Potential Tulsi Breakthrough

As has been noted in another essay, Tulsi will appear in the first night of Democratic debates with a fairly bland array of debate opponents.

The only relative heavyweight in the first debate night will be Elizabeth Warren. Speculation from another essay on this site says that this is an effort to shine a light on a sheepdog candidate--which might very well be true.

However, this is a potential breakthrough opportunity for Tulsi. If she can upstage Warren or out-debate her, there is nobody else on stage who will likely be able to best Tulsi. This has potential to make her the runaway winner of the first night of debate.

I actually take a different view on what is probably happening behind the scenes. I believe the Democratic establishment has set up the first night to minimize both Tulsi and Warren. While Warren may be a sheepdog, I'm under the impression that she's saying too many left-leaning things and the establishment does not want Warren to win. Bankers sure as hell don't want her as president at the very least. Also, mainstream media like the NYT is already trying to push people away from watching the first debate night and instead focus on the second night. That's not something that would promote Warren as a sheepdog candidate.

O'Rourke can barely string sensible sentences together. Booker has a better pitch, but his policies are crap. Klobuchar is pretty much a full-on Republican. Everyone else on the first night has zero name recognition and polls below Tulsi.

Whichever theory of Warren is closer to reality, I think the Democratic establishment may have made a mistake. This debate is likely to come down to Tusli and Warren, and whoever can dominate will win the first night (and they will have social media polling going live throughout the entire thing).

If Tulsi wins the first night, that could boost her popularity immensely. Who knows, they might need to include her against the winner of the second night for the second round of debates.

I kind of like the potential here to shake things up . . .

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Alligator Ed's picture

Warren isn't a sheepdog but she will be a terrible candidate.; Once the "Pocahontas" theme gets unleashed, Warren is on the defensive. If Tulsi is as anti-Muslim as several on this site claim she is, some lesser candidate will attack her. But Tulsi has already revealed her modified views with her speech which was essentially "I've evolved".

The Dems are wary of hard infighting by rivals. They don't want to give Republicans ammunition. Not to worry, the Dems will self-destruct. I'd like to hear the programs of the Camel, Spartacus, and Smellwell. These utterances will masterpieces of word salad.

Expect lots of deflection and a blinding bonanza of bullshit and lies. Lies, damn lies, and even more lies. If I had a TV, I would watch. But i8f I had a TV and if I had a gun, I might, just as Elvis did, shoot the TV in order to stop the painful spectacle.

The first two debates have the potential to be the funniest shows of the season, but get a clothespin for your noses.

I am shocked the DNC gives Tulsi the right of first impression. She is a good debater. Wanna bet the Madcow throws a Russia dun it question at her; in the same manner as the flying saucer question was dropped on Kucinich in an earlier era debate.

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@Alligator Ed

But if there is one thing I've noticed, Tulsi has easy answered all accusations thrown at her and come away looking pretty good.

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@apenultimate as a cucumber.

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dfarrah

Shahryar's picture

2 hours, from 9 to 11 eastern time, 6 to 8 pacific...3 to 5 Hawaiian time.

assume five minutes of introductions, ground rules, opening statements and so on, that's 115 minutes left. Then there are commercials. So let's say it's typical TV and they use 15 minutes per hour for those. That leaves 85 minutes for this "debate".

Assume each question takes 30 seconds to ask and a minute allowed for an answer. This gives us somewhere between 55 and 60 speaking opportunities of one minute. We've seen previous "debates" where the favored candidates get the most time. As in "Secretary Clinton, what about this?" "Senator Obama, what is your reaction?" Secretary Clinton, how would you respond to that reaction?", back and forth and eventually, well into the hour, "Secretary Richardson, what about something else?" and then "Secretary Clinton, what do you think of what Secretary Richardson just said?", followed by Obama butting in with "just let me say this about that, and I don't make this assertion lightly....", and then there'd be one question for Dennis Kucinich, a really weird question that has little to do with anything important.

Well, with 10 candidates we're looking at 5 to 6 minutes of speaking time each if it were evenly divided. But I think we know that it'll be slanted in favor of certain candidates.

