The stage is set. It is shimmering. Getting a preview now. #11Alive @MSNBC pic.twitter.com/z21enh1PGW— Jon Shirek (@JonShirek) November 19, 2019
No longer is there a clear front-runner. The fight for African American voters is raging. And there are growing concerns that impeachment may become a distraction from the primary. Those issues and more will play out Wednesday night when the Democratic Party’s top 10 face off in Atlanta just 75 days before primary voting begins.
I'll narrow the seven questions that the AP poses down to these four that I'll be listening for the answers to:
-- Who gets bashed besides Mayo Pete for lying about his non-existent black support, the billionaires in the race (and not), and Medicare for All by the shitty centrists? Barack Obama perhaps?
(Obama), the most popular Democrat in America, inserted himself into the 2020 primary in recent days by warning candidates against moving too far to the left. His comments create a challenge for Warren and Sanders and an opening for moderates Buttigieg, Biden and Amy Klobuchar to attack. At the same time, Obama’s involvement offers a powerful reminder of the massive role African Americans will play in the presidential nomination process. As we know, all candidates not named Biden have serious work to do when it comes to winning over the black vote. Race and Obama’s legacy could play a major role in shaping the action.
-- Impeachment, baby?
(I)t’s noteworthy that five of the 10 Democrats onstage will serve as jurors in the Senate impeachment trial should the House vote to impeach President Donald Trump. It’s a complicated topic for Democrats. Some senators worry that a prospective impeachment trial will interfere with their ability to court voters early next year. Others fear that impeachment could hurt their party’s more vulnerable candidates in down-ballot elections next year. Either way, what the prospective jurors do or don’t say on the debate stage could be relevant if and when the Senate holds an impeachment trial, which is increasingly likely.
Bet heavily on Mitch McConnell fucking with the impeachment trial once he gets his hands on it. It's what he does. That's a concern for next year, though.
-- Does Warren have a better plan for avoiding the scalding she got on funding her (Bernie's) healthcare plan, aka M4A, than she did in the fourth debate?
No single issue has dominated the initial Democratic primary debates more than health care, and it’s safe to assume that will be the case again Wednesday night. And no one has more riding on that specific debate than Warren, who hurt herself last month by stumbling through questions about the cost of her single-payer health care plan. Given that policy specifics make up the backbone of her candidacy, she can’t afford another underwhelming performance on the defining policy debate of the primary season. Expect the policy-minded senator to have a new strategy this time around.
-- Can one of the trailers bust out?
New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, and businessmen Andrew Yang and Tom Steyer are under enormous pressure to break out given their status as the only candidates onstage who haven’t yet qualified for the December debate. They likely won’t have the same number of opportunities to speak as their higher-polling rivals, but these are dire times for the underdogs. They need to do something if they expect to stay relevant in the 2020 conversation.
I am counting on a killshot from Major Gabbard at one or more of the crappy neoliberals. It's a target-rich environment.
Tweeting tonight during, and a post tomorrow with as little spinning as can be found.