February 25th, 2020 Democratic Presidential Debate. “REALLY?”

Last night’s debate was even worse than last week…..and that’s really saying something. It looked like a bunch of unruly children whose teacher had just stepped out of the classroom. Moderator Gayle King has no discernible talent and had no control over her classroom. Were it not for her friendship with Oprah, she’d be working as a Walmart greeter. Jerry Springer would have been a more appropriate choice for debate moderator.

Bloomberg was stronger and came across as the only adult in the room. But that’s not saying much. After his performance last week, that’s a very low bar. He still has the personality and charisma of a stop sign. By the way, why is he – OR ANY – candidate permitted to run ads for his own campaign during a debate? Something just seems so wrong about that, no?

Warren was more angry, whiny, bitter and shrill than usual. As her campaign circles the drain, she has become louder, more indignant, more lecturing, more loquacious. She simply will not shut up. She talks over others and talks way beyond her time limit. Her attacks on Bloomberg’s integrity are textbook projection. This is a woman who has been caught in a number of major lies. Last night, once again, using the same memorized line, she spoke of having lost her teaching position due to being “visibly pregnant.” This story has been repeatedly debunked. It is a total fabrication and simply another play of the “sexism card”.

Little Mayor Pete is a pathetic excuse for a presidential candidate, let alone a man. He was the mayor of a small town in the middle of East Podunk where he had an abysmal record. He comes across as level-headed but is as radical as radical gets. He speaks in well-rehearsed bromides, platitudes and bumper sticker slogans as if he is above it all. He knows he will never be president. He’s hoping for a running mate invite, a cabinet position, a podcast or a contributorship position with MSNBC or CNN.

What can I say about Biden? Mental acuity has never been his strong suit. Then, last night, having just come off his latest gaffe – an announcement that he was running for the US Senate – his rare moments of lucidity were presented staccato-style as he stumbled and fumbled to recite memorized responses. He was more fiery than at last week’s debate, but his performance would have seen the adult children of any other man asking each other, “What are we going to do about Pop?” while Googling the phone number of the nearest Visiting Angels franchise. Joe Biden was done a long time ago, but no one has the heart to tell him so. It’s akin to asking a man to hand over his car keys.

Klobuchar comes across every bit as angry, bitter, whiny and shrill as Warren. She, too, will simply not shut up. Her memorized responses were too long for the time allotments but she was bound and determined to finish them, Gayle King or any of the other candidates be damned. In the immortal words of one of my best friends, “her verbosity is incurring my animosity.” In the same sentence, she said she wanted to help people get off drugs and that she would legalize marijuana. Klobuchar has no self-awareness. None of the candidates does. She too knows she will never be president and – just as with Mayor Pete – is hoping to parlay her 15 minutes of fame into a Veep invitation, cabinet position, TV or radio gig.

Steyer? Why even mention him? He’s a nonentity. There is something seriously wrong with this man. Yelling doesn’t make his ridiculous ideas any more salient. Aside from stealing his grandson’s Catholic school uniform tie to wear to the debate, he proposed paying reparations to blacks for the next four hundred years to make up for 400 years of slavery. As Ralph Kramden once said of Ed Norton, “Alice somewhere in the world there’s a straitjacket waiting for that man.”

Then, there’s Bernie Sanders. In his decades of “public service,” he has accomplished little more than having two post offices named. With the wind now at his back heading into Super Tuesday, he is more emboldened than ever and he is simply out of control. He was as angry as I’ve ever seen him and was at the center of every fight that took place last night. When he was challenged by an audience member on his support of Cuba and Castro, he shouted at the person, “Really? REALLY?” He doesn’t like being challenged. That is his Achilles’ heel. (Biden suffers from the same affliction). Sanders has a lust for power, and control. He has a great big chip on his shoulder, numerous childhood demons to exorcise and is so close to getting the validation he so desperately needs. This is his moment, his last chance, his raison d’etre. How dare you question him or his beliefs.

Is there anyone who watched last night’s debate debacle who could possibly believe that any one of those candidates has the temperament, gravitas, charisma, the proverbial “right stuff” to be the leader of the free world and to go head to head and toe to toe with our adversaries when they cannot even get along with each other, colleagues on the same side of the aisle?

“Really, REALLY?” – Bernie Sanders

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