By Brendan Burke, Copy Editor
This week, the Prospector will be starting an all new recurring column titled “Prospector Political Publish.” This is going to be a column where one of our writers will be sharing their opinions and informing readers on weekly political issues and including helpful links from the professional news media. These columns are set to be published every Friday.
For our first Prospector Political Publish, I will be discussing who I believe were the winners and losers of the fourth Democratic presidential debate this week. You can read the full debate transcript here. After a long two and a half hours, the 12 candidates covered topics like health care, gun control and impeachment. Without further ado, these are the candidates who I believed stood out as the big winners and losers.
Winner #1: Elizabeth Warren
Despite receiving major backlash for not directly answering how she planned to pay for Medicare for all (see a CNBC columnist’s opinion on her performance here), the Massachusetts senator was able to show her strong debating skills by never turning down a question and being sure to stick to what she knows. Instead of avoiding questions or making up answers like a typical candidate would, Warren stuck to what she knew and answered the questions to the best of her ability, like all nominees should.
Also, the fact that Warren was able to survive after being targeted by seven different nominees proves that she is now being seen as the top running candidate by the others. She is still tied with former Vice President Joe Biden in the polls, but the fellow nominees are now seeing Warren as the serious front runner. On top of the fire she took from all sides, Warren also received the most speaking time out of any other candidate at a total of 22 minutes and 47 seconds.
Winner #2: Bernie Sanders
The Vermont senator is not known to be one with phenomenal debate skills due to being too aggressive and not being able to respond to questions in a proper manner. In the July debate, Sanders received much backlash from candidates for failing to see the errors with Medicare for all and refusing that it had issues by saying “I wrote the damn bill.” However, Tuesday night’s debate proved hopeful to Sanders after being able to quickly recover from a heart attack that he recently suffered.
After being able to receive support for openly stating that taxes will go up for the middle class under Medicare for all, Sanders was able to be held comparable to top runner Warren. Because of this performance well done, Sanders has since been endorsed by U.S. representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar. Sanders has been having a great few weeks that could prove helpful for his campaign and get him out of third place; this was entirely done with only 13 minutes and four seconds of speaking time.
Loser #1: Joe Biden
The former Vice President has never been known to be strong at debates. After barely surviving the first three debates after being attacked and not being able to refute, Biden returned with a new top runner in his place to take all of the heat off of him. However, this just proved worse for Biden as he was constantly messing up simple talking points and not being able to properly defend himself. Instead of saying “exponentially” he said “expidentally,” he managed to mix up Iraq with Afghanistan once again (read more about the original mixup here) and he is not saying the same thing as his son when it comes to Hunter Biden’s business in Ukraine.
It is embarrassing that he had the second most amount of speaking time at 16 minutes and 39 seconds and was not able to have a strong debate. On top of it all, this debate proved that Biden is no longer being seen as the legitimate top running candidate and puts him at second place, despite being tied with Warren in the polls.
Loser #2: Tom Steyer
Steyer, the billionaire hedge funder that is being attacked for “buying” himself a spot in the election (read more about him here), proved that he is nowhere near being ready to be the president. Not only did he avoid giving a reason for President Donald Trump’s impeachment, Steyer’s most prominent issue, he also had the shortest amount of speaking time at only seven minutes and 13 seconds. Steyer was giving vague answers to questions with little research and was just piggybacking off of other candidate’s answers.
After watching the debate in its entirety, I can safely say that Steyer gave an embarrassing performance after not qualifying for the third debate and is lacking the legitimacy he needs to improve his campaign. However, we will see Steyer in the fifth Democratic debate next month after being one of eight candidates to qualify so far. The nominees are right to say that he is buying the election and he will need a miracle to survive in this race.
I hope you all enjoyed the first week of Prospector Political Publish. In the future I will be discussing topics such as climate change, gun control, health care, reproductive rights and much more. Read Issue #3 of the Prospector being released on Friday, Nov. 1 to see more of my political opinions in a column about the impeachment inquiry against Trump.