democratic debates

Snap Judgments of Every Candidate in the Second Democratic Debate, Wave Two


You know the drill. Ten Democratic candidates. Three hours. Very little productive debating. (For our snap-judgment recap from the first night of Democratic primary debates in Michigan, head this way.) Here’s our highly official, very calculated, totally serious recap of the second night of the Democratic primary debates.

Night Two

Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Andrew Yang

Day job: Rich tech guy.
Turned the tables by: Asking the audience to raise their hands.
Overall vibe: “Thank you for coming to my TED Talk!”
$12,000 a year? For all of us?: It’s going to solve literally every problem the U.S. currently faces, including … climate change?

Photo: Sean Rayford/Getty Images

Joe Biden

Day job: Former vice-president.
First words: “Go easy on me, kid,” Biden said to Kamala Harris while they stood onstage during introductions.
Loves: Obama! Obamacare! Barack Obama! President Obama! Obamaaaaaaaa!
Can’t: Say the word “abortion.”
Authenticity move: Sending viewers to the wrong website.

Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Kamala Harris

Day job: California senator. Former Attorney General.
Drink whenever she mentions: Kathleen Sibelius signing off on her health-care plan.
Watched: The first debates and decided Warren’s line about co-opting “Republican talking points” was worth co-opting for herself.
Still harping on: Joe Biden’s record on integrated school busing.

Photo: joe raedle/Getty Images

Cory Booker

Day job: New Jersey senator.
Is president: According to Joe Biden, who definitely knows more than one black man and who mistakenly called Booker “the president” and then backtracked, calling him the “future president.”
Kool-Aid????: “There’s a saying in my community that you’re dipping into the Kool-Aid and you don’t even know the flavor.”
Tweets: From stage, mid-debate.

Photo: joe raedle/Getty Images

Julian Castro

Day job: Former HUD secretary.
Read: The room, which kept interrupting with chants of “fire Pantaleo.” Castro declared he’d have fired him.
Sickest burn: “One of us has learned the lessons of the past, and one of us hasn’t.” Lobbed at Joe Biden. (A theme of the night.)

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Kirsten Gillibrand

Day job: New York senator.
Knows: Gay people.
Also knows: She’s a privileged rich white woman.
Owns: Clorox.
Plans to: Use said Clorox on the Oval Office on her first day.
Blinks: A whole lot.

Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

Michael Bennet

Day job: Colorado senator.
Energy: Political beat poet.
Chill: Has possibly too much of it.
Eyebrow game: Still strong.

Photo: joe raedle/Getty Images

Jay Inslee

Day job: Governor of Washington.
Loves: The planet.
Seems genuinely qualified to: Tackle the problems plaguing the planet.
Also seems genuinely qualified to: Do a very convincing Mike Pence cosplay.

Photo: joe raedle/Getty Images

Tulsi Gabbard

Day job: Congressional representative from Hawaii.
Lewk: White suit that my television was not high-resolution enough to handle.
Brought: Receipts on Kamala Harris’s prosecutorial record.
Her sister: Sadly absent.

Photo: joe raedle/Getty Images

Bill de Blasio

Day job: Mayor of New York City.
But people there hate him: Yes, true.
Wants to tax: The hell out of the wealthy.
What were those hecklers shouting: “Fire Pantaleo!”

The Democratic Primary Debates, Night Two: Snap Judgments