Dem Notes

* Maybe it’s what happens after 11 debates. