, "we are not socialists'. He is playing on the fears of people who don't realize that countries like Finland have 'socialization' and that they are the happiest people on earth. They care for each other, not like the US where we are supposed to 'pull ourselves up by our bootstraps' while corporations and the !% are raking up all the money. Yes we are demanding 'real change', not just 'paltry half-measures'. It is to be expected that Trump would talk about "taking care of Americans first". Right! Giving a tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations who make huge profits is his idea of progression. Being willing to take healthcare away from 30 million people is acceptable. So is putting children in cages.

  85. @Carol Ring - I know you believe that the ideas are not “far left” but surely you must also realize that not every voter lives in Chicago. Bernie and others like him winning Illinois isn’t the issue...winning Georgia, Wisconsin, Florida, and Texas is.

  86. @Levite I actually live in NW Indiana but am an hour's drive from Chicago. Indiana is a red state and one that isn't doing very well economically. "Right to Work' for nothing is working. The great Hoosier budget is destroying K-12 public schools by adding 10% funding money to charter schools and 2% to public schools. Teachers here are working 2-3 jobs just to survive. I'm a retired teacher who is tired of more of the same with nothing ever improving. [I'm still waiting for he $4,000 that Trump promised with his 'great tax break for the middle class".] Unfortunately, the media is corporate owned. Bernie is the last person they want as president. Corporate domination means saving the status quo...no tax increases on the wealthy or corporations.

  87. Yeah, NYT's adoption of the vile-GOP buzzword for some bizarre reason is not a good look, not least when the loser's legacy even without his twitbabble is best summed up in the Job Cuts and Taxes Act. There is no far left. Sadly, perception is everything, and people would've rightly perceived Sanders and a bunch of others shouting over each other until Harris quieted them all with the Food Fight line. That didn't help the quieted, and gave her the foothold to mince and boy-bye the already shaky Biden with the race and busing thing. But if it won't be Bernie then we must hope that the Twitter- and media-anointed debate winner Harris is as strong in her policies as 45th President as she both was in the debate and hasn't been in her actual political service so far. Her inaction has inspired Kristof columns, while Bernie's actions toward Sane government have inspired the people.

  88. Not sure which candidate would be the best president, but Harris would certainly trounce Trump in a debate.

  89. @alrobars Trump managed to make voters afraid of a white woman being president in 2016. Do you really believe he wouldn't attack Harris on being a woman and a member of two minority groups? And if you think American voters are logical and vote solely on the actual policy positions of candidates and not on any appeals to fear or bigotry, I've got a bridge to Brooklyn I'd like to sell you.

  90. Poor Kamala, Sounds bites won’t get you the nomination. Drop out now.

  91. @MB It may make her VP.

  92. @EC I'd love to see her on the Supreme Court, right after the Democratic majority adds additional justices to SCOTUS.

  93. @MB--Sound bites will get her a good start down the road in a field of unmemorable candidate and a process that never ends.

  94. The good thing about Medicare is the low drug costs because they can negotiate prices down. I am on Medicare. It is way better than private insurance. Americans say they want lower drug prices. The other thing Americans profess to want in healthcare is lower deductibles. Medicare supplemental insurance is affordable for me, even though I am on Social Security Disability Insurance.

  95. My understanding is that Part D cannot negotiate drug prices. The VA can.

  96. Uh, what? It is illegal under federal law for Medicare to negotiate drug prices. Private insurers are under no such restraint.

  97. Medicare Part D prescription plan providers do negotiate with drug companies on prices. The law just prohibits HHS from directly negotiating with the drug companies on price. Large prescription benefit plan providers can negotiate low prices. But if HHS negotiated, it could probably get even lower prices. Though HHS would need to be able to threaten to exclude a drug from nationwide coverage to get that very low price. Or to give one drug company exclusivity for their treatment for a specific disease. With Medicaid, states have some flexibility since that’s a joint state and federal program. Louisiana received a federal waiver and recently negotiated a big discount from Gilead for expensive Hep C drugs in exchange for exclusivity. They pay a flat annual fee for several years to get all the Gilead Hep C pills they need in Louisiana.

  98. After watching the debate, Trump won big time. Did not hear one plan that actually would win the election. Bernie wants Medicare for all , what exactly does Biden want? Democrats need about 15 to drop out soon or Trump really does not have to do very much to get re elected.

  99. If college has to be free, it has to be free for all. Otherwise, as predictable, we are going to end up with a lot of cheating, lying, and lawsuits. Making exceptions to the rule will just feed lawyers; it will not help students. A complete overhaul of the tax system is needed before we try to do anything else. Tax reform should be our priority.

  100. @Fran: Financial Aid is already income dependent, so we can extend that to "free college". The only thing that's needed is to do a cost-benefit analysis of free college for all vs. auditing family income limits for college benefits and determine what's more practical.

  101. We did tax overhaul last year. Nominal tax revenues rose and the economy strengthened. Why would you ruin that?

  102. The field of candidates includes many talented and accomplished people who want the same things for this country: healthcare for all, income fairness, clean energy, social justice, national security through re-engagement with our traditional allies and serious efforts toward nuclear non-proliferation (and hopefully a balanced budget). My dream is that they would all get together and agree that they will support whoever gets the nomination, campaign for them and serve in their White House or run for the Senate where they can make a difference. Have I been watching too many Avengers movies?

  103. One of the topics that I find encouraging is in complete opposition to pundits complaining about the size of the field. Democrats are so highly motivated to change the direction of our country, restore moral and ethical leadership plus confront an economy designed for the few that 23 candidates have stepped forward. That's a good start, not a deterrent. It seems everyone, and I mean everyone forgot what happened on November 6, 2018 - the highest mid-term turnout since 1914 and the largest landslide in U.S. history. Does anyone out there think it has gotten better for Republican President Donald 'Individual 1' Trump and the Republican Party?

  104. @Michael Grove. 1994, 2006, and 2010 also saw huge midterm turnout. Clinton, Bush, and Obama all got reelected.

  105. @Michael Grovel "Largest landslide in US history?" November 6, 2018? Hmmm. I must have missed that.

  106. @sthomas1957 They do not compare in voter turnout rates or margin of victory. Republican President Donald 'Individual 1' Trump has never even hit 50% in the polls...

  107. Biden is not going to go the distance. It's not about age, it's about whether your values and your message can resonate in this time and age. Bernie is clearly someone who has been defining the whole debate on issues, and is still looking towards the future. Kamala seems to be flexible, smart and adaptable based on her political positions, and she is looking to capture a shift leftwards. Warren has clearly engaged with the needs of the modern party base and the wider electorate. Those three candididates are going to end up, I predict, going the distance, at Biden's expense. If you think the attacks over his support for busing were unfair, I would say that they aren't. It's a very important issue and one where there can be no tolerance for being pro-segregation. And for "Credit Card Joe" as he was known as due to his pro-corporate affinities as a Senator, you will find far more cobwebs hiding in his closet if you take a deeper look at his record.

  108. My issue with Biden is that he doesn't have a clear vision for how he will make America better. When you ask his supporters how America will be better with a Biden presidency, they say, "Trump won't be in office." But that would also be true with any Democratic candidate who had a more meaningful vision for change. People who support Biden believe in the mythical "swing voter" who can be lured back from Trump by a tepid, moderate campaign. But it's turnout that matters in modern elections, and Biden's support is lukewarm because of his waffling on women's issues and his bad record of supporting bills to lock up more people of color. Swing voters are not how elections are won or lost anymore, if that was ever the case. Trump himself was certainly not a tepid moderate, but his supporters were die-hard Trump lovers. You need a candidate who offers a compelling vision of how they will make America better, not someone like Biden, who promises to roll things back to the 1980s when we had a more compromise-based government. (As if Mitch McConnell and the gerrymandering Republicans care will be willing to play ball, anyway.) The debates belonged to Harris, Booker, Buttigieg, and Warren. Biden is not compelling, and I hope people realize that his lack of charisma means that he's also not a "safe bet."

  109. I really wish Mayor Pete's answer about how fixing American democracy needs to be the first step towards other issues made it into this highlight reel. I understand in a field this crowded and in a 3 minute video that is difficult, but you probably could've cut Marianne Williamson's parts and fit it in.

  110. Always surprising to see that some of the most basic amenities in Europe, such as free healthcare and education, are still being debated with such fervour over the pond. How could you possibly be opposed to your fellow citizens having access to such fundamental needs? Hasn’t it become all too apparent now, that as a society the United States cannot strive if the less fortunate are being left behind, unable to make something out of their lives?

  111. @Giovanni Teeuwisse The reason that pharma companies charge lower prices in EU and Canada is because they make up for their costs and even make some profit in the US. The rest of the world is just gravy. The day the US takes the same stance as EU, there might be fewer new drugs and higher costs for EU. Which might be a net good for the US.

  112. @Giovanni Teuwisse: Republicans believe in the slogan "every man for himself," not in "love thy neighbor as thyself," and so we have a large percentage of the country that have convinced themselves or have been convinced that they are in some kind of zero-sum competition with the people around them. They don't see themselves as part of a larger community, and they look down on people they aren't familiar with. They work hard to separate themselves from everyone else, locking themselves into gated communities, sending their children to private schools, flying on private jets, and socializing only with others like them. It is no wonder that the social contract has broken down with people with this myopic mentality in the ascendancy. They are aiming to establish an American aristocracy, and they want to be part of it, so they can literally lord it over the rest of us second-class citizens.

  113. @Mark Yea, very different. In the U.S., eight U.S. Presidents owned slaves while they were in office. Germany did not have a huge enslaved population nor mass indentured servitude. There are not tens of millions who do not want to work regularly.

  114. I think Joe is at a very big disadvantage because of his years in government. People change their outlook on some things as time goes by while hindsight is always 2020. To bring up votes and sound bites from 20, 30 years ago proves nothing. I want to see a women president however I believe Kamala Harris is too loud and pushy and with this Medicare for all cant get elected and if she does the GOP will never work with her. All these fancy plans need Congress ! My vote is for Amy Klobuchar

  115. @Thomas Renner Hmm. How is Amy Klobuchar your candidate but Kamala Harris is “too loud and pushy”? Is it because Klobuchar is white that she doesn’t come across as loud and pushy?

  116. Biden is a superb politician who has accomplished more good than Harris will ever achieve in her entire political career. I dislike her cheap shots about times when compromise with often unsavory characters. was the only way to get things done for the people. Perhaps Harris can't see how eternal stalemate is far worse for the Republic and the democratic process. Nonetheless Biden needs to offer profound apologies to Anita Hill and try to win her forgiveness for his destructive and callous behavior towards a brilliant and fearless woman who dared to tell the truth.

  117. Biden's body language spoke volumes yesterday. He hesitated every time a show of hands was asked off the participants, and glanced both ways to see what the others were doing - sometimes he was just too late to raise his hand, other times it wasn't clear if he was asking to speak or merely indicating his position. It is obvious Biden has one, and only one, objective in this race. He's there to ensure the old older remains in-place at the top of the Democratic party.

  118. Joe Biden was on the defensive all night and didn't handle it well - He actually came across as a 76 year old man who isn't as mentally quick as he needs to be - I expect his poll numbers will drop quickly with Kamala Harris picking up his supporters - If Harris gets the nomination her support of eliminating health insurance will really hurt her chances

  119. Harris is not a credible candidate. She does understand that sometimes you have to work with your opponents in a civil manner to get things done then she does not belong in politics.. Perhaps her training in the adversarial system of the courts has damaged her ability to understand this. She apparently thinks that all out war on your opponents is the only mode in which to proceed. She wants to join the Newt Gingrich "total war" cadre of politicians that's her business but she doesn't belong in the White House.

  120. @Linda. She needs to be held accountable for her record in California.

  121. @Linda What exactly did she say that exhibited an attitude of “all out war”?

  122. Biden looked weak and indecisive when it came to some of his answers. His raised his hand reluctantly as if he was not sure of his stance. He was not prepared. He also doesn't look hungry for the job. Hating Trump should not be his main reason for running. Biden was able to rattle off his accomplishments as senator and VP but hesitated on details about how to tackle our current problems. However, he did have some good moments.

  123. Yesterday was a monumental day. Supreme Court made sure that Democrats remain a permanent minority party across the country. And relentless and aggressive attacks by some of the candidates in the debate set Donald Trump on the path to reelection. The uncanny ability of Democrats to self-destruct never ceases to amaze me!

  124. @aa No, yesterday ensured that whichever party is in control in a given state will continue to be the minority party. On the Congressional level it will help the Democrats in the states they control and vice versa for the Republicans.

  125. The comments defending Biden here and in many articles over the past weeks have helped me get the idea of privilege and how it unconsciously but pervasively shapes attitudes and reactions. Biden is entitled to deference and respect because of his (mixed) record, his long service, his good intentions, his good acts. Criticism of his record is unfair, opportunistic, illegitimate, disrespectful. Whose ox is being gored? Harris was also speaking from deep personal experience and from a background that Biden doesn't share. Her comments were factual, if not favorable. Sure they're self-promoting, as are Biden's replies. They're candidates, that's their job (on both sides). She's just more effective than he is. The undertone of scandalized resentment and personal putdowns in comments attacking Harris help me get how privilege operates under the radar. Or maybe not so hidden any more.

  126. So true & well said. Also - Dems want a candidate that can win a debate with Trump, but then excoriate her for delivering a pretty gentle - tho extremely passionate and well-stated - rebuke on the debate stage? Unbelievable.

  127. @CS "Privilege" is like a hammer. Everything looks like a nail with it. Be careful using artificial constructs like this to view the world. You'll find confirmation, sure, but it still may be totally irrelevant.

  128. thank you. thank you. I'm a black woman and three incredible white supremacy displayed on these pages has me shook. I've already begun my permanent residency application for Canada. White people cannot even see themselves. you've got white people here defending state's rights. I'm so sick and tired.

  129. So much of the questioning was focused on portraying China as a yellow peril bogeyman and not enough was focused on substance. According to Andrew Yang, his mic was turned off when he tried to interject. It's ironic that they chastise China for their censorship but actively tried to impede Andrew Yang from speaking.

  130. Biden, beginning in a Senate where bipartisanship often prevailed, is being attacked by a generation to which bipartisanship is almost anathema. Unfortunately, if a president wants to get anything done, he or she will have to elicit bipartisanship (witness the dearth of legislation passed during this and the previous Congresses). Our polarization in Congress, in the courts, in the executive branch, and in the electorate is slowly tearing our democracy apart.

  131. @Wiltontraveler That is simply not true. All of Obama's signature achievements happened in his first two years, with a Democratic Congress. How did he get a Democratic Congress? Massive voter turnout. And after that, when he had a Republican congress, did level-headed, moderate Obama achieve anything by "reaching across the aisle"? No. Because McConnell and the other Republicans don't play by those rules and decided he was allowed to get nothing done. Biden guarantees weak voter turnout. We will never flip Congress with Biden, and then we will have, at best, a lackluster Democrat with no clear ideas for change and a Republican Congress that won't play ball. Hardly an inspiring goal.

  132. Bipartisanship is a basic skill for a politician - necessary but not sufficient. The skill that matters most is how to generate voter turnout. Who among the crowded field shows this skill? That is how you measure "electability."

  133. @Wiltontraveler Do you really believe the leftwing wants to "get anything done"? This is the same group demanding the House bring impeachment charges despite the fact that the Senate won't vote for it.

  134. Harris was powerful, personal and on point. She connected with the viewers in ways that no other candidate has done. And she showed she can take on traditional political powerbrokers. The torch was passed last night. I don't agree on a number of things that are on the Democratic platform but last night the Dems finally found someone to take on Trump.

  135. Kamala came well rehearsed. Her performance was very prosecutorial. Joe should have known better and had a ready response. Maybe he did, but he stumbled and never recovered. Almost nothing the debate participants said was not previously rehearsed during debate preparation. If you’re looking for authentic and extemporaneous responses, presidential debates are not the place. But forced busing to desegregate schools doesn’t sell well with most Democratic primary voters or the wider general electorate. In the past, it was opposed even in the Northeast and California. Nothing has changed. All the White liberals in affluent NYC suburbs are not going to take in students from Newark, Roosevelt, or other failing minority school districts. There’s a reason why it’s no longer done. Even many Black parents are opposed to busing their children far distances, though they still want their schools to improved.

  136. I will vote for whoever the Democratic candidate is. Ideally, the next candidate should be able to serve 2 terms, because we need continuity and stability to restore some credibility and sanity to our country. Biden and Sanders would be 77 and 78 at inauguration of the first term, they would be serving into their mid 80s for a second term, in an extremely stressful arduous role. This is not necessary when there are many other great democratic options. I am turning 70 this year, the same age as Elizabeth Warren, she has incredible energy, I'm pretty sure I would not be up for doing that job until 2028, I think she does. Calling Biden a transition candidate, to me is a euphemism for 1 term candidate which means there will be a similar contest in the Democratic Party in a few years.

  137. Kamala Harris got it right to speak up on race from her personal experience in life. But she got it somewhat wrong in the big picture in personalizing her experiences and feelings against Joe Biden. It's not just her experiences and it's not just his experiences that flowed down through history. Those were the two she referenced in the 'debate' last night because those were the two persons on stage directly competing, but there are a lot of fish in the ocean and every single one of us still alive that can remember back decades can recount our own experiences in each period of time and how we felt. This is 2019. The Civil Rights Act and the Equal Rights amendment were passed decades ago. There is a lot case law to apply on the books that has flowed from US Courts since the 60s. It's not easy to get the higher courts to overturn existing precedent in case law. So bad policy, law or executive action with race impact implications will be checked by the Courts in civil actions. I cannot dismiss Kamala Harris, certainly as a seasoned litigator, from bringing it up and personalizing it to Joe Biden. She's thinking like a prosecutor and going with that she knows to do. But it's not completely fair to Biden. This is 2019. Joe's not part of the problem, he's part of the solution. For Kamala he's also competition. She's tough and smart, but in a court of law she might have been overruled by a Judge last night on a motion. Things that occurred decades ago don't always have relevance.

  138. the big issue among many will be health care ,Id say at least half the candidates are for some type of "medicare for all" but the question I feel is who do I trust to get it done ? Ive heard so many promises over the years on issues and so many back pedal to safety .Bernie Sanders is the only one I feel will do the job

  139. @John Doe If only he had succeeded in his own state...

  140. Yes, last night's debate revealed Biden's vulnerability which lately isn't anything new. In contrast, Buttigieg was also targeted last night yet handled it extremely well. What we didn't see tested was Harris under fire. She surely soon will be, but, given the few times she's been pressed and the fumbles she's made repeatedly, I predict she won't come off as glib and confident when she's the one on the witness stand with no memorized gotchas. I wonder, too, how Warren will be when she's pressed on ghosts of her past. Probably better than Harris, but no more authentic than Biden.

  141. First, there is no Front Runner- nobody has voted yet. Please stop using that term which harms the chances of the other candidates. Second, Bernie's ideas are only far-left if you are a Republican or a beltway villager. He stands where FDR, Truman, JFK, and LBJ stood on social policy. It is obvious the donor class wants him and his ideas gone so they can revert to business as usual. Enough with semantics which telegraphs the politics of the reporters or editor. Watching the MSNBC coverage before and after, the class warfare against Bernie & Progressive ideas was all too apparent from all the millionaire hosts on the Comcast owned networks. The best line of the night was when Sen. Harris mentioned in response the millionaire's question about paying for programs that nobody was asking that question about the Trump/GOP tax cut that massively benefitted every one of the hosts and NBC/MSNBC/Telemundo owner Comcast. I have yet to decide who I will vote for, but Sen. Harris did well as did Sen. Booker the night before. Biden looked like an old man out there. Mayor Pete looked like someone who should be in the next Democratic cabinet. Secretary Castro looked like someone who should be in a prominent cabinet post unless he wants to run for the US Senate. Sen. Warren is a work in progress, but it is obvious the media types are hostile to her politics. At this point take Bernie, Harris, Booker, and Warren seriously. Biden is fading and will continue to fade- sorry donor class.

  142. Whoever is the president, the health insurance issue is a matter for Congress, as we've seen. The single payer model gets insurance inequities and profits out of the picture and allows for seamless payments to physicians and management of hospitals, benefitting users. But the real issue is who can provide real leadership and win the election against the most ruthless of adversaries. What went wrong last time?

  143. I actually got choked up last night watching the debate. What an impressive group of articulate, smart people , anyone of whom would make a fine president. That said, Biden was old and shaky, talking about the past all the time. Bernie is Bernie, no change from 2016. I agree with his criticism of our failing democracy and support most of his sweeping remedies. But he is too old too. I think it is time now in 2020 to have a woman president. Elizabeth Warren is my first choice. Kamala Harris is another great candidate. I was surprised I liked Kirsten Gillibrand last night also. I swore I would never support her after she forced Al Franken to resign , but she is a tough cookie and I can see her , as well as Harris and Warren , standing up to Trump in a debate. And wouldn’t that be satisfying to see him brought down by a woman! I trust these three women to defend a woman’s right to choose. It is time for a woman president!

  144. @Mary Beth: I think it's time for a woman president and a woman vice-president. I'll gladly support a Warren/Harris ticket.

  145. Most Americans do not want late-term abortion to be legal if the mother’s health is not at risk. Most Americans do not want open borders. Most Americans oppose reparations. Most Americans want the option to buy private health insurance. Most Americans do not support intersectionality or victimhood culture. And most Americans are have sincere religious beliefs. The leading Democratic candidates are pandering to about a third of one political party. Trump will cruise to victory.

  146. Democrats are desperately trying to convince people that they are not for open borders. But last night had multiple "raise your hand if you agree" moments that undermine them. Universal healthcare that includes those here illegally, decriminalizing being here illegally, and promising not to deport people here illegally--it's going to be tough arguing border security from that perspective.

  147. However uncomfortable that exchange was, Harris showed she has the stuff to go against Trump. Harris, Warren, Bernie...I can see them obliterate Trump. We need a fighter, but NOT a yeller. A smart combatant. Biden looked like he really was trying to find the fire in his belly, but was too tired to muster it up. Mayor Pete is extremely calm, smart, articulate, but too "intellectual" for a Trump confrontation.

  148. Cmon didn't anyone notice Mr Biden being unable to keep track of one of his arguments, counting ‘two’ twice and stumbling around? It is very scary! Almost any of the others including Bernie seems much more mentally flexible. But it’s also important to note a President is not a debater but a leader manager visionary Commander. Just winning a debate is not ALL.

  149. Win or lose Democrats need to put up a younger candidate with ideas that resonate with younger voters who do not have the same experiences as we baby boomers on up had with racism, health care, communism and socialism, sexism etc etc etc. Bernie, Joe, and Elizabeth Warren need to step back and help mentor younger candidates. Our time to lead is over. We do need to pass the torch. Kamala Harris was a disappointment last night even if she would have the guts to stand up to DT and his debate antics. Whatever Dem wins the nomination must refuse to continue to debate, walking off the stage if necessary, in confrontation with DT.

  150. None of this matters. When all the Democrats on stage raised their hands for free health care for undocumented non-citizens when we have millions of citizens without insurance or health care, they have all lost the race already. They forgot they are running for President of the United States and not of the world. As much as I dislike Trump, I'm also not ready for national suicide with de facto open borders and even more welfare and incentives for illegal immigration.

  151. @Jonathan It's the humane thing to do, as I think Biden said. That has to do with what kind of country we are morally, not the shameful "America First" show we are putting on now. It does not mean open borders... a Republican lie. As well, if you need a selfish reason, it was pointed out they pay all kinds of taxes, including funds to keep your social security funded. And they work and contribute, most often doing jobs we do not want to do. The best reason then is: they are here. This is a test on us.

  152. @Jonathan That was the kiss of death in my opinion.

  153. @Potter. There are hundreds of million desperately poor people in the world who would like to come to US and get our health care. It's not ponies and unicorns when you are talking about bankrupting our system and depriving our own citizens.

  154. Also( re this headline) was Trump attacked, moreso. What was really being attacked is the outrageousness of this "normality" we have come to know the last two plus years and the notion that we can go backwards to Obama, the purple president, or even take a tiny step forward. We need real forward movement as opposed to going along trying to get along. With this group of Republicans, it does not work.

  155. Biden is finished. He was a target last night and Kamala was the one that went for the jugular. She’s a good actress - almost got emotional talking about desegregation. Bernie also lost ground, he just sounds like a cranky old Soviet.

  156. If Joe Biden’s performance was typical them Trump’s characterization as low energy is spot on. Clearly not a viable candidate. He was good in his day but that day has passed. Bernita was consistent, on message and as always sincere and credible. It’s just that his policies would be better suited to France than the US. So, for me at least (a first generation immigrant from the uk in the 1980s who has has moderate success with several technology businesses and is doing very well right now) it I’d down to Harris, Buttigieg an Warren. Warren worries me a bit - seems a bit too socialist, need to figure out the other two. Even though Trumps policies have benefitted me financially I did not and would never vote for him. However, I am not keen on being fleeced in order to pay for a lot of left wing ideas so it’s a very hard choice. Currently looking closely at Harris and Buttigieg.

  157. What is the Democrats' plan for illegal immigration? I consider myself quite leftist and am horrified by what is going on at the border with Mexico, but I don't think decriminalizing illegal immigration is a good idea. Whose votes do they think they're getting with that position?

  158. I truly believe the plan is to let them in, give them a lot of handouts, legalize them, and then have them vote for Democrats.

  159. @Matt H. It is baffling.

  160. So, Biden was opposed to busing as a solution to end the desegregation of schools. Biden’s campaign indicates that he would reinstate “guidance that supported schools in legally pursuing desegregation strategies,” his plan says nothing about busing. While Harris' has made teacher pay the centerpiece of her education agenda. Her campaign also highlights student debt. But nothing about busing and school desegregation.

  161. @Eagle Yes- Busing did not work. I failed to get Harris's point.

  162. Bernie Sanders is "far-left"? Viewed from Europe, that's quite nonsensical. His ideas are pretty mainstream social democrat to us Europeans. People are saying that socialism isn't a dirty word anymore in the US -- but it would seem still to be a very misunderstood one,

  163. @Kit You are absolutely correct about this. The good thing is that (largely thanks to Bernie's tireless efforts) these ideas are slowly becoming mainstream in the American consciousness as the alternative has slowly--painfully slowly--been proving itself unsustainable. Social democratic reforms in major areas such as healthcare are inevitable here eventually, even though our "friends" on the right wing will continue to do as much as they can to hold them off.

  164. Bernie might not be ‘far left’ by UK standards - but he’s definitely left of centre. Also, these are US presidential debates so how is it relevant what Europe considers left?

  165. @Kit — That’s because people here are generally ignorant of politics and can’t go beyond superficial labels of Republican/Democrat, Right/Left. They can’t take the time to learn and are easily persuaded by those in the media and elsewhere who have their own agendas to make nuanced terms such as “socialism” dirty words so that they become dogwhistles to rally the masses. That’s why we are where we are and have who we have as president, and why I fear that this misunderstood word will doom any Democratic nominee who isn’t Republican Lite. Mind you, the same people who go ballistic at hearing “socialism” are the ones who, for the most part, don’t want anyone touching their Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid. It’s embarrassing.

  166. Harris wan't the only one who was impressive. I thought Buttigieg's honesty, intelligence, thoughtfulness and integrity were well demonstrated throughout the debate. His articulate take down of Christian hypocrisy (as a Christian who shows sincere appreciation for atheist concerns) was powerful, and has been much needed for a long time. Biden and Bernie have some good folks to pass the torch to, and I would hope they do so graciously at some point.

  167. @Ben Bryant A breath of fresh air. But, is he electable?

  168. @Rich T By any account, the current thing sitting in the White House should not have been electable. A lying, corrupt, ignorant person was elected so what does it actually mean this "electable"?

  169. Harris terrifies me. Her platform is she will do what she wants when she wants, even if it is unconstitutional to do so. The media portrays Trump as a dictator, but he has obeyed every court decision issued against him. Harris is openly campaigning to be a dictator.

  170. While I am a Pete supporter, lest we forget in 2016 Bernie paved the way for the Trump “crooked Hil” style attacks that ultimately damaged her in the general by launching attacks similar these in the debates. While criticism is fair, we must tread carefully in these types of exchanges so as not to damage whoever our nominee may be and play into Trump’s hands. We are one party. Also Tom Perez should be embarassed. That format was an absolute mess and very unhelpful to voters. They need to whittle the field fast or implement a “kids table” in the next split of debates.

  171. @tazzy19 Agreed, the format stinks. Its design lends itself to the loud and simplistic. Jerry Springer, not Christine Amanpour. People's attention spans may be shorter, but it's not possible to summarize a major health plan in 60 seconds.

  172. I voted for Obama/Biden twice. I voted for Sanders in the primary. If the Democrats nominate another aging white man they may as well start planning for 2014. Or after. Bernie does more service to Democrat ideals by staying in the race in the race the longest. Biden the most harm. Soon it will be time for both men to step aside for a next generation of leaders.

