Joe Biden has a rough history of being a Presidential candidate.
Last night was no different.
The Night-2 debate stage was, by all accounts, the main show. The 10-candidate panel included Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, Kirsten Gillibrand, and Pete Buttigieg. Really, they are the party’s heaviest hitters, not including Elizabeth Warren.
The debate did not disappoint. Well, not anyone who isn’t pulling for Biden, anyway.
“I am a gaffe machine,” Biden admitted earlier this year. It’s true, and they reach all the way back to his first campaigns.
This year, he accidentally let it slip that he was going to run for president. In 2008, he asked a paraplegic – Chuck Graham – to stand up for applause. Again in 2008, he referred to “jobs” as a “three-letter word.”
However, not all of Joe Biden’s gaffes have been innocent and endearing. In 2007, Biden was slammed for the way he inappropriately referenced then-Senator Barack Obama.
A Good Start
While Biden was immediately challenged by the moderators, he started off strong. Even as Representative Eric Swalwell (D-CA) jabbed at Biden, he didn’t sway. As Swalwell used his words about “passing the torch” against him, Biden used the new time to reach out to voters.
Biden received his second direct question well, reinforcing support and expansion of Obamacare. Biden made it clear that he opposed his fellow ca candidates who support Medicare for All.
After being subtly forced into a challenge with Bernie Sanders on the healthcare debate, direct challenges arose.
Poor Second Half
Enter Kamala Harris.
Following a heated discussion about race relations in South Bend, Senator Harris commanded time to speak on race. After speaking to her personal experience, she turned to the former Vice President.
“And I’m also going to say that, in this campaign, we’ve also heard – and I’m going to now direct this at Vice President Biden – I do not believe that you are a racist, and I agree with you when you commit yourself to the importance of finding common ground.”
“But I also believe – and it’s personal, and – it was actually very, it was hurtful to hear you talk about the reputations of two United States Senators who built their reputations and career on segregation of race in this country.”
While Senator Harris was only given 30 seconds to interject on this important issue, the entire room was silent in reverence to her speech.
“And, it was not only that, but you also worked with them to oppose busing.”
Kamala Harris referred to a situation in 1975, when Joe Biden opposed the busing of black children to integrated schools.
This challenge was the first devastating blow Biden received. And Senator Harris delivered it over the course of 2 minutes of air time.
Biden fought back, citing his civil rights record. But Kamala Harris wasn’t buying. She challenged him on not enforcing the Civil Rights Act through the federal government when states failed to comply.
At this point, Sanders, Swallwell, and Harris all challenged the former Vice President.
Moderator Chuck Todd even sniped at Biden, asking Senator Michael Bennett if electing a Democratic President would result in gridlock “magically” disappearing.
Bennett hammered Biden on his track record on bipartisanship, and claimed Biden’s tax negotiations was a win for the Tea Party.
Sanders hammered Biden on voting for the Iraq war that Sanders voted against. Buttigieg rebuked Biden’s response that the NRA wasn’t the enemy, and said the NRA was working with them.
Post-debate polling looks bleak for the Democrats’ favored candidate. One poll by MSN shows that only 8% of viewers thought Biden won the debate. Kamala Harris had three-times the support.
Another article has Joe Biden listed unfavorably among the winners and losers of debate night.
Steve Kornaki, political analyst for MSNBC, raised questions about Biden’s performance.
After a poor showing on the debate stage, it seems that the former Vice President’s front-runner status may be in trouble.