Democratic Candidates At Each Other’s Throats

Debate #Don’t-Remember, but a notable one

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The debate stage has become smaller, and, unless more billionaires jump in the race, it will stay small. But it’s getting decidedly hotter. That will probably also stay the same as each candidate targets another one — a different one — every debate.

Everyone is on attack mode. It was rousing, to say the least, with a lot of verbal jockying and artful comebacks. Much of what was said seemed less canned and more spontaneous, although I know that is probably not true. The candidates came ready with one liners and stories that their people have written for them, approaches that were tested. But feelings were hurt and aggressive things were said.

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The debate progressed so fast that it was hard for me to capture everything that was said that carried some import for this race.

Mayor Bloomberg was on the stage for the first time, and what he showed was a clear lack of charisma. But the amount of money he can spend on his campaign may make up for that.

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Sanders and Warren attacked Bloomberg for being a billionaire, Bloomberg defended himself and pointed out his philanthropy, particularly towards the Democratic Party. He then attacked Bernie for not being a Democrat. Klobuchar made the case for compassionate capitalism and stood up for Bloomberg’s freedom to make money.

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The sides battled with one another, socialism versus moderate, moderate versus moderate, experience versus experience. Mayor versus senator. Who has less money, who has more, who has how many houses, who had a heart attack and who has heart.

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Mayor Pete tried to make Sanders and Warren’s concerns for working class people a quality that is not exclusive to them.This drawing above of Mayor Pete got the most traffic on Twitter last night (over 6k interactions).

Joe Biden kept trying to point out how many world leaders he knows.

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Climate change was discussed…

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Klobuchar was the one who seemed bothered by personal attacks, which came mostly from Mayor Pete. They are neck and neck for the moderate vote.

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With vigor, Elizabeth Warren went after Bloomberg’s alleged problem with sexual harrassment.

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The stop-and-frisk policy that Mayor Bloomberg supported while mayor of NYC was brought up and he was attacked repeatedly. Everyone is trying to appear to be the one who can win the black vote.

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It was a wild ride.

I don’t know who won, I am not a debater. Nor am I a pundit. My sense is that everyone got done what they needed to get done. Except maybe the newcomer — it’s hard to know how Bloomberg’s middling perfomance will play out, his spending has upended the whole dynamic.

We aren’t closer to knowing who the Democratic nominee will be. Since the last election we are now aware that anything can happen.

This is the only thing we can be sure of.

Each candidate had 60 seconds for a final statement. I tried to grab the essense of each person’s statement and the attached personality. I am getting to know these guys, and in that sense it’s sort of fun. I know their bodies and faces and because I have watched every single debate and drawn all but one (I had the flu), I am quite connected to these characters.

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Written by

Visual journalist/writer for New Yorker, New York Times, CBS News, CNN. TED, SXSW speaker. Looking to change world w humor. lizadonnelly.com

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