12 Democratic candidates for president gathered on stage at Otterbein University on Tuesday, Oct. 15 in Westerville, Ohio. This was the first debate following Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi announcement of an impeachment inquiry into President Trump.
Former vice president Joe Biden — the topic of the Ukraine call that forced Pelosi to mount the inquiry against President Trump — was asked just a couple of questions about the Ukraine call and how it involved Biden’s son Hunter Biden, who was on the board of the private Ukraine gas company at the time. Biden, responded that he did nothing wrong and that his son did nothing wrong.
Because of the timing of the debate in the heat of the ongoing investigation of Trump, political strategists were hoping to see Biden go under fire from other candidates, but that is not what happened.
The attention of the audience and the candidates was focused on Sen. Elizabeth Warren. Tuesday night, Warren seemed to struggle under the pressure, but her resilience is what still made her a possible winner of Tuesday’s debate.
Like Warren, Sen. Bernie Sanders knows how to put up a fight. After being rushed to the hospital for a heart attack recently, Sanders came into the debate like he had never left the race. As there have been some hateful comments about Sander’s well-being and his demeanor as a presidential candidate, Sanders had to make a comeback in a way that told everyone he was not going anywhere. During the debate, he also made jokes with fellow candidates, which was a change from his usual fiery retorts.
Julián Castro and Rep. Tulsi Gabbard made points when agreeing with Andrew Yang’s stance on solving the automation on jobs. Yang made a point to say that he wanted to supply every American with $1,000 per month to solve the lost jobs. Castro later tweeted more in support by presenting information about a Universal Basic Income program.
Amy Klobuchar made a point to put Warren under pressure by referring to her Medicare-for-all stances and how that could tax the middle class with higher taxes. Coming straight for Warren’s words, Klobuchar said Warren is “making Republican talking points” in regards to hulting private insurance. Mayor Pete Buttigeig spoke against Warren for the same reason as Buttigeig also tried to hold Warren accountable for her stance on Medicare-for-all.
Warren, being attacked from all sides, also heard retorts from former Texas representative Beto O’Rourke who accused her of having tax policies as a form of punishment. This caused Warren to hold her ground and fire back about how the wealthy owe the country more than what they have been giving it. Sen. Kamala D. Harris followed other candidates by throwing questions at Warren on why she did not hold Trump accountable for his Twitter. Warren derailed the question and moved on to talking about campaign finance reform.
Cory Booker kept on keeping on. Booker, with his captivating and treasured speeches, took the stage in a way where all eyes are on him once he starts speaking. Some do not know what to think of his delivery of speeches, but from Tuesday’s debate, he seemed to fire off the jokes everyone has been thinking. But again, these debates are not just for witty and insulting jokes about Trump.
Tom Steyer, the lone wolf out of the candidates did not make that much of a lasting impression. He tried to make certain jokes and fiery comebacks, but they did not have the effective range as the other candidates did. Steyer looked comfortable with his fellow candidates, but he could have a hard time making it to the next debate in November.
This debate was the biggest democratic debate in history. Warren still needs to give clarification on her Medicare-for-all stance as it does not seem to uphold well for private insurance. Harris needs to stray away from Trump’s ranting tweets and focus on the bigger issues. Mayor Buttigeig was successful in the direct attacks on his fellow candidates, but O’Rourke was not affected by Buttigeig’s accusations of O’Rourke being shallow about his stance on gun rights. In fact, he threw one right back at Buttigeig showing his resiliiance and loyalty to his ideas on gun rights.
The country will have to wait till the next debate in November to see who else, other than Sanders who was endorsed by Congresswomen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar, will be taking the lead in their campaign.