I look for Elizabeth Warren to get 12 minutes of a possible 85, Cory Booker and Beto O'Rourke to get 10 each, Amy Klobuchar and, because he's from New York City, Bill deBlasio to get about 8 each. That's 48 minutes. Some of that time will be responding to whatever one of them said so we'll say it's 16 questions or another 8 minutes. Now we're down to 29 minutes to be divided among the other 5, including Tulsi. I'm calculating that's 3 questions for her and the other four.

And who knows what kind of cockamamie questions they'll ask! Here's what I'm finding about the 2007-8 debates:

The debate kicked off with a series of questions from voters that moderator Anderson Cooper described as "not making the cut."

They included a questioner dressed in a Viking outfit, a 5-year-old posing a question about Social Security and a man in a chicken costume.

so it's possible that they'll waste a bunch of time, too.

So she'll have her opening statement, a closing statement and maybe 3 to 5 minutes in between. That's going to make it hard to make a big impression.

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@Shahryar
for them to have the pretense of a debate while not allowing any actual debate.

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@Shahryar
health care proposal. Now, Representative Kucinich ... can you explain how a kooky little hobbit like yourself managed to score such a hot babe for a wife?"

The inanity of these debates is excruciating to sit through. Nonetheless, my hope is that if people just get 5 or 6 minutes of TG while they're paying attention, she will rise sharply in their estimation. I know that's all it took for me -- probably only 2 or 3 minutes, actually. I don't mean that in 2 or 3 minutes, she persuaded me that she was "the" candidate -- I mean, she persuaded me that she was a serious person, about whom I wanted to learn more.

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01, a Boeing 757 (AA Flight 77) flew into the Pentagon.
If you can't accept these indisputable facts, I can't fake an interest in your opinions about anything else.

@Shahryar the typical tv amount of commercial time and frequency of comm'l breaks. Maybe a brief break at the half hour, slightly longer at the top of the hour. This is my recollection anyway. If not, if done like typical tv, there would be breaks every 5-6 minutes for 3 minutes of commercials. Crazy, and no semblance of a debate could be held.

Opening/closing statements? Blah blah blah, scripted platitudes and insincere pol jabber. They might get a 45 second opening, but not a closing; one or the other -- or this is how I would do it anyway. That tired, shopworn opening + closing format, if foisted upon the viewer, should be saved for 6 or fewer candidates, much later on in the primary process.

One other positive note: Although we are stuck with crazy conspiracy theorist Rachel "I Like to Talk Down to my Stupid Viewers" Maddow as one of the moderators, Msnbc spared us the inclusion of Motormouth Chris Matthews, which is interesting, refreshing and to be encouraged.

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@Shahryar
Just joint press conferences with different questions for different candidates.

can you imagine the Lincoln-Douglas debates being run like this?

"Mr. Douglas, please explain why you oppose ending slavery?"
Douglas gives half hour speech.
"Mr. Lincoln - is it true that your wife is crazy?"
Lincoln opens mouth, Douglas jumps in "His wife is crazy? All those Kentuckians are crazy!" Goes on about how Lincoln doesn't have a law degree. And then his whole stump speech.
Moderator" Sorry, Mr. Lincoln, we have to cut off that remark - you are out of time."

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@The Voice In the Wilderness definitely livelier in the old days of the League of Women Voters running it. The 3-4 reporter panelists got the chance to ask follow up Qs or go back to a previous Q which had resulted in a confusing or strange candidate response. These follow ups often produced awkward moments for the candidates. Which is one of the reasons why both parties, iirc, got together (the time frame I don't recall) to get rid of this 3d party LWV format and agree to take over managing the festivities, whereby they would have a major role in picking the networks and the moderator(s) and also the number of debates for the general. Safe corporate "bipartisan" softies like Tom Brokaw and Tim Russert were often chosen.

As for Lincoln-Douglas -- that's not a possibility with 10 candidates per night on the stage.

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@wokkamile
And could have had the same importance as Lincoln-Douglas.

10 candidates is a zoo. I'm not even watching. I figure important clips will be posted on you tube.

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Shahryar's picture

while trying to find out the length of each night's debate I came across a telling page, the Vanity Fair site, which chose to run huge pictures of: Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Joe Biden.

So the slant is already set. I think they'll feature Warren on night one and Biden on night two, with Harris getting a surprisingly large amount of air time despite her non-showing in the polls.

I'd say "we shall see" but I won't watch. Let me know what happens! That is, if you should watch 'em.

