By Dave Andrusko
And then there were six…
For tonight’s Democrat debate, only six candidates (all resolutely pro-abortion) met the requirements established by the Democratic National Committee to participate in the final debate prior to Iowa’s first in the nation February 3 caucuses.
Those six are former Vice President Joe Biden, Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Amy Klobuchar, South Bend Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and billionaire investor Tom Steyer.
Of course, everyone is offering suggestions what to look for. As in, for example, how tense will it become when a questioner from the Des Moines Register or CNN asks Sanders if he really told Warren in a private conversation in 2018 that a woman could not win the presidency?
Sanders vehemently denied the charge–first reported by CNN–and (as the Washington Post put it) Warren issued a statement “saying that in the conversation, ‘I thought a woman could win; he disagreed.’”
As the New York Times reported, “The story has injected a fresh layer of uncertainty and risk into the Democratic primary: Voters have so far recoiled from intraparty warfare, worried that such combat takes the focus away from defeating President Trump.” But the temptation to try to make hay by trashing Sanders may prove irresistible to Warren whose poll numbers have been dropping.
The more interesting question is how—and to what extent–the other five go after Biden who is enjoying relative success in recent polls– in Iowa (except for the most recent Des Moines Register poll), New Hampshire (where primaries will be held February 11) Nevada (February 22, caucuses ), and South Carolina (February 29, caucuses).
Biden’s debate performances have fluctuated wildly but his chief nemeses in prior debates have dropped out. Will one of the five decide enough with the free ride and take up the gauntlet previously wielded by Sens. Kamala Harris and Cory Booker?
And then there is the idea that Buttigieg (like Biden) is a “moderate” and positioned to possibly win in Iowa and New Hampshire, or, at a minimum, do well. Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne Jr. argued
This will continue to make him a target of both Warren and Klobuchar, but he must also prevent hemorrhaging some of his votes to fellow moderate Biden. This could lead to a spirited generational conflict between the youngest and second-oldest candidates onstage.
From our single issue perspective, will the abortion issue come up? Probably, but on the off-chance it is not raised by Wolf Blitzer or Abby Phillip of CNN or The Register’s chief politics reporter, Brianne Pfannenstiel, one of the candidates will no doubt attempt to polish her or his credentials with NARAL Pro-Choice America and Planned Parenthood.
On our issue, the Democrat field has no “moderates” on abortion. They walk hand-in-hand with the Abortion Establishment.
If you have time, check out the debate tonight.