Warm Southern Breeze

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Second Democratic Debate, Night 2 Analysis

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Friday, August 2, 2019

2nd Democratic Debate, Night 2 – Detroit, MI


As was earlier mentioned on The Week website, CNN wasted viewers’ time by taking very nearly 30 minutes before the first question was asked, which was in stark contrast to NBC News’ first question within 60 seconds. And then, after an elaborate opening, they went directly to a commercial break, which was followed by candidates’ opening remarks.

CNN pitted the candidates against each other by baiting. The lead question was directed at Senator Harris which attacked Biden and her M4A (Medicare for All) plan.

The candidates’ positions, for the greatest part, were quite similar, and CNN’s efforts were to attack the presumptive leader, which in that night was Biden.

There were 117 so-called “questions” (opportunities for verbal exchange) lobbed by CNN at the 10 candidates, the first 10 of those 117 are:

1.) Senator Harris, this week you released a new health care plan which would preserve private insurance and take 10 years to phase in. Vice President Biden’s campaign calls your plan, quote, “a have-it-every-which-way approach” and says it’s just part of a confusing pattern of equivocating about your health care stance. What do you say to that?

2.) Thank you, Senator. Thank you, Senator Harris. Vice President Biden, your response.

3.) Your response, Senator Harris?

4.) Senator Harris, thank you. Vice President Biden, your response?

5.) Thank you, Senator Harris. Mayor de Blasio, let’s bring you in here. What’s your response?

6.) Thank you, Mr. Mayor. Vice President Biden, you just heard Mayor de Blasio. He said in the past that Democrats who wanted to keep the private insurance industry are defending a health care system that is not working. What’s your response?

7.) Thank you, Mr. Vice President. Senator Gillibrand, you support Medicare for All. How do you feel about Senator Harris continuing to call her health proposal Medicare for All, when it includes a far more significant role for private insurance than the bill you co-sponsored?

8.) Thank you, Senator Gillibrand. Senator Harris, your response?

9.) Thank you, Senator Harris. Vice President Biden, your response?

10.) Thank you, Mr. Vice President. Thank you. Senator Booker, let me bring you in here. You say you support Medicare for All. You also say you are not going to pull private health insurance from more than 150 million Americans in exchange for a government plan, but that’s what Medicare for All would do. How do you square that?

Within those opening questions/exchanges, former Vice President Biden was mentioned by CNN 12 times, either by surname, by title, or combination of the two. The runner-up was California Senator Kamala Harris, who was mentioned 8 separate times. Overall, during night 2, there were 117 opportunities for verbal exchange (styled as “questions”) posed by CNN.

Within the first 10 opportunities for verbal exchange, there were essentially THREE questions asked.

Paraphrasing, they were:

1.) [to Senator Harris] What do you say about Biden’s accusations that you’re equivocating on a healthcare plan?

Then, Biden was offered a (30-second) rebuttal, and Harris was offered a (15-second) counter-point response, as was Biden. The rules did not offer an opponent’s counter point.

2.) [to former Vice President Biden] What do you say about de Blasio’s comment that some Democrats are defending a broken health care system?

3.) [to Senator Booker] Explain how our opinion of your plan is at odds with other candidate’s M4A plan.

The following individuals were engaged in those first 10 opportunities for verbal exchange:
1.) Senator Harris
2.) Former Vice President Biden
3.) Mayor de Blasio
4.) Senator Gillibrand
5.) Senator Booker

CNN’s time constraints – 60 second for a direct answer, 30 seconds for a response when mentioned by name by another candidate, and a 15 second follow-up – were so preposterously absurd, that it defied imagination. Effectively, that is nothing more than advertising time. The answers to our nation’s myriad problems CANNOT be nicely squished into a 60, 30, or 15 second sound bite.

From – https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/08/01/transcript-night-second-democratic-debate/

Name/Title Mentions by CNN
Moderators – Don Lemon, Dana Bash, Jake Tapper

Senator – 84
Vice President – 44
Biden – 29
Harris – 28

Mayor – 24
Secretary – 23
Castro – 18
Governor – 17

Congresswoman – 15
Yang – 15
De Blasio – 14
Bennet – 14

Inslee – 14
Booker – 13
Gillibrand – 12
Gabbard – 10
Congressman – 2


4 – US Senators
1 – US Representative
1 – Governor
1 – Mayor
1 – Entrepreneur
1 – Former administrative official
1 – Former VP

Considering that there are FOUR Senators, and ONE Vice President, for an equal distribution (21 each) among Senators, that’d be:
49 for Harris
35 for Bennet
34 for Booker
33 for Gillibrand
73 for Biden (TOTALING VP+Biden)

