By: Chris Hedgpeth
Everything is bigger in Texas. Except the pool of candidates in the third Democratic presidential debate. Instead of another two night affair involving 20 people, the debate at Texas Southern University was over in three hours and featured a scant 10 candidates. Conspicuously absent were Tulsi Gabbard and Marianne Williamson, both of whom met the 130,000 unique donor threshold but did not qualify for the debate due to the Democratic National Committee’s cryptic rules about polling.
Here are the candidates, in the order they were introduced during the debate, with brief summaries of their performances:
Though he spent a bit too much time focusing on Joe Biden, Julian Castro brought up some important issues, like the need for intervention in Central America as a method to fix the border crisis, and how the persistence of segregation is affecting our school systems.
While demonstrating how folksy a person can be, Amy Klobuchar used her relatively conservative positions on health insurance and gun control to sell her appeal to center and right leaning voters.
Beto O’Rourke took a lot of bold stances during the debate, discussing a mandatory buyback of military style weapons, a call for reparations for slavery, and a progressive environmental policy plan, including a pre-disaster relief fund for areas affected by climate change.
His documentary may have lost to “dag nab” penguins, but that didn’t stop Cory Booker from addressing the affects of factory farming on our environment and the many ways systemic racism is holding America back.
Andrew Yang took a strong stance in favor of immigrants, and as usual, made his argument that money is power and Americans need to be empowered in the form of a $1000 per month universal basic income. He also decried standardized testing and our poor treatment of teachers.
Continuing from Yang’s section, Pete Buttigieg advocated for us to “respect teachers like soliders and pay them like doctors”. He also said the only way to end systemic racism is to systemically dismantle it.
From her opening statement, Kamala Harris spent entirely too much time talking to and about Donald Trump. Despite her strange behavior, she managed a gem with her line about exporting American products instead of American jobs.
Through a hoarse voice, Bernie Sanders aggressively defended his Medicare for All policy against Joe Biden. He also distanced himself from Biden by saying he never believed Dick Cheney in the lead up to the war in Iraq.
Continuing Klobuchar’s folksy banter, Elizabeth Warren avoided talking about the cost of Medicare for All, but made an excellent point about how nobody likes their insurance companies. Her emphasis on foreign labor standards was refreshing.
Poll front-runner Joe Biden scoffed at a question about segregation, ranted about how children need a record player on at night, and accidentally called Bernie Sanders president.