And Then There Were Six . . . What to Watch for in the Iowa Democratic Debate

Some people think the debates don’t matter. Maybe they don’t. As then CEO of Chrysler Lee Iacocca said about his marketing budget, I know half of it is wasted, I just don’t know which half.

Maybe the debates had nothing to do with the whittling of the field to six. Maybe the debates had nothing to do with Kamala struggling after her on-air Biden attack, or Castro never catapulting after his on-air Biden attack.

Maybe the debates had nothing to do with Amy’s rise in the polls or Eric Swalwell’s (remember him?) fast demise in the polls. But like the marketing budget, can we really know what counts and what does not?

I like to see all candidates in person: for city council, Congress or Senate. It’s just different when you see a person in – person than when you see them on camera.

Since I saw Bloomberg in person last week, I will use him and my reaction to him as the bar to be met. Forget Health Care, Impeachment, or Iran. Forget statistics and forget which one is the Rhodes scholar.

Here is What to Watch For:

  1. Who plays nice in the sandbox

I think when candidates start attacking each other, they both lose. I don’t think the American public wants to see a school yard brawl. Look for the candidates who choose to play nice and those who choose to participate in the food fight. And look to see if there is a truce between Sanders and Warren.

In the last debate we heard about the wine cave. On Andy Cohen’s show, every time a certain word is said, the audience is to drink from their chosen glass of adult beverage. If I hear the words wine cave in this debate, I will throw the whole bottle at the TV.

  1. A candidate who gets that it is about you

When the candidate answers, are they trying to come across as the smartest one in the room, or are they thinking about you? Are they making themselves feel better or bigger or are they trying to make you feel better?

  1. A candidate who makes you feel good – whatever good is to you

Listening to Bloomberg  I felt safe, calm, and I felt like a weight was lifted. That is what good felt like to me. Ask yourself what good feels like to you? Then look and listen for a candidate who can help you feel that way.

When I listen to Biden I feel comfortable.  When we listened to candidate Obama we probably didn’t feel comfortable, complacent. We may have felt challenged, we may have felt cognitive dissonance, but we probably didn’t feel that Obama was a safe choice. At that time, the less than safe choice seemed like a good feeling. Look and listen for a candidate who makes you feel good.




Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *