Tonight, two scandal-ridden news corporations--CNN and the New York Times--will host the fourth Democratic presidential candidate debate. It will be held at Otterbein University in the swing state of Ohio, beginning at 8 p.m. EST. Broadcasts will be available on CNN, streamed live on CNN and the Times website, and on a number of streaming media channels. Erin Burnett and Anderson Cooper of CNN and Marc Lacey from the Times will moderate.
The topics many of us would like to hear about--Hunter and "Beijing Joe" Biden in Ukraine and China, the unraveling of Obama/Brennan/Clapper spying, LeBron James greedily supporting China, John Bolton basically admitting his role in the whistleblower farce, Adam Schiff's secretive kangaroo court--these will likely not come up, or not in the fashion we would prefer. It's their sandbox, after all. Still, there might be some fireworks.
The latest national poll of Dems from Quinnipiac has Elizabeth Warren leading at 30%, Joe Biden holding onto second at 27%, and recent heart attack sufferer Bernie Sanders falling to 11%, only 3 points ahead of Pete Buttigieg. Pardon the mixed metaphors, but it's a two-horse race with blood in the water. The also-rans are hungry to fill what they perceive will be a vacuum at the top now that Biden is tainted and health concerns cloud Sanders.
Biden has lost his lead due to mental fuzziness and his son Hunter's business dealings in Ukraine and China, which mass media still blithely insists is not an issue. Expect some broadsides, but likely not pointed attacks aimed at Hunter.
Warren still has Native American issues, that career-long lie isn't going anywhere. She was roasted on
Columbus Day Indegenous People's Day for her what-me-worry? tone on Twitter.
That's right, Tulsi Gabbard is back after being punished by the DNC for all but erasing the hopes of lefty darling Kamala Harris and (gasp) courting centrist voters in the second debate. Gabbard had threatened to boycott the debate in protest, accusing the DNC of trying to "hijack the election," but she has apparently decided to make her case onstage. Watch her for a strong critique of the DNC, which of course has a history of rigging debates.
(Honestly, why is CNN allowed to host presidential debates after the Clinton-Donna Brazile debate question exchange? Why was Brazile not charged with a crime?)
Tom Steyer, billionaire hedge fund manager and Never Trumper, will also take the stage for the first time. His charisma is probably the first thing you won't notice. I doubt moderators will steer many questions his way as many view his candidacy as a vanity project, and his appearance is antithetical to the Dem ideal: a very rich white male Boomer.
Sanders is tentatively scheduled to debate, but don't be surprised if he withdraws. Anything less than a vibrant performance will sink him even further. He has been resting in Vermont ahead of the debate. One angle to consider is Bernie's ability to be Bernie. As anyone who has undergone a heart procedure (or knows someone who has) can attest, there are consequences. Has he had enough time to recover? But further, was any permanent damage done to the heart muscle? Is he on statins, which can cause dizziness? Sanders' bellicose style doesn't exactly mix well with blood thinners. I suspect a medical team will be on hand.
I predict that after the dust settles, Warren will have solidified her frontrunner status. Biden needs a flawless performance, and with all that has been swirling around his increasingly befuddled head recently, I don't think he's capable of a home run. He's playing defense, and that's not his strength. Watch to see whether he can stop from jabbing the air with his pointer finger.
I'll be live on Twitter @CourtAnderson9 if you want to chat about the debate as it's taking place. Enjoy the debate. It's always fun to watch identity politicians pretend to be unified.
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