UPDATE: I say this as a disaffected populist and swing voter who is not voting for Blompf in 2020 and who watched this debate with an open mind. This debate was boring as hell. It came across as two hours of the same old Democrats one upping each other about open borders and taking away guns. The most cringe part of the debate was Booker, BETO and Julian Castro speaking Spanish.
As expected, Tulsi had some great moments and got in some good shots against Blompf and his neocon chickenhawks. No one else on that stage said anything that I found remotely interesting. The big takeaway of the first debate is how much Yang and Tulsi stand out from the other candidates. The awfulness of the rest of the field really hits you when you see them droning on side by side on the same stage.
Yang will be making his debut on the debate stage tomorrow night. I strongly suspect he will get hit with a gotcha question like Tulsi was tonight.
Our leaders have failed us, taking us into one regime change war after the next, leading us into a new Cold War & arms race, costing us trillions of our hard earned tax payer dollars & countless lives. This insanity must end. #TULSI2020 #DemDebate https://t.co/PIdii6kLxh pic.twitter.com/Gt4gRjFbZP— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) June 27, 2019
This president & his #ChickenhawkCabinet have led us to the brink of war w/ Iran. I served in the Iraq War that took over 4k of my brothers and sisters lives. War w/ Iran would be far more devastating and costly than the Iraq War. #TULSI2020 #DemDebate https://t.co/kZfWxljKgu pic.twitter.com/wVUDgoEqG7— Tulsi Gabbard (@TulsiGabbard) June 27, 2019
Rep. Tim Ryan and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard go head-to-head on Afghanistan, with Ryan arguing for U.S. engagement to dispel the Taliban from growing, and Gabbard arguing for the return of U.S. troops from Afghanistan. pic.twitter.com/VftyEH5dUe— CNBC (@CNBC) June 27, 2019
Tulsi Gabbard finished with the most Google searches, followed by Cory Booker and Elizabeth Warren: pic.twitter.com/nrnGKpjGpY— Nick Corasaniti (@NYTnickc) June 27, 2019
Tulsi is killing it in the Drudge poll pic.twitter.com/Hj2AJzGvIL— Cassandra Fairbanks (@CassandraRules) June 27, 2019
Google searches during the debate, via @GoogleTrends:— Axios (@axios) June 27, 2019
1. Tulsi: 12 (indexed)
2. Booker: 11
3. Warren: 7
3. Beto: 7
3. de Blasio: 7
6. Castro: 6
7. Inslee: 4
7. Tim Ryan: 4
9. Klobuchar: 3
9. Delaney: 3 pic.twitter.com/Yc6QaObdPp
In a World of Clowns be a Mommy pic.twitter.com/midIbz6G2S— Marcus Aurelius (@illustratumable) June 27, 2019
I’m on Team Tulsi tonight.
While I am out of the Yang Gang for now, I still don’t believe all these Democratic candidates are equally bad. Yang and Tulsi are still the best of the bunch for a variety of reasons. In my view, the question now is to what extent should we support them over their rivals.
I mean … I want to support Yang and Tulsi because I share some common ground with them. I strongly agree with Yang on Universal Basic Income and Humane Capitalism. I strongly agree with Tulsi on foreign policy. It is just that their positions on immigration and other social issues like abortion are too liberal and a major stumbling block for populist voters who are social conservatives.
This is only the Democratic primary though. I’m still hoping that one of these two candidates wins the nomination. They will always have time to move to the center in the general election and by definition that means finding common ground with populist voters in the center of the electorate. I will say at the outset that I expect the Democratic primary to be a roller coaster ride like the 2016 Republican primary. I don’t believe Joe Biden will be the nominee. I believe it will be someone else.
We shall see though.
Note: Comments are open through the evening for live reactions.