by George Rasley, CHQ Editor
Even though Cory Booker, Beto O’Rourke, Amy Klobuchar, Tulsi Gabbard, Jay Inslee, Bill de Blasio, Tim Ryan, Julián Castro, and John Delaney were all on the stage last night, last night’s Democrat debate served one purpose and one purpose only and that was to tee-up Senator Elizabeth Warren as the Democratic Party’s candidate for President.
Sure, there were the expected “Orange Man Bad” hits on President Trump – Klobuchar’s “conducting foreign policy by tweet in his bathrobe at 5 a.m.,” “all foam no beer,” and “three women on this stage,” were probably the most meme-worthy Orange Man Bad hits.
There were yapping chihuahua free-for-alls, some verging on the comical, such as former Rep. Delaney trying to squeak-in the comment that his immigrant grandfather was separated from his family when he entered the United States.
And yes, the other candidates got some good licks in – they got to show off their Spanish-speaking skills, they got to trash big corporations, and they got to mix it up among themselves with former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro being particularly effective in going after Beto O’Rourke on decriminalizing illegal border crossing.
But all that stuff had the effect of making Senator Elizabeth Warren look better, more progressive, more organized and more precise in her answers – like the adult on the stage. Or, as Dan Rather tweeted, “I’m Elizabeth Warren, and I have an answer for that…”.
Warren kicked off the debate when moderator Savannah Guthrie asked her whether her plans to restructure the economy represent a risk to Americans who think the economy is doing well.
“I think of it this way. Who is this economy really working for? It’s doing great for a thinner and thinner slice at the top,” Warren said, citing drug companies, private prison investors, and major oil companies as an example. “It’s just not doing great for people who are trying to get a prescription filled.”
“When you’ve got a government, when you’ve got an economy that does great for those with money and isn’t doing great with everyone else, that is corruption pure and simple,” she added. “We need to call it out. We need to attack it head on, and we need to make structural change in our government, in our economy and in our country.”
In another example, Elizabeth Warren said that gun violence is a public health emergency. This is an interesting perspective, noted Amelia Thomson-DeVeaux of fivethirtyeight.com, and one that’s picking up steam in the medical community – that gun violence is akin to an epidemic. And she very carefully avoided answering the question about door-to-door gun confiscation – a kooky position that would be a killer in the November election.
But all of these efforts to sound like the sensible adult in the room didn’t keep Elizabeth Warren from supporting core hard Left positions. She could not name any limits she supports on abortion. She wouldn’t even draw the line at fully formed, healthy, viable babies and she wants to make Roe v. Wade federal law.
On how do you deal with Mitch McConnell — Warren’s answer was, as Molly Hemingway put it, encourage the resistance to rage harder. A great answer that pandered to the Far Left, without committing Senator Warren to anything too kooky.
And as Cameron Joseph reported, Warren bear-hugged “Medicare for All” and raised her hand when the ten candidates onstage were asked if they supported a policy to “abolish their private health insurance and replace it with a government-run plan.”
I’m with Bernie on Medicare for All,” Warren said afterward.
Warren was unequivocal onstage Wednesday. She said that health insurance companies were only interested in maximizing profits, leaving “families with rising premiums, rising copays, and fighting with insurance companies.”
“Medicare for All solves that problem. And I understand there are a lot of politicians that say it’s just not possible,” Warren said. “What they’re really telling you is they just won’t fight for it. Well, healthcare is a basic human right. And I will fight for basic human rights.”
Warren’s mini-biography about growing up poor in Oklahoma, and “I will fight for you” was easily the strongest close. Author Saeed Jones may have summed it up best when he tweeted as the debate wrapped-up “Elizabeth Warren’s ability to remain patient and thoughtful while sharing the stage with such a diverse array of ambitious losers is commendable.”
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Photo “Elizabeth Warren” by NBC News.