It was a big night for the Democratic party, as ten candidates vying for the party’s nomination for president in 2020 debated in Miami, Florida. Host of KSL Newsradio’s Inside Sources, Boyd Matheson, says there were winners and losers in Wednesday night’s debate, along with some cringe-worthy moments.
Perhaps the most surprising winner from the first of two debates was a candidate who is currently polling at 0.3 percent according to Five Thirty Eight, New York mayor Bill de Blasio. Matheson says at this early stage of the campaign, it’s important to get your story out to voters, and de Blasio did that very well.
“He actually went very specific on his personal story. He talked about his son, who is black, and raising a teenager and having to have conversations about how to keep himself safe. He talked about his father who came back from the war, and ultimately took his own life because he couldn’t get the right kind of help and treatment. He was perhaps the biggest surprise of the evening,” says Matheson.
Another surprise winner, according to Matheson, was former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro, who mixed in a few of his own personal experiences and took on former Texas lawmaker Beto O’Rourke on immigration issues.
Other winners included Hawaii representative Tulsi Gabbard, who as a veteran had an impressive knowledge of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. Matheson says Senator Cory Booker had a good performance and connected well, delivering on expectations.
Matheson believes several candidates gave disappointing performances, including U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar, who he says struggled to get her footing. The practical and pragmatic Democrat, as Matheson describes her, was clearly at a disadvantage placed at a podium next to Beto O’Rourke, who appeared to be about two feet taller than Klobuchar.
Another candidate who had a rough night, according to Matheson, was Ohio Congressman Tim Ryan, who appeared confused about what is going on in Afghanistan, and hit some wrong notes on health care. He says Ryan seemed generally out of rhythm.
Washington Governor Jay Inslee had perhaps the most cringe-worthy moment in Wednesday night’s debate, appearing to “mansplain” his answers to issues of women’s rights. Matheson says it didn’t help that many of his answers were one-dimensional.
“Inslee probably struggled the most. His answer to every question was “climate change,” so he had the most cringe-worthy moment Wednesday night simply because his answers didn’t appear to even come close to what the question was. Being a Johnny-one-note is a real tough thing on a debate stage with ten candidates,” noted Matheson.
Perhaps the biggest disappointment of the night, according to Matheson, was Senator Elizabeth Warren. After a great start, and with perhaps the most air time of any candidate, she diverted from specifics on policy and faded as the night went on, often appearing angry. Matheson says Warren’s drop-off was most noticeable because her expectations were so high.
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