"I predicted that either Corey, or Beto or Castro were going to do the John Kasich suicide pact. 'I'm just gonna go for the front runner and try and take him down'. That's the only way he could bring attention to himself." - Jason Johnson, on MSNBC Post Debate Analysis last night.
"It was just a stupid thing to do. Democrats want to be united this time, and don't want their differences exploited by the Republicans. Everybody's a pundit now and when they watch they're going to be asking 'Are Republicans going to turn this into a talking point?' If you do go that route you electrocute yourself." - Jonathan Alter, on MSNBC Post Debate Analysis last night.
"This is why these presidential debates are becoming unwatchable. It just reminds everybody of what they cannot stand about Washington. Scoring points against each other, poking at each other..." - Pete Buttigeig last night in the ABC debate.
"I think Secretary Castro who likes to talk about learning from history, clearly didn't learn from the first two debates. Taking personal, cheap shots at Vice President Biden actually doesn't work out that well particularly for the candidate who takes such shots. Especially since Castro's claims were factually inaccurate. Many reporters covering the debate have already pointed out that what Castro said simply was not true."- Anita Dunn, political commentator, on MSNBC last night
It is more than past time for all the Democratic candidate minnows - not serious contenders - to get out of the public eye and especially cease the rhetorical bomb throwing and spilling their bile in the debates. What stood out last night was Julian Castro's desperate ploy using ageism to try to take down Joe Biden . The debate point was whether people who can't afford health care would be automatically enrolled in Biden's health plan and not have to "buy in". Biden clearly stated "They do not have to buy in", but Castro tried to portray him as having the classic "senior" moment, e.g.
"Are you forgetting what you said two minutes ago? You forgetting already what you said two minutes ago? I can't believe that you said two minutes ago that they had to buy in and now you're saying they don't have to buy in. You're forgetting that."
In fact, Biden wasn't forgetting a damned thing. He said they did not have to buy in and Castro merely used the opportunity as a "Hey, look at me!" moment. Basically, to use the parlance of commentator Jason Johnson, resurrecting Repub John Kasich's own suicide pact idiom. As Jonathan Alter and other commentators have noted it was a patently stupid move, and likely even cost Castro a VP spot. It was a desperation move to try to get attention like Kamala Harris tried to pull on Biden using the school busing issue two months ago. Now, look what's happened to all the losers who tried to tar Biden, including Eric Swallwell and Kamala Harris. They are tanking as 1 percent poller Castro now will (well, even more than he is).
Below are a few brutal facts for any political observers out there, or viewers, readers who have a serious interest in the Democratic primary and future candidate:
1) ALL the primary candidates and indeed all who would be the elected president in the 2020 general election are septuagenarians. That list includes: Biden, Sanders, Warren, and Trump. Like it or not those will be your choices, so get over the fetishism for some young Turk or stud, or pining for a "young blood" to save the nation's bacon.. Ain't gonna happen, no more than aliens landing in the middle of the White House lawn. So you're stuck with oldies. Deal with it. (But don't use that as an excuse not to vote!)
2) Like Joe Biden or hate him, his consistent 20 plus percent polling is based on very firm African-American support, up to 48 %. Unless other candidates come close to that command there is no way they will compete with Biden for the primary, and offer any competition to Trump in the general.
3) The outlier candidates (Marianne Williamson, Michael Bennett, Tim Ryan, John Hickenlooper, Julian Castro et al) never really stood a chance against those with top name recognition.. All they did was clutter the debate stage, distort the debate format and distract viewers. Hence, their belief in the "Trump model" - that an outlier could get the presidency again - was misplaced..
The only three serious Dem candidates (i.e. who have any chance), according to the Real Clear Politics (and other) polling are Biden, Sanders and Warren. Harris - who took her cheap shot at Biden earlier - is now barely scratching at 7.2 % while the Dem trio are all at 20 percent plus. In other words, the other seven candidates are all minnows who stand no more chance of reaching the primary than I have of being elected Pope. Sorry, that's the reality, the way it is.
The irritating D- minnows have merely led their own vanity campaigns, and also - in multiple instances - provided fodder for Trump and the Republicans in attacking the main candidates and sowing divisions. Castro did it last night and in the first debate in Miami. There he pinned everyone down on border crossings - and we saw all those hands go up - and Republicans had wet dreams on how they could use the scene in ads. Castro is a minnow, and a toxic one at that, who needs to recognize - like the other minnows - that his 15- plus minutes of fame are up.
That includes the irrepressible Beto O'Rourke who also is a bottom feeder with nothing to lose, so felt emboldened to yelp; "Hell yeah we're comin' for your AR-15s and AK-47s too!" Thereby scrambling a reasoned Democratic message on gun control, as Sen. Chris Coons pointed out in the wake of Beto's bark. Oh, and providing fresh fodder for RNC ads and adding fuel to an already hot fire stoked by the Foxites warning of "blood and civil war" if the Ds try to take their friggin' weapons away.
This is not to say Beto's passionate statement was 100% wrong, but just mis-timed, out of place. You don't belt out a full -throated gun seizure vow on a national debate stage in front of 14 million viewers when your party's trying to oust Trump. Especially given many of those watching are independents and look askance at any suggestion of government force to seize their guns. Suggest voluntary assault weapons' buybacks? Yeah sure! But not outright seizures, unless you want to toss red meat to the GOOps to use next year.
So we also need Beto to get out of the picture and leave the stage to the 'big boys' - the actual players polling at least in double digits.
Castro's antics as well as Beto's and Harris' (in the 1st debate) show why indeed these fulsome media encounters have merely become vanity exercises. They provide a disproportionate stage for those without a snowball's chance in hell to reach the primary, to pop off and toss rhetorical bombs in desperation. All to the detriment of the party- and the eventual Dem nominee.
It's a damned annoyance and I am certain wifey and yours truly aren't the only ones who believe so. We need the DNC to exact higher debate qualification thresholds to finally reduce the debate stage to the three prime contenders. This as opposed to being cluttered with the ego-besotted minnow pretenders. Pretenders whose only recourse is to now become 'bomb throwers' or Kasich suicide pact emulators - to the detriment of the front runners and the party.
Take the cue from John Hickenlooper, pack up your vanity bags and leave. Hasta la vista, minnows!
That's my 0.02 and I am sticking with it!