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‘Inside Sources’ host Boyd Matheson has the good, the bad and the ugly from Wednesday night’s Democratic debate

Ten contenders for the 2020 Democratic party nomination for president debated Wednesday night from Detroit. Photo courtesy of AP

Ten 2020 presidential hopefuls debated Wednesday night in Detroit.  A few of them were clear winners, a few others had some impact, and still others are probably not in it for the long haul.  Host of KSL NewsRadio’s ‘Inside Sources,’ and Opinion Editor of the Deseret News Boyd Matheson has the good, the bad and the ugly from Wednesday night’s CNN debate.

The Good

He says a clear winner was New Jersey Senator Cory Booker, who he called Wednesday night’s “happy warrior.”  He says it was a surprise turn from his first debate performance last month where he appeared to grimace his way through.

“On a night where there was a lot of pessimism and negativity in the air, Cory Booker was a happy warrior, hitting his notes, hitting his stride.  I think he came away with a little bit of momentum and some good potential, so I think he won the night,” says Matheson.

Boyd says another big winner Wednesday night was Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard.  He believes she had a good grasp of the issues, especially foreign affairs, and plunged right in to an attack on California Senator Kamala Harris’ record when she was head of California’s Department of Justice.

The Bad

Matheson says even though the bar was set very low,  former Vice President Joe Biden was a big loser of the night.  He says Biden defended himself, but did not appear to inspire anyone.

“There was no pivot, no positive vision from Biden Wednesday night.  I think he continued to struggle.  I think there will be continued questions as to weather he can sustain the energy moving forward,” according to Matheson.

He says the rest of the group, including entrepreneur Andrew Yang, Senator Michael Bennet, Governor Jay Inslee and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will not likely lose or gain much ground after Wednesday night’s performances.  Matheson says Gillibrand was up and down, very uneven with some good and bad moments.

He says Yang, who joked about not wearing a tie in a moment he says seemed to connect him with the audience, will likely qualify for the next debate.  As for Bennet, Boyd says he had some thoughtful and insightful answers, but seemed to lack any real magic that might propel his campaign.

Matheson says one candidate that seemed to be on the move following last month’s debate in Miami, Kamala Harris seemed to have lost a little ground during Wednesday night’s performance.  He did note that her use of the word “predator” to describe President Trump, in a nod to her prosecutorial days in California, seemed to resonate.

The Ugly

Two candidates are probably nearing the end of their road to the presidency.  Matheson says former cabinet secretary Julian Castro’s performance simply did not appear to ignite the crowd.  Boyd says this is probably the last we will see of New York city mayor Bill deBlasio.  He says despite a few good answers on some issues, he seemed overly prepared, and didn’t seem to connect with the audience.

Bottom Line

Matheson says the American people already know what they’re against.  What they want from the Democratic candidates going forward is more vision.

“Tell me what you are for, what is your vision and why I should become a part of it.  That is why I believe Cory Booker won the night,” concludes Matheson.