  173. One can only hope that this was an indication that Biden isn't the right person to beat Trump. The Democrats need fresh ideas, not career politicians with name recognition. If they haven't realized by now that the game has changed, they're dead before they even start. Don't tell me how bad Trump is; tell me what your plans are that are different. Give me details, not slogans and sound bytes. My money is on Castro or Harris.

  174. For whatever it is worth - this second debate was better than the first one - in terms of forceful presentations of viewpoints. But I am with POTUS - this rush to socialism so early in the race - is hard to be pivoting from come Labor Day next year - after a nominee is chosen. The Democrats are also forgetting that they have to pick number 2 who will be required to be a non socialist if the top one is an avowed socialist. "....At one point she was the top trending topic on Google in the country...." This was about Ms. Harris. How soon we forget that Mueller documented use of Fakebook by Russians to troll unsuspecting Americansin 2016 elections. No telling, if the same thing might be happening. For me as a Republican - a couple of takeaways from these two nights. We will almost certainly reelect POTUS. And second, neither Biden nor Sanders will be the nominee.

  175. I was not happy. They paid very little attention to Andrew Yang. Then there was also this incident with his mic not working on numerous occasions. Yang followed the rules and didn't talk longer than he should have. Others went way past their time. He also didn't yell. Others were yelling. It seemed like we were hearing from Biden and Harris all night long. Harris was shouting. She was shouting over other candidates and talking out of turn. I really got sick of her rudeness. The camera was also focused in on Biden even when he wasn't talking. They gave him extra camera time. Unfortunately, the corporate candidates were given favorable treatment by MSNBC. This debate was a sham.

  176. The format of the debate doesn't lend itself to much other than a soundbites, and little to explain a more complex view. Bernie did Bernie: resisting the moderator's questions, and continuing with his spiel. Some of the others would have been better off not answering the specific question posed, because they didn't have the time to provide nuanced answers. Upshot: when someone tells you to raise your and if you agree with their statement, don't. The issue of providing medical care to undocumented immigrants: of course these folks would support some form of health care. Would that mean automatic inclusion in a form of National Health Care, equivalent to any other legal resident? I doubt it. Kamala Harris is strong. Busing is irrelevant today.but her ability to control the stage in a crowd is a political gift. For Biden this definitely was not his cup of tea. He alternately cut himself short , or strained to loudly explain his record. He looked stressed. Buttigieg's thoughtful position on "free" college educations was more realistic: Do we really think that the 1% need tuition assistance? The format leads to having those left out clamor for any opportunity to be heard, while those with 60 seconds were rushing their deliveries. As for the Tweeter in Chief: “How about taking care of American Citizens first!?" He asks. Yes, indeed: how about taking care of Americans, Mr Trump? Where's YOUR beautiful plan you promised? How ABOUT taking care of Americans?

  177. Harris struck me as a left wing version of Trump: A bully with a knack for playing a TV audience. I don't think she has the integrity of Mayor Pete or the intelligence of Senator Warren and least of all the ability to unite the country (or at least work with Republicans in power) as Biden might do. If the pendulum swings back to her I don't think the country will move forward and in the worst case we might deepen our divisions.

  178. As Trump has proven, any bellicose loudmouth can entertain the reality TV crowd in this country. So which one can look him in the eye and take him down? Which one has the strength to stand in the moment with fierce confidence and not get rattled? Kamala Harris made a strong case. As a former prosecutor she has the training and experience to hear an opponent and use his own words to unravel him. Last nights debate proved it is not Biden. Biden’s awkward attempt to burn Harris’s choice to be a prosecutor as somehow less noble than his public defender past just showed him as the weaker candidate. Love Joe, loved his brotherly relationship with Obama..... but it is time he step aside before he hurts himself!

  179. Kamala Harris said that we need to talk honesty about race, but then spoke dishonestly about Biden’s comments made a few days before. Biden defended his record on civil rights. Harris accused Biden for supporting bussing. He said didn’t. Harris replied that because states failed to integrate public schools, the federal government needs to step in. That’s why we have the Voting Rights Act and the Civil Rights Act. That’s why we need to pass the Equality Act. That’s why we need to pass the ERA. Biden replied that he supported the ERA from the very beginning; extended the voting rights act for 25 years; giving people access to the ballot box. (time expired) ---- Harris said, "As attorney general of California, I was very proud to put in place a requirement that all my special agents would wear body cameras and keep those cameras on." That's all she could offer in terms of her achievements. This is a faint shadow of Biden's civil rights accomplishments.

  180. People, Biden DEFENDED states rights. It is 2019. He has got to go.

  181. Policy positions of great importance were discussed. But hey much more entertaining to focus on the conflict. How about more about how the Democrats due to SCOTUS rulings may not retain real power if gerrymandered out of districts? Seems kinda important. Also the cast of “journalists “ interviewers were atrocious.

  182. History shows that voters are highly motivated by likability, that quality you can't manufacture unless you have acting skills. Sen. Harris, no matter her sincerity, came across as abrasive. If Sen. Gillibrand was a male, she would be a windbag. Mayor Pete was the star if you weigh eloquence, preparation and vision. Biden seemed uncomfortable. Bernie was Bernie: itching for a fight and he does motivate crowds like no other.

  183. @Doc Didn't find Senator Harris the least bit abrasive. If anyone is abrasive it's Bernie, but he wears pants so he's "itching for a fight."

  184. It’s not impressive to me to see fellow Democrats (or any candidates really) take down each other in order to win. Show me your policies and ideas and yes, criticize if you need to make a point. But the bloodletting is unnecessary and says more about you than the one you’re slashing. At the end of the day, we all want the same thing for 2020, or don’t we?

  185. BIDEN Prevailed. His achievements were head and shoulders above the others. Kamala Harris revealed herself as an authoritarian with an axe to grind with white people. Gillibrand conveyed her total self-absorption. Williamson was an irrelevance. Buttigieg was also head and shoulders above the other debaters in his ability to analyze and respond in great detail, with great focus, sincerity and detail. Sanders came cross as a washed up windbag, threatening that if we didn't fight the revolution that exists nowhere but in his own mind, we will fail going forward. Hickenloper and Bennet scores some points. While the debaters addressed their aspirational goals, it is certain that given the strong headwinds they will face from the GOPpers and within their own party, they will end up falling short of their idealized goals, which is par for the course. Overall it was a night of lively debate, which, among other things, gave Joe Biden the opportunity to show his bonafides. Indeed, he has been tested and accomplished more than the rest. He was at Obama's elbow during the formulation of both foreign and domestic policy.

  186. @John Jones Yeh, Joe, he's definitely been around a long time, been at lots of elbows and never "clocked in" in his life, so he says...Some of the Obama "policy" was ill thought out too IMO. But i do disagree with critical comments toward his saying h]things are different now as people with little common ground could talk about solutions then him get toasted for saying what was no longer possible. Shows they'll grasp at any straw to knaw away at his popularity.

  187. I thought Harris had some good moments last night but I will NEVER vote for her. I just don’t like her. It is what it is and NO ONE can convince me otherwise.

  188. The next Democratic debate should include the top viable candidates only: Biden, Harris, Buttigieg, Sanders, Gillibrand, Inslee, Warren, Klobuchar, Cory Booker and maybe Tim Ryan and Castro. Please drop the other minor candidates who are nothing but a distraction from the main show.

  189. @Kathleen Neugent Agree, and like the line-up, but would put in Bennet for Gillibrand and also give Montana Gov Steve Bulloch a shot. Divide into 2 days again - six candidates each night with more structured time requirements.

