Requests for questions *not* to ask at the Dem debates:
1) “Why aren’t you polling better?”
2) “What is your plan to bring Americans together?"
3) “Say something nice about one of your opponents.”
— Seth Masket (@smotus) June 24, 2019
NBC, “Here are the rules for the first Democratic debate”:
… Candidates will have 60 seconds to answer questions and 30 seconds to respond to follow-ups. And there will be no opening statements, though candidates will have a chance to deliver closing remarks.
The two-hour debates will zip by quickly, with five segments each night separated by four commercial breaks…
“It’s a little bit of exaggeration calling it a debate,” former Vice President Joe Biden joked in Iowa earlier this month. “It’s like a lightning round.”…
Savannah Guthrie, Lester Holt, Chuck Todd, Rachel Maddow and José Diaz-Balart will moderate the debates from the Adrienne Arsht Center in Miami.
(To repeat: Chuck Todd has no business being on that stage.)
She was fiery. inspirational. She was empathetic and personally revealing. She was herself. She was the block of four center-stage contenders that night — she can shake up the race. https://t.co/1YyREXQMWL
— Jennifer Rubin (@JRubinBlogger) June 24, 2019
Reminder, not everybody — not even likely voters! — is caught up on their reading:
Only 22% of Democrats registered to vote say they know a lot about the candidates’ positions.
Only 35% say they’re paying close attention, with almost two-thirds saying they’re paying some or no attention.https://t.co/ZnuMh6mtnw
— Meg Kinnard (@MegKinnardAP) June 24, 2019
… Some, like Charles G. Cooper, 57, of Orlando, Florida, say they figure it wasn’t worth tuning in too far before this week’s debates, which they expect to help shape the field. Cooper supports Biden — “I’m an Obama guy, and he was the vice president,” Cooper said — but he knows the front-runner has a history of gaffes during his past races and wants to see how he handles them.
Adam Pratter, 43, of San Diego, is also being strategic. He has studied up on the five candidates leading in the polls but studiously ignored the rest.
“Unless something extraordinary happens, they’re not going to make it,” Pratter said.
The stakes are high in this week’s debates and another set that will follow in late July . After that, it gets tougher to get onto the main stage.
For the third debate in September, the Democratic National Committee is requiring candidates to receive donations from 130,000 or more individuals and poll at 2% or higher in three polls. Analysts and many campaigns think that — and the difficulty raising money if a candidate does not continue to qualify for the debate stage — will winnow the field down quickly.
Banks hopes so. Her husband is a fan of New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, and she likes Sanders, but she doesn’t know how she could learn enough to judge the current, sprawling field.
“Some people will be weeded out as we go along, and I want that to happen so I can look at everybody’s ideals and experience,” Banks said…
Sidebar: NYMag did an interview with Marianne Williamson which actually gave me some idea of why she’s running her ‘recovery presidency’ campaign. AFAICT, she’s been extremely successful marketing what we 80s cynics referred to as ‘Wish Yourself Fixed’ self-help… which has its benefits, and its limitations. As I recall the flame wars of that departed era, if reading relentlessly inspirational literature stops you self-harming when you think about how daddy abused you, more power to you and the book; but if you discover daddy dearest has started abusing your kids, and all you do in response is pass along your well-worn copy of This Season’s Course of Mantras, that’s moving along a continuum from ‘not exactly helpful’ to ‘assisting felony child endangerment.’:
… “I’ve had a 35-year career addressing people’s trauma and how to turn that trauma into transformation,” she continues. “All that a country is is a collection of people, so the same psychological and emotional and spiritual forces that prevail within the journey of an individual prevail within the journey of a nation. The political Establishment is so blind to the deeper psychological and emotional factors at work. Our feelings do more to drive our behavior than does our intellectual analysis. Where people are not loved and not supported, despair arises, and large groups of desperate people are one of the most dangerous sociological elements possible. Desperate people are more vulnerable to ideological capture by genuinely psychotic forces. That’s true whether it’s a corner of an American city, where people are vulnerable to gangs, or the whole United States, where people are more vulnerable to an authoritarian demagogue.”…
The personal is political, but the political — tragically! — is not always personal. We’re not gonna “fix” Mitch McConnell or Brett Kavenaugh by resolutely empowering our joint emotional energy. Good news is Williamson will probably be forgotten by Spring 2020; bad news is she’s giving the Repubs an easy punch line to mock every other Democrat in the meantime…