Top 5 Highlights for the First Democratic Primary Debate for 2020 Pt. I

 
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It seems like Election 2020 has officially began with the first of a two-part debate for the Democratic candidates hoping to clinch the nomination. The first of two debates aired last night with the top 10 candidates while the second will air tonight with the remaining 10 candidates who met a series of requirements that were set by the Democratic National Committee. Candidates had to register at least one percent support in three independent state and national polls determined by the DNC and/or receive at least 65,000 unique donations, including at least 200 from 20 different states. 

The first debate aired on NBC with Elizabeth Warren, Beto O’Rourke, Cory Booker, Amy Klobuchar, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Julián Castro, Tim Ryan, Bill de Blasio and Jay Inslee. Last night was a great start to the election season for Democrats showing many of them have a plan for the direction they would lead the country, granted some plans were more solid than others. Below are my top 5 moments that stood out the most from the first debate. 

5. Klobuchar stands up to the PATRIARCHY

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Sen. Amy Klobuchar has certainly made a name for herself since the Trump administration began, often during hearings. She has a ridiculously high approval rating in her state and even received 60% of the vote in the recent midterm. However, her successes in the Midwest and Senate have not been helping in her bid for President. This did not stop her from taking a couple swings at President Trump and including a few zingers throughout the night. 

While many of them seemed planned and forced, there was one that clearly did the best and that was because it was unplanned and an attack at another candidates claim. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee often tried to claim that he was the only candidate to implement certain policies or passing laws and state that he was “...the only candidate here who has passed a law protecting a women’s right of reproductive health in health insurance” to which Klobuchar responded “I just want to say, there’s three women up here that have fought pretty hard for a woman’s right to choose.”

4. Castro Making a Name for Himself

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Former Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro has yet to have a shining moment since announcing his candidacy in January of this year. That changed drastically last night as Castro search interest surged by more than 2,400 percent. Many would say he was one of the winners of last night as well. Castro made a strong case on immigration even battling Beto O’Rourke on his policies and saying “I think you should do your homework on this issue” 

While I still don’t think he has a chance at winning the nomination, if he can keep this up, a possible running mate or another future cabinet position could be in his future. 

3. Beto Flopping

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The previous moment leads me into the next and that is the embarrassing night that Beto O’Rourke had. This was Beto’s chance to continue the momentum he achieved after really rising to fame with his infamous Senate bid against Texas Senator Ted Cruz last year. Unfortunately, he showed up to the debate like a school kid who was going to wing it only to realize everyone else studied all night. A large majority of the candidates on stage last night ran circles around him in experience, policy making and just general substance about their campaigns. 

Beto did however gain popularity and criticism with many across social media for often showing his bilingual abilities off by speaking in English and then repeating it again in Spanish - despite not answering the original question in either language. 

2. Booker Slams Tulsi for previous LGBTQ views

Tulsi Gabbard, a Congresswoman from Hawaii, has had a rough campaign start with her campaign manager quitting shortly after announcing her candidacy. She has been virtually shut out of many media spots, political pieces and with poll numbers that are often 1 percent or less. Her previous stances on LGBTQ rights were criticized. In the late ‘90’s she worked for two anti-LGBTQ organizations, led by her father, which led the fight against same-sex marriage and the promotion of harmful conversation therapy. 

In her defense, she did issue an immediate apology shortly after announcing her candidacy. She reiterated the apology last night stating that many Americans can relate to following views that their parents had as young kids. What made the moment such a highlight for me was how she tried to tout her last six years in Congress including voting for the civil rights bill called the Equality Act however Booker went after her by stating that one vote for an Equality Act is not enough to say that you are a true Ally for queer people.

1. Everything Elizabeth Warren

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Honestly, Elizabeth Warren had the best night out of everyone. It’s no surprise as she has been wiping the floor with every single policy she’s released and how they all fit together. You can see them all coming together as she releases each one. Warren was poised, confident and passionate and that is what many want in a nominee. 

The breakthrough moment for her was when the moderator asked all candidates to raise their hand if they stood for the principle of a single-payer health care system that would basically eliminate private health insurance. Whether you support this or not, it was the bold and strong way she raised her hand in standing by her views.

 

Honorable Mention: Sound Problems for NBC

After coming back from a commercial, we went straight back into one as a question to Elizabeth Warren was repeated multiple times after viewers and candidates looked confused as a whispering voice played in the background. After addressing it once, the Chuck Todd returned to Warren however the voice was still there. Come on NBC, my high school theatre program has a better handle on mics than you did. 

The only two explanations as to how it got fixed was that Amy Klobuchar threw a binder at someone to fix it or Elizabeth Warren came fully prepared with another plan on how to calmly and effectively solve the problem. 

The second part of the first debate will air on NBC on Thursday, June 27th.