Would last night’s Democratic debate feel any different if the candidates’ suits were replaced with cardigans and their podiums traded in for recliners? Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders spent the debate bickering about who said what and nit-picking each others’ voting records from decades ago.
The evening was reminiscent of the 1993 comedy, “Grumpy Old Men,” the pair pointlessly sparred for two hours, but without the humor or charm of Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon. And instead of fighting for the affection of Ann-Margret, they seek the future of the country.
Since Sunday was the 11th debate of the campaign, there is nothing new to propose or debate for Joe and Bernie, causing a fatiguing repetitiveness to the substance, or lack thereof, of the discussions. Between the one-on-one format and lack of studio audience due to coronavirus concerns, it lacked any theatricality that could make up for the dearth of originality.
Between mistaking the names of diseases and over-rehearsed one-liners, the pair drudged through two hours, leaving the unfortunate few watching from home to hope either for the debate’s swift end or for a sharper writer to take over. Rather than a substantive discussion on which candidate was more qualified to become the Democratic nominee for the highest office in the land, the debate felt more like outtakes of a hypothetical “Grumpiest Old Men” left on the cutting room floor, for good reason.