With 20 Days to Go Until Iowa Votes in Caucuses, this Is the Final Forum
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By Al Giordano
Six candidates made the cut for tonight’s debate: Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and Tom Steyer.
CNN and the Des Moines Register are sponsors of the debate and here is the info they provide on where you can watch or listen to it:
The debate will air exclusively on CNN, CNN en Español, CNN International and CNN Airport Network and will stream live in its entirety, without requiring log-in to a cable provider, exclusively to CNN.com‘s homepage, across mobile devices via CNN’s apps for iOS and Android, and via CNNgo apps for Apple TV, Roku, Amazon Fire, Chromecast and Android TV. The debate will also air live at DesMoinesRegister.com and Democrats.org, and can be heard on CNN’s SiriusXM XChannels and the Westwood One Radio Network.
It’s been quite the news cycle in recent days and this will be the smallest debate stage yet, meaning more time for each candidate and more opportunities for them to interact with each other.
I’ll be back shortly before 9 p.m. ET to share live commentary – and read your backstage comments – as it happens.
8:53 p.m. ET: And they’re coming out of the tunnel!!!!!!
9:02 p.m. ET: Sanders, asked about what qualifies him to be commander in chief, begins with his 2002 Gulf War vote.
9:04 p.m. ET: Biden: “The man who also argued against that war picked me to be vice president, Barack Obama.” Can’t have a better answer than that!
9:05 p.m. ET: Statler and Waldorf are reminiscing about ancient votes they cast when today’s 35-year-olds were not yet old enough to vote!
9:07 p.m. ET: Klobuchar starts out nervous always but then gets in her groove. Her point is spot on: Let’s stop this current attempt to go to war.
9:08 p.m. ET: Everybody’s bringing their A-game. Buttigieg opens with a nice generational pitch.
9:09 p.m. ET: Warren doing what she does on other issues: breaks it down so that non-policy-wonk people can understand what she is talking about. And then brings it back to her corruption issue.
9:10 p.m. ET: Steyer: “I believe Senator Warren made a great point.” Send her a check, then, Tom!
9:11 p.m. ET: Steyer, again: “I agree with Senator Warren.” Well, that’s from the Department of Redundancy Department.
9:29 p.m. ET: I was quickly rustling up some dumplings and dipping sauce as this convo is making me hungry. I think that all the Democratic candidates are doing well on this war and peace segment but I give a slight edge to Pete Buttigieg as this is clearly in his area of experience. Good moment for him.
9:33 p.m. ET: On to the trade deal. I like the way the DM Register reporter didn’t let Sanders obfuscate on the question.
9:35 p.m. ET: Amy Klobuchar name-drops Sherrod Brown for a second debate in a row!
9:41 p.m. ET: I understand the reluctance of the candidates to be aggressive with one another but tick tock! If you don’t break through tonight the winner of the debate by default is going to be Joe Biden (presuming he doesn’t cause himself any unforced errors, as is his habit, before the night is over).
9:54 p.m. ET: Twitter at least sounds very wowed by how Warren turned “electability” arguments on their head and brought it back to deeds and not words. Sanders was a dumb-ass to nitpick with her over “30 years” and her comedic timing in pivoting off that was a beaut. Also fun when Elizabeth and Amy team up. More of that please!
10:05 p.m. ET: Klobuchar: “And, yes, I think we should tell people how much things will cost, Bernie.” Oh, snap.
10:25 p.m. ET: I say this as the child of a single working mom. Bernie Sanders yammering on about how the first four years of a child’s life are the most important only makes me remember that when his son was that age the mom had to go on welfare and Sanders wasn’t paying any child support while he ran for multiple offices on a third party line garnering something like four percent of the vote. Just sayin’.
10:35 p.m. ET: Here is the speaking time so far by each candidate on stage…
11:10 p.m. ET: I’ve had less to say than usual tonight because everybody is on script, they’ve each played their role about as well as they can, they’re all better than Donald Trump. But I don’t think anyone really moved the meter much from where it was before the debate. Let’s see what clips get the most play in the news cycle.
11:13 p.m. ET: CNN panel seems to have consensus that this was Warren’s night and that Klobuchar did well but not enough to break through at this late hour before the caucuses.
11:50 p.m. ET: I’ll post the new straw poll in the morning and meanwhile digest and look at debate clips a bit more before declaring winners and losers here. Thanks for the great backstage comments! Keep ’em coming. More to come in the morning.
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