Thursday, June 27, 2019

I Read 43 Stories and Columns Recapping and Rating Wednesday’s Debate and Dial-Flipped Through Cable News

Stipulating that reporters and pundits don’t actually know how voters will be influenced by the debate itself and the multi-platform aftermath coverage…

My take (summarizing the takes of some others, with which I concur): Nothing really happened to change the contours of the race; Warren was fine-to-good but/and her presence fell off in the back half of the night; Castro stood out; Klobuchar and Booker stood out some, but not enough; notable that Trump was mentioned less than expected, and Biden not at all; most Democratic candidates are more left-wing than in past presidential races, worrying centrists and delighting Team Trump.

One of the World’s Shortest Debate Previews

Joe Biden

Best case: No references to anything that occurred before the invention of the iPod Nano, plenty of references to specific ways he would help families as president.

Worst case: Attempt to focus on Trump and stay above the fray culminates in a senior moment.

Bernie Sanders

Best case: Reminds people who voted for him in 2016 why they did – and rekindles their belief that he is the only true revolutionary in the race.

Worst case: Fails to attract new supporters because the viewers have heard it all before.

Kamala Harris

Best case: Delivers (with steel and a smile) rehearsed A+ anti-Trump lines as if she thought them up on the spot.

Worst case: Momentarily fends off a tough question with her “that’s something that should be discussed” dodge – and gets called on it by a leading rival.

Pete Buttigieg

Best case: Wows voters getting a first look at him with passion, intelligence, knowledge, and humor – and raises a million bucks online off of it.

Worst case: Has one of his rare off-key moments at a critical juncture.

Kirsten Gillibrand

Best case: Takes advantage of the big stage to talk her way back into the conversation based on her energy and intellect.

Worst case: Blocked out of her fair share of time by moderator focus on the Big Four.

Michael Bennet

Best case: Shows passion, talks sense, and elevates above the ideological spats – simultaneously intriguing the voters and reminding the donor class why he’s an Obama and Clinton favorite.

Worst case: A performance that consistently confuses boring for thoughtful and smiley for compassionate.

John Hickenlooper

Best case: Convinces viewers that there is a Colorado Miracle that he could bring to all 50 states.

Worst case:  Acts more goofy than solid, more baffled than confident.

Eric Swalwell

Best case: Reassures older voters, inspires younger ones.

Worst case: Says absolutely nothing that distinguishes himself.

Marianne Williamson

Best case: Couples her spiritual strength and straight talk with surprising chops on federal policy and national security.

Worst case: Doesn’t give voters any reason to envision her sitting in the Oval Office.

Andrew Yang

Best case: Uses humor, brains, and distinctive policy plans to force the spotlight to find him and then linger.

Worst case: Gets minimal time from moderators worried that he will hijack the debate.


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In other news…

Bernie Sanders earns Wall Street Journal op-ed space to say Trump is a bad type of socialist.

Reporting is mixed on the chances of trade progress with China out of the expected Trump-Xi weekend meeting.  The Wall Street Journal is bearish; Secretary Mnuchin is bullish.

Top sports story: Vanderbilt beats Michigan to win their second College World Series  

ESPN

Top business story: FAA finds new software problem on troubled Boeing 737 MAX

Bloomberg

Top entertainment story: Roku’s streaming device to reach 70% of market share by the end of 2019

Deadline


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Big Four

Iowa

Steve Bullock says he can get progressive things done.

New Hampshire

Sununu vetoes bill on zero emissions for state vehicles.

South Carolina

Graham locks down home state support — and seeks to lock out primary challengers.

Tribe’s push to build casino spurs Carolinas political fight.


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