Omg Bernie was so shook when they booed his stupid ass. ??
— chris evans (@notcapnamerica) February 26, 2020
The consensus I’m seeing is that, whatever might be said about the other candidates, Bernie Sanders did not have a good debate. Buttigieg, Biden, and Bloomberg all did well attacking him — and Warren, praise Murphy the Trickster God, finally got around to pointing out that while her ‘friend’ had some excellent ideas, she had those same ideas plus an actual record of implementing hers.
Oh, so THIS is what Thanksgiving dinners at white people's houses are like
— Elliot Williams (@elliotcwilliams) February 26, 2020
On the other hand, the South Carolina audience did not preserve the decorum suddenly considered desirable by the out-of-their-depth (un)moderators, which at least gave the Bernistas a chance to unleash their second favorite pastime, insisting that the seating had been ‘rigged’. (It was not rigged; people just disagreed with Sanders, unthinkable as that seemed to his supporters.)
This is like if there’d been a big fight scene in Cocoon
— Rebecca Traister (@rtraister) February 26, 2020
Is it me or is everyone trying to be like Warren last week so it’s um chaotic?
— Nelini Stamp ???? (@NelStamp) February 26, 2020
Vince McMahon. https://t.co/GIIrXm6Mnj
— Greg Pinelo (@gregpinelo) February 26, 2020
so everyone complains that the debates are boring when the candidates go back and forth on substance and then everyone complains that it's chaos when the candidates go after each other
— Edward-Isaac Dovere (@IsaacDovere) February 26, 2020
Josh Marshall, at TPM:
… Especially on the first hour it felt like all the contenders finally understood the true terms of the contest and had been given one last two hour chance to level the attacks they wished they’d starting leveling three months ago. The mix of antic questions and desperate attacks made it feel like two hours packed with chaos and bad energy.
Debates only matter inasmuch as they affect the outcome of the race. The rest is just theater criticism about canned answers and yelling. The big question in this primary battle is whether Bernie Sanders builds on his momentum coming out of the first three contests and goes on to a string of victories in Super Tuesday which make it hard for any other candidate to overtake him….
We can talk about who did well, who had what strategy, who should get votes. But this seems like the one operative question, which of these two scenarios happens: Sanders building on his momentum and moving into a dominating lead or Biden using a South Carolina win to check Sanders’ drive and shift the contest to something like a two or three person race.
On those terms I think Biden had about as good a night as he could have hoped for. He himself had a strong debate. But it was more the other things that happened – mainly, Elizabeth Warren continuing to savage Mike Bloomberg; everyone else beating up on Sanders; and Tom Steyer giving a mainly anemic performance. (Steyer may seem like an irrelevancy but he’s actually Biden’s biggest problem in South Carolina.)
Even though it’s usually hyperbole, the next seven days do seem critical for the whole contest.
Things are unlikely to change much before Saturday’s South Carolina primary… although I personally think the Social-Security-eligible candidates should take this opportunity to announce their VP picks, because if Goddess forbid something should happen between now and November (worse: January), I for one would like to know whether it would be Kamala Harris, Julian Castro, or Tulsi Gabbard picking up the fallen torch.