“Best” of the B-List: Rating the “Kiddie Table” Democrat Debate

This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
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The Top 10 B-List Never Looked Better for Trump

Well it is not even the end of 2019 and the 2020 political season is upon us already. June 26-27th marked the first of a series of debate to thin out the Democrat candidate list, which seems to be growing every day. From the 30 odd, and I mean odd, people who are running for the White House in the Party who booed God, the “top” 20 candidates were selected for a two night debate format. On June 26th the “Kiddie Table” was selected, aptly named because most of the people who were selected were polling in single digits. This debate was set up as a “logical discourse” by top candidates and we were promised it would not be a “circular firing squad.” However, rather than the Lincoln/Douglas dignity of yesteryear, the debates looked more like a monkey rodeo, where candidates were trying to hang onto the pork from the lobbyist handlers while still pandering to the collapsing “Obama Coalition” of Democrat Voters. 

But who won? Well in modern debates, there are no longer winners and losers (though some would argue that they are all losers). In the modern format, each candidate gets about 6 minutes (the actual range according to the Washington Post ranged from 5 to 10 minutes). This time was managed poorly by the NBC moderators, who got more air time than they wanted with a hot mic (and also may have had the best plans when someone said “we need to get a binder” beating all the Democrat hopefuls for future planning). In this article, in descending order, I give my opinion on who won, who lost and look at the best and worst moments for each candidate during the melee. 

10. Washington Governor Jay Inslee (5 Minutes)

Thank goodness that the moderators kept a muzzle on Jay Inslee. For those of you who do not know, Inslee is the Governor of Washington who signed the most restrictive immigration reform law in the country to prevent local police from complying with lawful federal orders to remove illegal aliens who have committed crimes and are scheduled from deportation from the country. In an extreme attempt to pander to the audience, Inslee bragged about his state’s unconstitutional policies, which have many local sheriffs mutinying against the law, which are going to get ICE officials killed. As there are legal court orders for many of these people being deported, Washington’s law is not constitutional and is “organized obstruction” of the law.

Best Moment: Before he opened his mouth.

Worst Moment: When he bragged about a law that is going to get people killed.

9. Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan (7.7 Minutes)

Tim Ryan did not look comfortable on stage, and it showed. Ryan gave garbled answers to each of the limited number of questions that he was asked, looking more like the offensive lineman, Lyle Roubideaux, from the “Waterboy” than a sitting congressman. Overall, Ryan was weak in the debate, poorly interjected and really was not cut out for the debate.

Best Moment: He made good, almost too much, eye contact with the camera?

Worst Moment: When he openly admitted the Democrat agenda that voters in the Midwest need to align their thought with the Democratic Elites on the coast and that Democrat candidates need to convince them not to “think for themselves” but to follow the will of their lobbyist masters. 

8. Former Rep. John Delany (6.6 Minutes)

Delany started off strong but faded as the night went on. As it became obvious that other candidates were more qualified and were going to get more questions, Delaney channeled his inner Democrat and tried (and failed) to be the loudest person on stage. As a result, Delaney sounded like a petulant child not getting his turn as other candidate spoke.

Best Moment: His opening statement, I did not agree with his opening answer but it was well thought out and worded.

Worst Moment: When he was repeatedly ignored by the moderators, just like he was ignored by voters and would be ignored by world leaders if he were to be elected president. 

7. New York Mayor, Bill DeBlasio (5.6 Minutes)

DeBlasio was the “Trump-like” candidate on the stage, talking about what he wanted to talk about rather than the questions that were asked. To some extent this was good because he had the opportunity to talk about a couple of real issues rather than the softballs the moderators were lobbing. However, his argument with Cory Booker brought out the NY/NJ rivalry and almost seemed like DeBlasio was bullying Booker, which really hurt Booker in these rankings. DeBlasio showed himself to be what the rest of the country hates about New York City, with none of the charm or humor that the Trump family brings to the table.

Best Moment: When he went off script and discussed real issues.

Worst Moment: When he got into the argument with Booker, New York vs. Jersey- they are both the same, Jersey just does not have Upstate.

6. Former Texas Rep. Francis “Beto” O’Rourke (10.3 Minutes)

If it were not for the lack of quality for the candidates lower on this list than Beto, he would not have made it this high; however, the others were just worse than he was. His Spanish intro was interesting, it gave me time to get up and get a drink while he was repeating himself, but really does not speak to the Spanish community who want their children to learn English so they can get better jobs. Beto lost the debate for the same reason that he lost the Senate election, even with the massive amounts of money Democrats threw at him – he spouts canned lines run through focus groups and pollsters to the point that anyone can see that these are not his thoughts.

Best Moment: When the world saw that he could relate to the Hispanic voters.

Worst Moment: When the Hispanic voters realized that it was canned pandering and shut the TV off, costing NBC Millions of viewers.