  190. Kristen Gillibrand also did very well in the debate. She was strong, forceful, and well prepared.

  191. @SRF Yes, if “strong, forceful, and well prepared” means obnoxious and rude with her well prepared remarks.

  192. The format of the debates did not offer viewers the kind of introduction of candidates or discussion of the issues that are at the core to a defeat of Don the Con. What I saw over the past two days was the same old view of candidates standing behind a podium, each trying to verbally power over others on the stage, hoping to leverage answers with verbal one-two unches. I suggest that the format be changed to provide viewers a more inviting and positive exposition of what the candidates stand for and how they propose to accomplish their goals. This pugilistic format might be expected by Boomers; however, Millinials are balking by an outdated format that trivializes their intelligence of the viewers.

  193. @Leslie Duval No, Boomers don't like it either. The game show format isn't working. But how do you have a debate among 10 people?

  194. @Leslie Duval I agree the format should be changed. Three or four candidates per night. I also think it would be interesting to have questions come from historians, political scientists, physicians, economists, and other specialists, in addition to journalists. Let’s learn more going forward.

  195. I’m just not seeing it. How the democrats can win election. Little in the way of leadership but loads of liberalism bordering on socialism. All of these candidates with the exception of warren are really just VP picks. Nor ready for prime time players. Warren has great ideas that will never see the light of day in a general election. It’s just hard for me as a lifelong democratic voter to get excited here. Not one of these candidates shows any sense of tacking towards the middle. Joe Biden tried to say something about it and was criticized for it. Warren and Castro is the best chance the democrats have or perhaps Biden and Warren. The strongest candidate the democrats had was kneecapped. Al Franken. Too much diversity is just as bad as not enough.

  196. I saw Biden's moderate, balanced views on display last night. Working with people you disagree with is the only way to may progress in our current, polarized country.His response (to Harris) about choosing to become a public defender instead of a prosecutor perfectly illustrated Biden's difference to Harris. - Ms. Harris is clearly smart on her feet. But (to me, at least) she can also come off as a harsh attack dog......like smarter version of Trump. I'll vote for her if she's nominated, but I think she'll have a harder time with purple states than Biden.- Buttigieg was excellent. If we're lucky, we'll get him for VP for 8 years and president for 8 more. I hate when people throw the word "socialized" around as if it is something new in America. We already have socialized public roads, socialized school construction, socialized military funding, etc., etc. But Hickenlooper is right when he says Trump will use this terms (falsely) to describe Democrats. I honestly think Ms. Warren would be the best president, but I worry that she, Bernie and Harris could be derailed if Trump calls them Socialists. No one, including Trump, could make Americans view Biden as a Socialist. - The Number 1 goal is to win. Coastal voters will tolerate Biden because of his connection to Obama. And Midwest voters will see him as a seasoned moderate.

  197. I have always liked Joe Biden. He seems like a decent and kind man. I do not believe he has a racist bone in his body. However, what I did take away from the debate is that Biden has gotten old. He is 76 and it showed last night. I believe he should gracefully exit the campaign.

  198. All you need to know about Mr. Biden is that he voted for the Iraq war. Bernie, brought it up succinctly as he should. Kamala Harris picked an interesting time to run her personal grievances up a flag pole attacking Joe in a hostile, relentless, emotional and a bit disingenuous way; like Gillibrand more interested in the personal political benefit. Of the two nights Warren showed dignity, temperament and intelligence.

  199. Sorry, but I want to see more guts from these Democrats. When asked what the first thing they would do in the oval office they should have said, "arrest Trump". That may or may not be doable, but who cares. It would have made millions of people feel really good to know these people have our backs by not allowing criminals to run the country.

  200. @Phil M Criminal running the country... We dodged that particular bullet by no electing the Clintons again in 2016.

  201. @EGD I guess you like your criminals operating transparently. It's more fun for many people to watch the GOP and Fox unabashedly shove their fingers at Democracy and causing untold pain.

  202. I watched both days of debates and I am afraid that the Democrats are blowing it again. This lightening round format of a debate is terrible. It's not enough time for the candidates to get their message out and at times it was a free for all with everyone trying to talk over each other to get that gotcha moment. Sanders is starting to sound more like Don Quixote rather than a serious presidential candidate by taking on all big businesses. Kamala Harris's idea of eliminating private insurance companies is not a winner either. It was a hard fought fight just to get the ACA passed. It's flawed, but it can be improved. If she ends up being the candidate and wins the insurance companies are not going to walk away from a multi billion dollar business without a major battle in which the consumers will not benefit. The objective should be to is to make health insurance more affordable not to destroy a business. The goal is to beat Trump and I'm seeing a party that hasn't put together a clear strategy on how to do it and I find this very disturbing.

  203. Democrats have learned nothing from the 2016 Republican debacle that produced the worst President the nation has ever witnessed. Please stop attacking each other's policies on critical issues. Acknowledge that the nation faces a medical care crisis and that the Republican party will never address that crisis. For now, simply recognize that any plan (Medicare for all, partial Medicare for all, continue to allow private coverage, don't allow private coverage, improve the Affordable Care Act, create some combination of all) or even a Plan that needs to be formulated after the election, is an improvement. Stress the need to defeat Republicans to allow even an opportunity for medical care reform. Focus on the big picture, and Republican horrors, not minutiae. Preach unity, not division. We have sufficient divisiveness.

  204. The problem with Harris's thinking is that if you are not going to work with someone because you don't like their way of doing things, then you're never going to get anything done. The job of a politician is always one of being stuck between a rock and a hard place and deciding which one is better. Like Lincoln said, you can please some of the people some of the time, but you can't please all of the people all of the time.

  205. I found MSNBC's treatment of Andrew Yang to be appalling. They barely asked him questions, allowed other candidates to talk over him and talk well past their time limit, and specifically asked him about what he would do regarding China, as if his "allegiance" was in question. Shameful.

  206. Andrew Yang is a dilletante with no electoral experience and Gr. 11-debate team ideas. In a sane world, we wouldn't even know his name.

  207. I have a lot sympathy for Biden for his personal tragedies, but I’m not a Biden fan as a politician. However in my estimation, Harris went a little too far yesterday by attacking him for being racially insensitive albeit Biden was Obama’s VP. But as an attorney, she carefully couched her statement by issuing a disclaimer right up front by not calling him an outright racist. It’s definitely a very well nuanced, pre-planned strategy but nonetheless she played the identity politics card to gain some traction over her somewhat floundering campaign at the expense of the current front runner Biden. That’s about it - quite common tactic in political races. Other than that, Harris didn’t really provide much originality in her proposals for the country. Being a former prosecutor, she speaks very forcefully but her messaging is somewhat wishy-washy. This campaign might be her trial run for a future campaign as she has time on her side. I consider Biden as a conformist politician and a gregarious deal maker. He is not a trail blazer. Biden will go down in history as Obama’s Veep and not for his long lackluster senatorial career. He is somewhat socially challenged and thereby has a propensity to make cringeworthy statements and being touchy-feely with the women. These traits are very irksome but I don’t think he is a sexual harasser. This campaign is his “Swan Song” and unfortunately, his performance last night was underwhelming at best. Ah well - it’s too early in the race

  208. Progressives are wasting their time if they think "identity" attacks on Biden will work. Most democrats aren't fixated on identity-based issues. Many are even sick of the identity police. Kamala Harris is a prosecutor. This is what she does. I'm sure there are many minority men who could use that clever phrase on her, as well.

