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Best Tweets Of The Second Democratic Primary Debate

Some candidates were blasts from the past, others a hint of the future, and a few provoked millions across America to ask ‘Who the heck is that?’


The second night of the first round of Democratic debates was more raucous than the first as the heavy-hitting candidates near the top of the polls gathered with a few oddballs to hash out the issues of the day. Some candidates were blasts from the past, others a hint of the future, and a few provoked millions across America to ask “Who the heck is that?”

We collected the best takes and one-liners from Twitter to sum up the evening.

Part One: It Begins

At center-stage were the two frontrunners, septuagenarians Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.

Sanders took the first question, about the cost of all the spending he proposed.

Biden was next asked about his comments to a room of rich donors, in which he said that “nothing would change” if he were elected.

Senator Kamala Harris started in with her plans, while attacking the current administration.

The candidates continued with individualized questions in descending order of recognizably.

John Hickenlooper of Colorado:

Kirsten Gillibrand of New York:

Michael Bennet of … also Colorado?

Pete Buttigieg of Indiana:

Eric Swalwell, from California, again:

Andrew Yang, from podcasts:

Before they could go much further, Swalwell decided to take a swing at the biggest guy in the yard on the first day, telling Biden he was too old to be president.

Chaos ensued, and not for the last time. Biden pointedly refused to “pass the torch,” while Bernie, the oldest men on stage, defended his fellow representative of the Silent Generation. Everyone yelled for a while.

Harris jumped in with a totally spontaneous and not pre-written zinger.

Back on track, Harris reminded the audience that everything is bad.

Part Two: Fixing Obamacare

Next, the candidates discussed how bad the health-care situation is in America and wonder why no one had tried to fix it yet. The night’s first show-of-hands question: who would outlaw private insurance. There were a few, including Harris, in her second or third flip-flop on the question.

Bernie yelled glowingly about our neighbor to the north.

The moderators finally remembered the tenth candidate on stage, Marianne Williamson of … I don’t know, wherever Gwyneth Paltrow lives.

Finally they found her. Her views on health care were inchoate.

The health-care debate went on for a while, with most candidates agreeing that Obamacare was good, but also that it didn’t work and everyone was poor and dying. One more hand-raising exercise confirmed that all ten would allow illegal immigrants to get health care paid for by American taxpayers.

Part Three: Open Borders

On immigration, all of the candidates opposed the president’s current policies, and all agreed that they would decriminalize illegal entry to the United States and not deport anyone unless he committed some other, more serious crime.

After a brief diversion into tariffs—they’re against ’em—there was a break for some commercials from all those evil corporations.

Part Four: Elder Abuse

The debate had begun as a melee, but Kamala Harris wanted a duel with the man at the top of the polls: Diamond Joe Biden. Gone was the lovable caricature from Onion articles; Harris painted Biden as the second coming of Jefferson Davis.

Biden reeled, but was not unprepared, contrasting his fight for the little guy as a public defender with Harris’s long career of putting poor people in jail as a prosecutor.

His defense was a little shaky:

But he stopped the bleeding.

Part Five: Final Thoughts

The moderators rushed through some of the Democratic Party’s greatest hits before ending. Number one: abortion.

Some took the occasion, like hyenas, to attack a weakened lion.

Harris, encouraged by the groundlings, ranted on some more.

Moderator Chuck Todd asked each candidate to name in just one or two words the first policies they would work on as president. Everyone ignored the “one or two words” part.

Then, they turned to guns, starting with Swalwell, who has made firearm confiscation his single issue, while still remaining incoherent on the point.

Others’ positions varied slightly, but rest assured, none conform to the Second Amendment.

The moderaters asked which country the candidates would most like to repair relations with. Most, naturally named more than one country. Some named several continents. Buttigieg was more circumspect.

All of the back-and-forth must have gotten people interested. I wonder which candidate they googled the most?

Really? Huh. But maybe Williamson is the candidate we’ve been searching for all along.