The Democrats Debate, Night Two

It’s not easy to draw tension, but I tried

Leading up to the debate last night, there was tension. Anticipation. Would Biden be present (not literally, but figuratively)? Would he and Kamala Harris spar like the previous debate they were in together? All acknowledged that there were high stakes for a few candidates last night.

But in the end, it was a debate that might end up being forgotten. Yes, Biden was present and did a good job showing he’s still a good candidate. Kamala and he had an exchange, but it was civil. She successfully maintained her position as the caring prosecutor: tough, but concerned about you. Biden, whose past kept coming up, was attacked by others – notably De Blasio, who couldn’t stop referencing Biden throughout the night, trying to bait him. Booker and Biden spared, and Booker had perhaps the best one-liner of the night when they were talking about Booker’s town of Newark NJ: He said to Joe: «You’re dipping into the Koolaid and you don’t even know what the flavor is.»

Yang is the one who had a sense of humor (he claims he is the opposite of Trump as an Asian man who likes math), but his lack of tie is his signature. Inslee looks like an aged Clarke Kent (did he have those glasses during the last debate? I thought at first he was a new candidate). Both he and Kennet did very well standing their ground and pushing back. Gillibrand was strong, but her signature talking points on women were stolen by others at one point. While a bit washed out by her white suit, Gabbard found her moment when she spoke about war, as the only veteran on stage.

For me as a cartoonist, it was a night with few fun visuals. Everyone was very well behaved – except the hecklers whom I couldn’t see – and all stood up straight and in their corner. I had little to work with visually. Also, a lot the folks on stage last night are hard to draw! Booker in particular. I cannot get his head shape right, and his eyes are his distinguishing feature and difficult to draw in a cartoon. His energy as the «happy warrior» was in evidence last night, but it was not drawable.

Booker is my pick for a winner last night, although my second was Castro. Castro is strong and steady and perhaps he benefits from the focus always being on others. He is staying the course. Booker was strong, and was always upbeat. When he was going after someone, he did it with a smile. He kept his focus on the big picture much of the time, and he never went negative.

Here are my drawings from last night. On to the next debate!

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

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