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Who won the first Democratic debate? 4 people who weren’t in it

Who won the first Democratic debate? 4 people who weren’t in it
[Photos: Flickr user Gage Skidmore (Warren); Flickr user Lorie Shaull (Klobuchar); United States Congress/Wikimedia Commons (Gabbard); Flickr user Kevin Case (de Blasio); Flickr user Gage Skidmore (Booker); Flickr user Gage Skidmore (O’Rourke)]

The first debate of the 2020 presidential election suffered from a fatal design flaw: There were too many candidates.

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While the 10 Democrats vying for attention managed to squeeze in a few good statements about healthcare, immigration, gun violence, and other pressing issues, the cluttered format simply did not lend itself to, well, an actual debate. Much of the event was made up of sound bites, platitudes, and overly rehearsed talking points. It’s not really the fault of the candidates—it was a bad format.

That said, the voices that really broke through during the first Democratic debate weren’t actually participating in it. The art of counter programming counts for a lot nowadays, and these four non-participants seemed to get that:

Kamala Harris:

During a segment about the gender pay gap, the senator from California, who will participate in tomorrow’s debate, came out with this tweet:

Bernie Sanders:

The senator from Vermont, who is also participating in tomorrow’s debate, sent an email to his supporters during the debates, informing them that he was raising many of the issues being discussed tonight before it was cool. Touché, Bernie:

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez:

What can we say? She knows how to do Twitter:

Donald Trump:

It pains me to admit this, but he’s not wrong:

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