And Then There Were Five

then there were 5

Frank Rich, There Are Only 5 Candidates Still Standing After the Latest Democratic Debate

I generally resist Monday-morning quarterbacking bloviating about debates, because what I would have to say would have little value. So let me call your attention to Mr. Rich’s observations—mostly interesting, some surprising, maybe even right on point.

Hook, Please

Someone please grab a big hook and get Beto, Julián, Andrew, Tulsi, and Tom off the stage.

I don’t think this will be very controversial.

Hasta la Vista, Sleepy Joe

According to Rich, Biden is toast—he “lacks intellectual agility” and “seems incapable of the improvisational moves necessary to take on Trump.”

Fortuitously, I had lunch today with a retired mover and shaker who said much the same thing about Biden.

Tomorrow, my lunch companion of today is going to lunch with a former president of the United States.

Rich, Mellifluous, and Upbeat Won’t Cut the Mustard

According to Rich, Booker is “sunny and personable” but “finds it hard to depart from his over-polished prefab scripts.”

I have to say, I think Mr. Rich may be overemphasizing the importance—not to mention the ease—of running mental circles around Trump on the debate stage.

That said, it’s true that Senator Booker hasn’t gone anywhere in the polls. And it’s true that Amy and Mayor Pete both seem much better poised than Corey to take up the mantle as Biden falters.

A Question Mark

Kamela “remains an enigma.”

Ain’t Yet Closed the Deal

That would be Elizabeth, who “occasionally seemed defensive and misspoke.”

I have been struggling to find out what makes people pause about Elizabeth—apart, of course, from concern about her being “too far left.” My tentative conclusion is that she thinks she’s smarter than you and me. (Probably true, at least in my case.) She thinks she’s morally superior to you and me. She thinks she’s braver than you and me. All of which is probably true, too. And she shows, by word and manner, that she thinks she is smarter, better, and braver than you and me. And that puts some people off.

Compare Elizabeth to Mayor Pete, who is also probably a lot smarter, a lot better, and a lot braver than you and me. He acts like he knows these things, but they were not so important to him as they are too Elizabeth.

The Comeback Kid

That would be Bernie, who seemed to have found his heart attack a refreshing and renewing experience.

But he’s still too old.

Bloomberg, Anyone?

Rich writes,

But what about Michael Bloomberg? He has begun to float the idea of entering the Democratic primary as a centrist option if Biden falters. Would he be a contender?

At 77, he would at last remedy a glaring shortcoming of the septuagenarian Democratic field by filling the age gap between Biden (76) and Sanders (78). And it would be highly gratifying to see a genuinely successful and accomplished New York billionaire go up against the fraud in the White House. He might drive Trump crazy — that is, crazier — and he could be self-financing to an extent.