Election season is heating up, with the first half of the second round of Democratic debates under our belts. The debate, airing on CNN on July 30 and 31, features twenty total candidates. Hosted by CNN personalities Dana Bash, Don Lemon, and Jake Tapper, the first ten candidates took the stage.

In no particular order, here’s a round-up of each candidate’s highlights, zingers, or flops from tonight.

Senator Elizabeth Warren

Senator Warren came out swinging with a strong attack on the president and a call for “big structural change.” She said that she was ready to fight big business, and she continued to stake her campaign on this promise throughout the night. 

Author Marianne Williamson

“I hope you’ll come back to me next time.”

Marianne Williamson, as now seems to be her trademark, ensured that she was not forgotten in the little time she was allotted to speak. She spoke passionately against President Trump, and her words resonated with the crowd. She earned a hearty applause for her words about the crisis in Flint, Michigan, in which she insisted that this problem was far bigger than Flint. Her words, however, did raise some eyebrows when she attributed this problem to a “dark psychic force” of hatred wielded by the president.

Senator Bernie Sanders

The first question of the night was directed toward Senator Sanders, focusing on his healthcare plan. His “Medicare for All” policy would require that all Americans rely on government-provided healthcare, and he firmly stood against all candidates who advocated for anything less. He did not tone down his rhetoric throughout the evening, continuing to present far-left policies like free college. Both of these aforementioned policies would extend to illegal immigrants under a Sanders administration.

Former Congressman Beto O’Rourke

Former Congressman O’Rourke failed to do exactly what pundits had expressed his need to do: make an impression. O’Rourke fell flat. His appeal for the Democratic Party to view Texas as a battleground state was met with crickets. His most notable line, and idea most favored by the audience, was his stance on reparations for slavery.

Congressman Tim Ryan

Congressman Ryan advocated for more manufacturing of products in the United States, under the direction of a new government position: Chief Manufacturing Officer. This new position was also part of his proposal for dealing with China.

Governor Steve Bullock

Governor Bullock was not afforded many opportunities to make the case for his candidacy. Bullock gave a passionate appeal for gun control, recalling the loss of his nephew to gun violence, in the brief time he was allotted,

Senator Amy Klobuchar

“Let’s get real.”

This was Senator Klobuchar’s dependably robotic opening line. She continued to provide manufactured-for-television quotes throughout the night, though did stir some excitement for her firm words against the NRA. This was her most notable moment, and she will need to channel that same attitude to earn attention in an increasingly loud field of extremist voices.

Mayor Pete Buttigieg

Buttigieg, a once thought to be moderate candidate, sided with Senator Warren in calling for “structural change” to the country. While his healthcare plan, which he calls “Medicare for All Who Want It”, does not go as far as Warren’s plan, he did express his desire to eliminate the electoral college. Buttigieg had an opportunity to appeal to moderates and disillusioned Republicans who saw him as a voice of reason. He chose against it. Other candidates, however, seem to be taking his place.

Former Congressman John Delaney

Former Congressman Delaney took a stand against the leading two candidates, Senators Sanders and Warren, in his healthcare proposal. Appealing as a moderate on the issue, Delaney promised to run on “real solutions” rather than fantastical ideas. While his plans certainly cater to the left’s dreams of universal healthcare and the like, he advocated for realistic Democratic ideas.

Former Governor John Hickenlooper

Hickenlooper railed against his fellow candidates for embracing socialism. He called out the impracticality of far-left healthcare and climate change plans, siding with moderate leftists like Delaney. Those words, certainly welcome to the viewers who sit closer to the center of the political aisle, seemed to fall on deaf ears to a crowd that came off as sympathetic to extremist stances.

All in all, it was a fiery night on the Detroit debate stage. It was filled with plenty of attacks from candidates against each other, and candidates against President Trump.

There was a clear distinction between the moderates, like Delaney and Hickenlooper, and extremists, like Sanders and Warren. The crowd seemed to favor the extremists.

We anticipate an interesting evening on Wednesday July 31, with Former Vice President Joe Biden, Senator Kamala Harris, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Governor Jay Inslee, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, Senator Michael Bennet, Senator Cory Booker, entrepreneur Andrew Yang, and former member of the Obama administration Julián Castro. It will air on CNN at 8 p.m. ET.

Liana I.
FFL Cabinet
Liana is a follower of Christ and current communications student at Fairleigh Dickinson University. She enjoys writing, reading, and serving others.

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