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Lookout's picture

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gwjlJ-sE2eM (19 min)

He suggests the corporate moderator (Chuck Todd) plans to favor the corporatists with softball questions and hit Tulsi with leading questions laced with smears.

I wish her the best. She is good on her feet.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

Bob In Portland's picture

The problem with dismissing out of hand any candidate as an undercover DNCer is that we live in a real world. Pete B. is a mayor. He's also a Naval intelligence officer who in his recent time in Afghanistan had the job of tracking funding for the Taliban. There are any number of possibilities for deception. Rebel forces have used the opium trade to finance its dealings, but then so has the CIA, time after time. Considering that the opium production in Afghanistan has skyrocketed since the US arrived, it's more likely that Buttigieg is deep within that deep lie. He's easy to spot.

There is more trouble with candidates who are anti-war. Many insist that Sanders, based on a wishy-washy record, was a stalking horse. And maybe all Democratic candidates at one level or another are corrupted. And maybe all Green Party candidates too. But I would like to remind the younger people here that in the sixties the Democratic Party was cleaned of its anti-war leaders, and though many average Democrats thought that their party was pro-worker and anti-war, seat by seat those elected to Congress were weeded out. In 2016 the DNC ran over fifty new candidates in the primaries who had connections with the deep state, including a lot of "former" state department and intelligence people. Are they all corrupted by state power? You bet.

But going back to what I wrote above, the party had been purged of its anti-war wing in the sixties. Purges happen periodically, and the Agency that was behind it is still in business and still representing its owners. For the uninitiated there is no connection between a President being gunned down in broad daylight in the World Capital of Oil in 1963 and the energy wars of the 21st Century. There is, and to expect that candidates who rise to a certain level, like running for President, do not see the terrain around them and the grave consequences of rebelling against the powers-that-be is unrealistic. Gabbard certainly expresses a lot of the anti-war thought, but how will that translate in the future?

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Centaurea's picture

@Bob In Portland not only expresses anti-war thought; she has explicitly stated that she will be a "hands-on" president, making foreign policy decisions herself rather than just doing what her foreign policy advisors (MIC and CIA) tell her to do.

This isn't something the MIC and CIA would be happy about, and we know what they do when they're not happy about something.

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

@Centaurea

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The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01, a Boeing 757 (AA Flight 77) flew into the Pentagon.
If you can't accept these indisputable facts, I can't fake an interest in your opinions about anything else.

Bob In Portland's picture

@Centaurea Clean Gene McCarthy was the anti-war candidate. He wasn't. On reflection, he was the CIA's candidate to draw votes away from RFK. His campaign was infiltrated by or constructed of agents and assets. Twelve years later he returned to his own norm, a conservative Democrat who actually endorsed Reagan and Bush.

Is Gabbard for real? I don't know. She may have been a place for anti-war voters to find safe haven during the election cycle.

I hope she's for real.

The rules for politics in the US since 1963 is hands off the military-industrial complex. This is enforced by both parties. When someone arises in politics that may not toe that line you've got pretty girls on laps of candidates. Or you get members of the political elite, like Kerry, who toil against, say, Iran-contra but never succeed, and then return to their norm. When Kerry was supposedly investigating Iran-contra, his lacrosse teammate from private school was busy covering it up as a federal prosecutor. Kerry and the two Bush presidents were members of the Skull and Bones Society. Allegiance to class is what causes the treasonous activity among the rich and powerful.

Why did Democrats trust Kerry in 2004? Or McCarthy in 1968?

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@Bob In Portland for real. If otherwise, if she's a D-State plant, why then isn't the MIIC-penetrated MSM promoting her instead of ignoring or smearing her? And second, why would TPTB/MIIC risk waking up the snoozing lefties on our FP follies and crimes when the only game in town for the rest of the field, the clear focus of interest for nearly all Ds has been for years DP. It would have been easier to insert someone with a more moderate, "acceptable" FP stance, with DP her primary concern, and arrangements at Langley to provide her more MSM friendly coverage.

As for Gene McCarthy, two anecdotes: 1) His famous surprise "victory" in the NH primary of early '68 (actually a very strong and unexpected 2d place showing to Lyndon) was helped by the ignorance of thousands of NH voters, a majority of his voters wrongly believing Mc was a hawk on VN and would go in more aggressively and finish the job. Perhaps hearing the name "McCarthy", voters confused Gene with the Red-baiting infamous Joe McCarthy of the 50s, who had died years before.