  209. Open borders, free health care, driver licenses and free education for illegal immigrants (who will no longer be illegal) will play into Trump's hands in the states that he won in 2016.

  210. Both Biden and Sanders showed themselves to be what got us to the place where we are right now with Trumnp as president. Their message has aged out from where our nation currently is. And as the saying states, 'going in we need a set of eyes'. And with that said, well, they just don't fit the bill. And of course this new set of eyes comes with the brain and consciousness to get this vision front and forward now, get it in place to give the electorate a sense of the what, where, when, and how of this generational change and how it will lift them to a place where they'll believe they have a chance to embrace their dreams in the foreseable future.

  211. Harris attacks Biden for working with segregationists to pass legislation? Where would Harris be as a black woman had not Lyndon Johnson changed tactics and worked with the southern Democrats as Senate Majority Leader and as President to pass civil rights legislation that no one else could have accomplished?

  212. Can Biden defeat Trump? It no longer appears that he can.

  213. Their philosophy of Decriminalizing illegal immigration will be the end of all of them, I think. Whats going on at border is a tragedy and i loathe trump and would NEVER vote for him, but making it ok to cross border illegally is not acceptable to most Americans. If i am wrong that this is their position, please school me...

  214. What I heard was advocating for border crossings to be classified as a misdemeanor, not a felony. Classifying border crossings as a felony gave the Trump administration the opening to separate parents from their children.

  215. @Denise Walker Actually, what the candidates on stage last night were advocating was to make crossing the border illegally a civil rather than criminal offense. That is in fact the language that they used, and precisely what they meant. It is because it is now considered a criminal offense to cross the border illegally that parents can be separated from their own children.

  216. The Great White Hope ain't looking so great these days. I get very excited when I envision Kamela and Warren as Prez and vice, or the other way around, or Mayor Pete as VP for one of them. Julio Castro also inspires me. Please, please America, make this happen!

  217. @me Mayor Pete can't even run Fort Wayne, I can't imagine why you think he would make a credible president.

  218. This is what ageism looks and sounds like. And it sure looks like four years for Trump is not beyond the pale.

  219. @John Jabo, I hope so! I voted for Clinton, but will vote for Trump in 2020.

  220. The infighting will just lead to Trump winning again against a weak candidate. There's enough people who regularly excuse Trump's many moral queries (up-to-and-including this month's rape accusation) because they've given up caring about him so long as their bills are passed. Democrats will get too hung up on personalities and whether they support the specific version of healthcare they want or how fast they want marijuana legalized. And Congress will operate as if nothing is going to change.

  221. After viewing a Democracy Now interview with National Book Award winner, Jonathan Kozol, I knew I could never vote for Joe Biden. His record on civil rights, as outlined by the author of the ground-breaking study of poor black children in Boston schools, is far worse than has been reported. Joe Biden needs to confess, apologize, and leave the race. He isn't fit to be president.

  222. @kay Yes, the places examined by Kozol (East Orange, Camden, Irvington and Jersey City) are all run by Democrats. Here in New York Carranzas obsessed with race rather than education and among other things burned through more than $700 for the ill-conceived Renewal Schools program.

  223. The misogyny - and racism - continue apace. Alongside some admiring posts, I see many others castigating Senator Harris for her aggression, opportunism and ambition. All of these would be appreciated if it were a white male in business or sports, and most certainly politics which is not a parlor game. And what is it that inspires so many on the other side to love Trump so much? His civility? In an overcrowded field, Harris has few opportunities to distinguish herself. She did here, hitting a home run. Can you even begin to see your naked prejudice? An African-American woman with the temerity to play with the big boys? Wow, just wow!

  224. What are you talking about? She is not just African American. Did you miss her Indian heritage?

  225. @Chuck Burton. You said it! We get all twisted when women and people of color have the audacity to live and speak boldly.

  226. @Oliver Are you so jazzed that she spoke so falsely? You know, and clearly SHE knew she'd taken Biden's comments out of context in her well practiced fake spur of the moment attack. He skin color is not the point: her manipulation of the situation *is* the problem.

  227. The look of Democratic candidates attacking each other is not a good one.It overshadows the great goal which is to defeat Trump and return our country to democratic values.There was way too much outrage expressed with each other and not nearly enough at the Trump administration and its lawless machinations.It is true that voters care about health care and wages but they also want to know who will defeat the bullying “tweeter” in the White House.I did not see rage about Trump last night.

  228. @JANET MICHAEL How much more outrage can be expressed about Trump? I think people are outraged for sure; but, more importantly, I think they want to know candidates' positions on various issues and their plan to address them. I think getting mad and being outraged is overrated. That's not to suggest that it doesn't have its place and purpose. But, being made and outraged can also become a distraction from remaining focused and alert. I think it's all a careful balance.

  229. Regarding including undocumented aliens and whether they should be included in any national healthcare plan. It's no surprise Trump should be on the attack on this. We know that he doesn't believe in science as shown by his denial of climate change, so it isn't surprising that he also doesn't believe in how science says many infectious diseases are spread. I guess he believes if that undocumented alien is working in a restaurant or handling your food somewhere else and has undiagnosed and untreated hepatitis can only transit it to another undocumented alien. Or that undocumented alien sitting next to you on the bus or the subway who has pneumonia and is coughing all over the place, can't transmit the bacteria or virus to you unless you are also undocumented.

  230. @Steve Or that undocs can always get free healthcare in the emergency room.

  231. @Steve Then again, if we properly controlled the borders — something Dems and so-called ‘progressives’ oppose — we wouldn’t have to even think about controlling various infectious diseases.

  232. @EGD You want to tell me a 100% fool proof plan against having any undocumented aliens in this country. Although because of Trump, people think that every undocumented alien comes into the U.S. via the Mexican border, there are many whom enter the U.S. on time limited visas and then never leave when the visa expires. It seems that even if you built a fence across the whole border with Mexico, you'd also have to terminate all visas to assure none are overstayed. Plus there's that little matter of the border with Canada. So no one who isn't a citizen of the U.S. already would ever be able enter for any reason.

  233. All the candidates tried to grab a few extra minutes to press their case, except Biden. Did you notice how many times Biden said something to the effect of “Oh, my time is up”, and terminated his own chance to speak more. Biden is shaky and a poor speaker. I liked Sanders. He pushes for revolutionary change, which is what we need. !

  234. @New World----Stick a fork in Bernie Sanders. He's done. He's been eclipsed by Elizabeth Warren. He didn't score enough points last night to turn the polls around. If Sanders wins the nomination now it will be a miracle, and it's just as well. He would lose 40 states and become the 21st century version of George McGovern.

  235. @baldinoc You may be correct, but I still believe Sanders is the candidate who can grab many disillusioned Trump supporters. I could happily live with Warren.

  236. I did not like how much many of the candidates interrupted each other. They ignored the rules of the debate, sending a signal that they think the rules don't apply to them. We already have a president who thinks that, we don't need another one. I appreciated the candidates, such as Warren in the first debate (really, all the women in that debate), who respected the rules.

  237. I don't care who emerges from the Democratic primary process, and I think the numerous candidates will yield a final candidate strong enough to beat trump soundly. More importantly, I believe trump is and has always been setting the stage to protest any loss, and refuse to get out of the office he so badly stinks up. He has no qualms about starting a civil war, or a legal war, to keep his wannabe-dictator self in office. Whoever the Democrats nominate will have to be stronger than (Gore, Hillary, and even) trump in fighting the battle for legitimacy that will follow any trump election loss.

