I happened to turn on the Democratic debates right at half time. The CNN commentators lamented about how peaceful everyone was and how little the candidates attacked each other in the first half.

Apparently, I missed nothing.

The peace soon ended with Senator Elizabeth Warren attacking Mayor Pete Buttigieg over wine cave fundraisers. She accused Pete of going after high net wealth donors.

He responded with an attack on her purity tests.

Wine Caves vs Purity Tests

Popcorn Rating

I rate the above exchange as 4.5 bowls out of 5.

It was well worth watching.

By their "oohs", the audience seemed to agree.

Who Won?

The big winner, as I see it, was popcorn growers. More people will tune in for the entertainment with exchanges like those.

More seriously, Mayor Pete made Warren look like a two-faced hypocrite.


Amy Klobuchar then blasted the both of them for bickering with each other for an exchange rating of 3.0 popcorn bowls.

Klobuchar had a good night, especially given her position as second from the end. The moderators almost totally avoided the candidates at the end podiums, Andrew Yang and billionaire activist Tom Steyer.

Biden left me scratching my head with some lame answers. Then again, he seems to be running a "say as little as possible" campaign hoping not to stick a foot in his mouth.

That is what Boris Johnson did in the recent UK election, even to the point of not showing up for some debates.

Biden also got to speak last and for the first time all night, at least in these eyes, delivered a sincere 60 seconds without fumbling, but also without much emotion.

For that performance, Biden gets a popcorn rating of 2.5 bowls. If he had any emotion in his delivery, I would have upped the rating to 3.0 bowls. Otherwise, he was truly boring all evening except for one inspirational moment when he butted in on Medicare, challenging Warren on what it would cost.

“I'm the only guy who has not interrupted. I'm going to interrupt now. It cost $30 trillion. Let's get that straight: $30 trillion over 10 years. Some say it costs $20 trillion.”

Popcorn rating: 3.5 bowls out of 5.

With that, I suspect Biden did the most of any of the candidates to help himself.

The bar for Biden was 2.0 bowls out of five. Overall, I will give him a second-half 2.8 bowl rating but with a couple of good moments vs the expected 0-1 good moments.

When the bar is set low enough, even Biden might be able to hop over it. This time he managed, easily.

Poll: Who Lost?

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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