2) Sometime in the Apr-May '68 period, McCarthy visits w/LBJ in the WH. Odd that should occur as Gene was publicly attacking Lyndon's VN policy rather forcefully in the campaign, and Johnson was well known as being hypersensitive about criticism. But it appeared to be a friendly get together, and at some point (was this the main point of the meeting?) the two discussed the primary campaign, and inevitably McCarthy brought up Bobby's name. Lyndon said something to the effect of Don't worry about Bobby, then drew his index finger across his throat in the well-known gesture. This was reported much later and benignly as LBJ meaning merely RFK's political death. Perhaps.

(above is from recollection from reading Dominic Sandbrook's excellent book on Gene McCarthy)

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I agree with you.

But now I'll go where I doubt few will follow me: I'm thinking that Tulsi and Bill de Blasio will join up to take Liz down.

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NYCVG

Centaurea's picture

That's all these "debates" amount to.

Back when the League of Women Voters presented the debates, they were treated as serious business, an opportunity to educate the voting public so we could make good decisions. Solid questions and actual back-and-forth responses. The studio sets were minimal, with simple wooden podiums for the candidates to stand behind.

Nowadays, it's like a big old beauty pageant. Huge fancy colorful sets with glaring, flashing light displays and musical overtures. The media moderators act more like circus announcers.

All for the entertainment and brainwashing of the public. All flash and no substance.

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone

snoopydawg's picture

@Centaurea

I remember when the debates were something people could learn from. Now it's just kabuki theater where candidates get a minute to answer the question and 30 seconds for rebuttals.

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

snoopydawg's picture

Smile

This is where Warren showed her true progressive creds. Well there are her votes for war money. Her undying support for Israel. Her backtracking on MFA. Her standing up and clapping when Trump said that "socialism would never happen here."

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America is a pathetic nation; a fascist state fueled by the greed, malice, and stupidity of her own people.
- strife delivery

epistemological caution, but nonetheless, I will suggest a small intellectual exercise: Is there any possible distribution of candidates over the two evenings for which you could not construct an explanation rooted in DNC malfeasance? Just start with the top 4 -- Biden, Warren, Sanders and uh, Buttigieg at this point, I guess. Of 16 possible distributions of just these (given that there is a practical distinction between night one and night two), how many of the 16 would NOT trigger your spidey sense? Any of them? Now imagine throwing in a further distribution of, say, the next 4 candidates about whom you have any particular opinions at all. Again -- of the 256 such possibilities, in how many do you think you would not see some sort of pattern of shenanigans?

I realize that we now know that the DNC is capable, willing, and motivated to carry out all manner of frauds ... but at this level of tea-leaf interpretation, assuming a priori that of course they must have done so, and then endeavouring to suss out their cunning plan ... well, it seems more a sort of self-entertainment than anything else, and not necessarily a harmless one.

A bit like astrology, really. Some of you may be familiar with the amusing exercise, in which the experimenter makes up random personality profiles, then randomly assigns them to the zodiac signs, and then presents this result to people. With a disturbingly non-random likelihood, the subjects will agree that they match the profile assigned to their own zodiac sign. I wish I could say that belief in astrology is harmless, but I'm not at all sure that it is -- either in the first order (making decisions based on what signal processing folks would consider to be non-random noise) or in the second order (developing for yourself a delusional form of cognition).

But, ya know, it's Sunday. Be who ya wanna be.

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3 users have voted.

The earth is a multibillion-year-old sphere.
The Nazis killed millions of Jews.
On 9/11/01, a Boeing 757 (AA Flight 77) flew into the Pentagon.
If you can't accept these indisputable facts, I can't fake an interest in your opinions about anything else.

Centaurea's picture

@UntimelyRippd It's not just that they're "capable, willing and motivated" to commit malfeasance.

It's how they roll. It's their modus operandi.

The DNC is all about the "messaging", the marketing, the surface appearance. Their purpose for existing is to enrich themselves, their consultants, and, most especially, the oligarchy.

Are they capable of acting any other way than fraudulently?

They're con artists. The current Dem Party establishment is a scam. I don't think it's wise to give the benefit of the doubt to con artists running a scam.

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"Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep ... Don't go back to sleep."
~Rumi

"If you want revolution, be it."
~Caitlin Johnstone