  238. "her support for eliminating private health care in America" Is Harris supporting the elimination of private health CARE, or private health INSURANCE? Sloppy language and reporting like this is what adds to the fear and confusion in your already chaotic and dysfunctional political system.

  239. @Another Canadian Explain the difference between eliminating private healthcare and private health insurance. Eliminating the insurance eliminates the care.

  240. @EGD Those who have insurance don't necessarily have care. So eliminating insurance does not eliminate care.

  241. I am not a Biden fan but that was a pretty low-class maneuver that Harris pulled to bring up that Biden once upon a long time ago consorted with senators, all of whom were Democrats, who were segragationists when she knows absolutely that Biden is not now nor ever advocated segregation.

  242. Harris isn't the only candidate who has been on Biden's case about that. I agree that they should leave it alone. Biden used that example precisely to make the point that he could work with those he *disagrees* with. When the candidates act like he was somehow endorsing segregationists, it makes them look like they are purposely misconstruing his position for political purposes.

  243. @MIKEinNYC No, she brought up Joe's current romanticizing of his time working with segregationists. He brought this on himself.

  244. Harris intends to campaign as an uber-feminist, so her strategy is to go after the alpha male, Biden. She strikes one as unpleasantly strident, in the same pattern as Hillary. Her maudlin appeal to the indignity of being bused as a child loses potency when one reflects that her career seems to have panned out, despite it all. The Democrats are advised to keep good, old Joe; and the team of Biden/Bernie 2020 is their best shot. Don't blow it by putting forward an over-ambitious, unlikeable candidate just because she's a woman. You tried that the last time.

  245. I think Harris's point was that bussing was good for her. Biden opposed it, she received it anyway, and things worked out for her. She didn't say bussing was the reason her career became what it is, although I think she was trying to imply that. I agree that it wasn't her finest moment on the debate stage, but also don't think it was as confusing as some have said.

  246. Seriously? Healthcare for illegal migrants and identity politics? Dems, you won't win over middle America, moderates, or independents with those policies. I thought Kamala Harris' attack on Joe Biden was a low blow and shame on the network for only providing Andrew Yang with three minutes. It's almost as if the DNC has already chosen the front runner. Sound familiar?

  247. It was really tough to follow what Kamala was talking about. Was busing bad and Joe made her bus to another school when she was little? Was busing good and Joe stopped her from busing to another school? It is now understood that there were serious pros and cons to busing. Pro, it got students to better schools. Con, it dragged students out of their communities. In other words, looking back, Joe had a valid position on this complex issue, and I understand the pros and cons to his point of view. Still don’t know what Kamala’s point was, beyond attacking Joe.

  248. @Jane Harris's point wasn't at all hard to follow - busing was good, but it takes too long when left to the local level which is often where the discrimination is. I mean, seriously, local/states rights was literally the position of the South in the Civil War. Biden's continued inability to see this is sad.

  249. @Jane, yeah it was tough for you to follow what Senator Harris was talking about. But, my guess is that you've never been that little girl that was bused. I think you've missed the bigger point of her argument....and her strategy. I like Vice President Biden; I don't think he's a racist and I think he comes off as being less threatening and appealing to some white Americans in both Trump's and the moderate Democrat camp. But, he's got to do a better job of defending his record when he's in the boxing ring.

  250. @Oliver "But, my guess is that you've never been that little girl that was bused." Exactly. She said this. You said it. Being a little girl that was bused. A bad thing? A good thing? Seems like people are just using these words but not really having any exact point to them. I'm a little girl that was bused! You aren't a little girl that was bused! ok, got it... I know lots of people that were bused. So?

  251. Blah, Blah same song different singers. Mr Biden has been riding the coattails of others most of his political career. Notice how he tries to sound like he is the only person in the world that has knowledge. Here come that touchy, touchy feeling again..oh no

  252. The big question for political pundits this morning is who “won” the democratic debate as though it was some kind of sport or the Q&A session of Miss America. (The New York Times directly under this one asks precisely that question.) The different candidates presented their differing priorities, plans and visions of governing. Voters can assess those against their own visions and decide which is most on line with what they want for our country. The most fumbling inarticulate candidate can still have the most serious priorities, best well thought out plans, and most compelling vision. I would say that those candidates that resist delivering their thoughts in snappy zingers, sharp comebacks or sappy anecdotes that play well on TV are the ones that are most likely to take seriously the responsibilities and powers of the presidency. Many (but not most) Americans chose the entertaining candidate three years ago and we continue to pay dearly for that decision. The media needs to be present a more disciplined and mature criteria for choosing a president this time.

  253. No big surprises. Is there a reason, though, why, after 20 minutes of unhinged gushing and grandstanding on immigration and effectively supporting open borders by the candidates, the moderators couldn’t ask a simple follow-up question: “OK. Now what about the other people from all over the world who apply to come here and get denied? Is the plan to still deny them? Or are we just saying OK to everyone? What do we tell the people who are attempting to follow our actual immigration system?” I mean, I am legitimately confused, and I guess at this point I have been for almost 30 years.

  254. @John I think the idea is that we let them all in John and that you, i and every other tax payer gets to pay for the social programs to help these people adjust to living in the great land of America. If we don’t have enough money for that then the Fed will just print more money which the Chinese will happily lend to us.

  255. The debate was a disaster. My take from night 1: Elizabeth Warren and Julian Castro Night 2: Pete Buttigieg and Kamala Harris. Everyone else can drop out and hope for a cabinet post. You are all good, but good is not good enough for 2020. Debaters who horned in on another candidate's time from De Blasio to Gillibrand reminded me of the boorishness of our current president. So sad!

  256. Kamala Harris' attack on Biden left me cold. It was over the top and not needed so soon or ever. Listening to the post debate punditry, MSNBC was the first to call it at 11:14PM Eastern time - "Senator Kamala Harris, 54 years old has been elected as the 46th President of the United States. She is first female and second African American to hold the office".

  257. @Jack Many here turned off by Harris' prosecutorial approach last night likely cheered when she used it against Justice Kavanaugh. Now you understand why so many were not impressed then and actually felt bad for Kavanaugh.

  258. @Jack, I nearly choked on my coffee, but thanks for the good laugh!

  259. I did not see the entire debate but did see some highlights that I can comment on. Harris bringing up bussing could be lethal to her. She needs to get the white women's vote and the last thing they want to see is their kids getting bussed to poor schools. Likewise for Kristen G, harping on the same line that killed Hillary, vote for me because I am a woman and for women's rights first and America second. Harris being an attack dog and attacking the two senior white male leading candidates especially on bussing is not gonna go well in purple states that the democrats needs to win. s As the old tuna commercial said, Sorry Charlie starkist. want tuna s that taste good not tunas with good taste, ie a national health plan, plan for blue collar job loss, common sense immigration, not open borders etc. etc. not a candidate that scores a 100% on social engineering projects that only big liberal states are for.

  260. @Paul bingo. I think Harris forgot that the majority of voters are still white and attacking white people only goes so far

  261. @Dom-Thank you for your reply. Agreed. Many of these candidates are like alcoholics, ie they go for the thing they crave not realizing that is not what a majority of elector/Americans need.

  262. The top speaker - Biden - had 5X the speaking time of the lowest contributor - Wang. This should not be the case. Fix it next time please.