8:55 PM: I put on my Jackass wristband. Livetweet won the poll from earlier; I’ll probably do both.
8:56 PM: I need you to understand that I pay close attention and I do not know who half of these people are just from their faces. I only care about the four on the outside. One of them might be Jay Inslee, I suppose, who is interesting but I don’t actually know which of the white guys he might be. There are too many white guys. The dude on the bottom row next to Castro looks like Jon Stewart in old man makeup.
8:59 PM: Man, Julián Castro is way shorter than I thought he was. I wonder if his people made a stink about podium heights.
9:01 PM: Oh, shit, I think Jon Stewart is Inslee.
9:02 PM: “We are not gonna be shy about making the candidates stick to time.” Sure, right.
9:03 PM: Was that the first use of the word “Latinx” in a debate? Nice opening statement, Sen. Warren.
9:04 PM: Sen. Klobuchar, would you like to attack Senator Warren’s ideas?
9:06 PM: “If billionaires can pay off their yachts, students should be able to pay off their loans.” It’ll be interesting to see how much the candidates actually go directly after each other. Beto is speaking Spanish. Slow Spanish. I don’t know if this is a good move or not. Interesting.
9:07 PM: Beto and Klobuchar have already stomped all over the time limits. I don’t know this lady’s name but she’s trying her damnedest to get people to go after Warren.
9:09 PM: Jesus, Cory, blink. I’m gonna stop putting PM on everything. It’s all PM.
9:10: Come see the violence inherent in the system!
9:12: Castro, who is actually Hispanic and not Irish like Beto, does not speak Spanish in his first answer. Gabbard gets a question and immediately mentions her military service which I’m not convinced has anything to do with the question.
9:13: Wait, is that Jon Stewart? Shit, are Bill de Blasio and Jay Inslee the same person?
9:14: “There’s plenty of money, it’s just in the hands of the wrong people” is a good line. I don’t know who is talking right now– he’s bald so he’ll never be President– but he was the first person to mention education.
9:16: Boy I had something really snarky to say about Jay Inslee just now and I’ve forgotten it already. This thing is moving fast. Nice green tie.
9:17: I don’t know who this guy is either but he’s terrified.
9:18: Warren gets another question. Klobuchar is literally waving her hands around trying to get noticed. My feed is starting to stutter a little bit. Drink every time Warren says “this is what I propose.”
9:21: Klobuchar is using her time effectively. It’ll be interesting to see who I like more at the end of this debate than I did at the beginning and right now she’s doing well.
9:23: We’ll see if Beto dodges this question in Spanish again. He gets extra points for me for bringing up mental health care. Good answer, Beto.
9:24: de Blasio takes control of the debate and all hell breaks loose. The hand-wavers are just jumping in now. Chaos! Worth pointing out: when they asked who supported moving directly to Medicare for All, Warren’s hand went up immediately and de Blasio distinctly looked around first before his did.
9:26: I’m behind now, but whoever it was that made the point that hospitals would close under Medicare rates: I don’t know that I actually believe that statistic, and would like to see how closely interrogated it’s been. I hate to keep harping on Booker’s appearance but he’s got a weird skin color thing happening around his eyes and I don’t know what’s going on with that.
9:28: And now Warren’s in charge. Good job enforcing those rules, guys.
9:29: Jay Inslee touts his bona fides in defending choice and reproductive health and Klobuchar slaps him down like he’s some sort of wild animal.
9:31: Julián Castro also winning the “Do I like you more now?” contest.
9:33: I think Cory Booker has a shank strapped to his leg. Beto’s talking about weed all the sudden and I think I blacked out and someone changed the subject. I like his tie too. Good ties all around, guys.
9:36: Who the hell is the preacher and how did he get on stage?
9:37: Julián is knocking the immigration question the fuck out of the park.
9:38: Wait, Booker speaks Spanish too? I feel like I’m kind of being unfair to him right now; if I don’t look at him while he’s talking I like him a lot more but he’s seriously creeping me out.
9:40: de Blasio has clearly decided that he’s not gonna get to talk if he doesn’t interrupt. He’s right, but he’s still kinda being a dick and the moderators are letting him get away with it. That said, I gotta admit I like what he’s saying.
9:42: Now the moderators are speaking Spanish. Castro is getting a splitscreen while Beto answers an immigration question and he doesn’t look like he’s having Beto’s answer at all.
9:43: More tie talk: Beto and Julián are wearing nearly identical ties. Castro may be getting just a little bit too much in the weeds on the law here; I genuinely don’t quite know what he’s talking about.
9:45: I want a .gif of Klobuchar’s eye-roll to that question, and the Internet being what it is me asking for one brought it into existence. Warren is about to do something interesting, I know it. She’s probably taught herself Spanish since her last question.
9:47: Tim Ryan is undeniably winning the Not Ready for Prime Time award for this debate. He looks like he’s going to vomit at any moment. He pulls it out by the end, but he’s the most obviously uncomfortable of anyone on stage.
9:50: I’ve been blowing Inslee a bit of crap but that was a good answer. I predict Gabbard gets an Iran question.
9:52: Amy Klobuchar’s body language is pure She’s an Asshole but She’s My Asshole right now. Honest admission: I don’t know shit about what we should do about Iran, but I’m certain that the current administration shouldn’t have anything to do with making those decisions.
9:53: And, hey, look, Gabbard gets an Iran question. Did you know she’s a veteran?