– Candidates –

Average Age – 53.8
Oldest – 76
Youngest – 38
Male – 7
Female – 3
White – 3
Minority – 7

• Senator Michael Bennet – CO
age 54, attorney, in politics since 1988
BS – Wesleyan University; JD – Yale
Interesting Facts: Has dyslexia, was held back 1 grade, attended elite all-boys prep school, was Capitol Hill page; Mom is Holocaust survivor, father is Christian & was USAID Director under Jimmy Carter, Editor of Yale Law Journal

• Senator Kirsten Gillibrand – NY
age 52, attorney, in politics since 1991
BA – Dartmouth; JD – UCLA
Interesting Facts: Attended all-girls private prep school, interned for Republican U.S. Senator Alfonse D’Amato’s Albany office, majored in Chinese studies, studied in Beijing and Taiwan, was defense attorney for Philip Morris during tobacco litigation, Special Counsel to Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Andrew Cuomo during the last year of the Clinton administration

• Former HUD Secretary Julián Castro
age 44, attorney, in politics since 2001
BA – Stanford; JD – Harvard
Interesting Facts: Identical twin, attended public HS in San Antonio, skipped sophomore year, ranked 9th in class, was intern in Clinton White House, bother attended universities with him, aged 26 was youngest city councilman in San Antonio history

• Senator Cory Booker – NJ
age 50, attorney, in politics since 1998
BA, MA – Stanford; MA – Queen’s College, Oxford; JD – Yale
Interesting Facts: Attended public HS, named to 1986 USA Today All-USA high school football team, played tight end at Stanford, made All–Pacific-10 Academic team, class president, Rhodes Scholar

• Former Vice President Joe Biden
age 76, attorney, in politics since 1958
BA – University of Delaware; JD – Syracuse University
Interesting Facts: Attended private Roman Catholic prep school, class president junior and senior years, while dating 1st wife told her he wanted to be US Senator by 30 and then President, lifelong teetotaler, received 5 draft deferments for asthma, shortly after winning November 1972 US Senate election at age 30 his wife and 1-year-old daughter were killed in car-big truck crash, 2 boys survived, remarried 1977 had one daughter

• Senator Kamala Harris – CA
age 54, attorney, in politics since 1990
BA – Howard College; JD – University of California, Hastings
Interesting Facts: Mother is breast cancer researcher, father economics professor, mother is Indian, father is Jamaican, after parents divorced in 1976 moved to Montreal with mother who worked at Jewish General Hospital and taught at McGill University, founded HS dance troupe, moved to USA after graduation, CA Attorney General 2010-2016

• Entrepreneur Andrew Yang
age 44, attorney, political newcomer
BA – Brown University, JD – Columbia University
Interesting Facts: Attended public school, parents Taiwanese immigrants, father PhD physics, mother Masters statistics became artist, attended elite private boarding school, was briefly corporate attorney before joining office friend to start celebrity philanthropic fund raising firm, switched to healthcare IT startup as VP, then joined friend at test prep company, became CEO, bought out by competitor, then started not-for-profit entrepreneurial fellowship program

• Representative Tulsi Gabbard – HI
age 38, military/politician, in politics since 2002
BSBA – Hawaii Pacific University
Interesting Facts: Born in Leloaloa, American Samoa, Member HI Army Nat’l Guard Company Commander as Major, joined HANG 2003 while serving in HI State Legislature, attended accelerated OCS at AL Military Academy at Ft McClellan in Anniston, first female Distinguished Honor Graduate in AMA’s 50-year history, was legislative aide to then-HI-Sen Daniel Akaka, served on Honolulu city council after service in HI House of Representatives, member of US House since 2013

• Governor Jay Inslee – WA
age 68, attorney, in politics since 1985
BA – University of Washington, JD – Wiliamette University
Interesting Facts: Graduated public HS on honor roll as athlete, served in state House of Representatives, then in US House WA CD4, Regional Director of United States Department of Health and Human Services in Clinton administration, re-elected to US WA CD1 6x, resigned to campaign for governor’s office, elected governor 2x

• Mayor Bill de Blasio – NYC
age 58, politician, in politics since 1984
BA – New York University, MIA (Master Int’l Affairs) – Columbia University
Interesting Facts: Attended public HS, father suffered with incurable lung cancer and committed suicide when Bill was 18, Harry S. Truman Scholar for public service, volunteer coordinator for David Dinkins NYC mayoral campaign, then as aide, campaign manager for Charles Rangel 1994 re-election, HUD Regional Director for New York and New Jersey in Clinton administration, Brooklyn School Board District member, HRC’s senatorial campaign manager

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