5. Senator Elizabeth Warren (9.3 Minutes)

If you read my column, you know that I have no love for Fauxcahontes. Lying about your ancestry to get good jobs costs real minorities jobs and disgraces the institutions for which you work. Further, the fact that she can tell people “college should be free” and takes home more than a quarter-million dollars per course to teach when most college adjuncts take home around $2,000 to $5,000 a course makes her the biggest joke on stage. However, it seemed as if the moderators wanted her to win, with most of the questions in the first half hour going to her (at one point she had answered four questions and several of the other candidates had only answered one). Warren, true to form, stood on the stage ranting like the crazy cat lady from the Simpsons (which is fitting as they have similar histories) about what all she would give for free. One has to imagine that Bernie Sanders was screaming at his TV, “No I will give more free stuff.”

Best Moment: When the moderators were giving her all the questions.

Worst Moment: When people realized that she has no way of paying for or implementing her plans.

Tied 4. Senator Amy Klobachar (8.5 Minutes)

Entering the night, Sen. Klobachar was my favorite of the night. She gained my respect by being the only Democrat adult in the room for the Kavanaugh hearings. Like several other candidates, she started off strong with a good response to the opening question; however, she started to show the Democrat kool-aid with guns and environmental issues. Klobachar’s problem is that she would be a good general election candidate, but she does not do well pandering to the base. She is a moderate, and as a moderate represents, basically, what people in her state support. She seems forced when she tries to out-idiot the other idiots on the stage. Klobachar, stick to what you are good at, be proud to be a moderate 60% of the United States is.

Best Moment: When she speaks about what she believes in.

Worst Moment: When she chases the polls and tries to sell the Democrat talking points.

Tied 4. Former Sec. Julian Castro (8.8 Minutes)

When it comes to breakout nights, Castro had the second best break out. While he is competitive and not an unknown, I do not think many people knew of him coming into the debate. He had a strong night. On the stage he was one of the few people who actually debated and did not stick to talking points. He showed that he understands the law, even if he does not understand the concepts behind the laws. While many pundits give him a top spot in the debate, I think he is a solid 4.

Best Moments: When he took other candidates to school on immigration law, even if I do not agree with his interpretation, his representation was correct.

Worst Moments: When he suggested that men transitioning to women should have the same access to reproductive rights as natural born women, meaning abortion, for a class of people who cannot get pregnant #PanderingFail.

3. “The Spare Podium in the Back” – BabylonBee (0 Minutes)

Realistically the podium in the back has no chance, it was made in China; however, this is a good time to mention that the people who were not on the stage last night had a good night. The candidates for Thursday’s debate could see who the “up and comers” are, so they could knock them down and President Trump could take pot shots all night with an open mic on Twitter.

2. Senator Cory Booker (10.9 Minutes)

If you read my column you know I like to kick Cory Booker around, he is the modern Jimmy Carter. Personally, I do not think that he is as Liberal as he pretends to be. I think he does have heartfelt concerns on gun violence and his passion shows – though his ignorance about gun issues makes him dangerous the rights of every American. I have heard more than once that he is a nice guy and would shovel the snow for old people in his community, for free, before he was a politician. He had a strong showing and handled DeBlasio’s attacks quite well. Currently, I think the Democrats should pick Cory Booker for VP.

Best Moment: When he had the balls to be the one person on stage who would not raise his hand to support a talking point. Booker, that was your Spartacus moment, when others were afraid and you stood up for what you believed to be right.

Worst Moment: When he admitted that as mayor of Newark the city did not get better. Will he do any better in the future?

1. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii (6.6 Minutes)

Most people have not been watching Maj. Gabbard in the primary, I hope after the first debate they are watching her. Like Sen Klobachar, she is a natural moderate and a dangerous candidate in the general election. Her problem is the Democratic primary, the radicals on the Left do not like people who are moderate. Even Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gave the debate to Elizabeth Warren, not because of her abilities but because she will support the Socialist platform. Maj. Gabbard has served her country in the military and in congress and though I do not agree with her on many points, she carried herself in a distinguished manner the whole debate. I believe she won the debate hands down.

Best Moment: When she took the time to discuss her Iran plan, though I do not agree with her – I can see several of her points. I would love to have a discussion with her about historical conflict in the reason and the quadralectic mechanisms which are going to cause greater conflict in the region before it gets better. This is an open invitation to appear in one of my columns.

Worst Moment: When she choked out an apology to the LGBQ-TIP community. It did not look honest and she has the right to support traditional marriage if she wants to, remember, she still has to win a general election if nominated. Own who you are and what you said, or else you will end up like Joe Biden with the segregationists (which why is no one screaming that if he is that old he should not be in office if he actually worked with segregationists!!!!).

So there is my analysis of the first debate. Gabbard and Booker are the stars, Klobachar and Castro showed well and the rest of the pack was a joke. I would love to see these four advance to the adults table so that there could be actual debates. I would like even more to see a two-day debate forum, hosted by NRN where there was a Lincoln Douglas-type debate and the audience voted on who proceeds through the brackets. 

Author Profile

Dr. Christopher W. Smithmyer
Dr. Christopher W. Smithmyer
Dr. Christopher Smithmyer is a writer for NRN, the Vice President of International Affairs at Brav Online Conflict Management, and an Adjunct Professor of MBA Business at Doane University. He is also part of the founding team at BlackWalletLTD, one of the leaders in stable coin 2.0 ecosystem maintenance. Dr. Smithmyer’s focus is international business and finance, along with reviews of board games, weapons platforms, and survival items.