9:55: Wait, is this a 90-minute debate? I thought it was an hour. de Blasio is trying to horn in again as they cut to commercial for the second time.
9:56: Warren has gone awfully quiet. I think Castro won that section.
9:57: By tomorrow’s liveblog I need to have some images ready before the debate starts. This one’s gonna be awful bare, sorry about that.
10:00: Everyone’s mics are on and we cut back to commercial. Oops!
10:02: I genuinely don’t know if they’re just re-airing those last couple of minutes or they’re reenacting it. Wait, we’re back to technical issues. Now the mic is screaming. Whee, competence!
10:04: Back to commercial again as the audio’s still all screwed up. The candidates clearly can’t hear anything the moderators are saying.
10:07: Still at commercial. NBC done fucked up.
10:09: I think I’m actually behind the debate now, because I’m seeing Tweets that seem to be responding to stuff I haven’t seen yet. That’s frustrating.
10:10: Repeal the fucking second amendment.
10:11: Chuck Todd has been moderating for four minutes and has annoyed me twice. Booker’s intensity really works for a guns question.
10:14: Oh crap is Tim Ryan actually the best candidate on education right now? Because this interruption was 100% on point and the right thing to do. Good answer, congressman.
10:16: O’Rourke is entirely right about the Stoneman Douglas kids.
10:16: Gun buybacks are not confiscation you idiot.
10:17: Which Klobuchar says immediately; good for her.
10:19: New biggest loser of the night is Delaney, who Rachel Maddow just shut the fuck down– and, hilariously, then pivoted to de Blasio, who has been profiting the most from interruptions.
10:20: I note that Warren has not spoken much during this section either. Pretty fucking ballsy of de Blasio to pull the “I have a black son” card with Cory Booker standing on stage. Ryan looks like he’s about to fall over.
10:21: I’m not 100% sure that Warren just answered the “how do you handle McConnell” question but I like what she said anyway.
10:22: Delaney is the kumbaya candidate on stage right now and he can sit down.
10:25: Nearly an hour and a half in and Inslee finally gets a climate change question. I don’t think this guy is ever gonna be President but if he doesn’t end up in the Cabinet somebody seriously dropped the ball.
10:26: This is going to be over in four minutes, right? Is this a two hour debate? Oh shit this is a two hour debate isn’t it.
10:28: What the fuck is Chuck Todd talking about people “living where they shouldn’t be”? Can we have him go away and just let Maddow run the rest of the debate? He’s an idiot.
10:29: They pull away to a wider shot and at this point I actually think Ryan has thrown up at some point during this debate.
10:31: I said sit down, Mr. Delaney.
10:32: Listening to Todd repeatedly blabber “thank you” while he gets steamrolled by the candidates is getting old. Gabbard is now talking about her views on LGBTQ people and I’m pretty sure I heard someone in the audience laughing.
10:34: Booker actually brings up the murder rate of black trans women, and Goddammit this is why I’m a fucking Democrat because there is no chance at all that that ever gets mentioned at the Republican debates.
10:36: Good answer, Mr. Castro. Oh, God, we’re not doing viewer questions, are we? We’re doing viewer questions. Let’s not and say we did.
10:39: “God forbid there is a genocide, but not without Congressional approval” are the words that just came out of de Blasio’s mouth.
10:40: Tim Ryan is going to unhinge his jaw and eat de Blasio whole.
10:41: God please grant me this split screen as a .jpg, because he’s gonna eat Gabbard after he eats de Blasio.
10:43: Ryan and Gabbard are getting an awful lot of minutes to yell at each other. Can we hear from someone else?
10:44: Jay Inslee answers “Donald Trump” to the greatest geopolitical threat and I can hear his poll numbers go up. de Blasio is the only one to mention Russia, which is the correct answer if we’re discussing a country. Ryan says something about China “wiping us around the world” and I guess after all the eating of the other candidates he maybe needs a nap.
10:46: I’m genuinely unsure who has done the most talking but I’m absolutely certain it hasn’t been Warren. She’s been middle of the pack at best.
10:47: Delaney thinks Pelosi knows more about impeachment than “all the 2020 candidates combined” and now he doesn’t get to sit behind his podium any longer. It’s under the stage for you.
10:48: My laptop just blacked out for the second time while I’ve been sitting here. I can’t afford a new laptop right now, Goddammit.
10:51: I think they get closing statements now. Is this almost done? This is almost done, right?
10:53: Going from Delaney straight to de Blasio implies that Warren will have the last closing statement, which means I can sleep for a couple of minutes.
10:55: I would like to point out that I do not like Tim Ryan’s boring-ass tie. I also do not like Tim Ryan’s boring ass.
10:57: Julián’s introduction of himself in Spanish would have had more impact if half the goddamn stage hadn’t said something in Spanish already.
10:59: Somebody else just mumbled something in Spanish and I’m not sure who it was. Klobuchar is the second candidate on stage who I’m pretty sure is carrying a shiv.
11:00: Beto had to think very carefully before saying his daughter’s age, and I actually am not snarking at him about that because that’s totally something I might fuck up under similar circumstances.
11:01: Laptop cuts out again. Shit.
11:02: Elizabeth Warren for motherfucking President, y’all.
Okay, honest moment: I just spent two hours snarking, but that was fun. I actually do like the vast majority of these people and I think overall that went very well. But I have to go to bed now, because tomorrow I have to do this again, only Joe Biden and Bernie fuckin’ Sanders are going to be on stage, and I don’t know that I can do that without alcohol.