The first debate of the 2020 presidential election suffered from a fatal design flaw: There were too many candidates.
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:
During a segment about the gender pay gap, the senator from California, who will participate in tomorrow’s debate, came out with this tweet:
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) June 27, 2019
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:
.@BernieSanders makes his way into tonight’s debate, emailing supporters: “It’s a debate on the issues Bernie popularized — the issues people called “too radical” and “fringe” for a long, long time” pic.twitter.com/DBcbhMYgFN
— Hanna Trudo (@HCTrudo) June 27, 2019
What can we say? She knows how to do Twitter:
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 27, 2019
It pains me to admit this, but he’s not wrong:
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 27, 2019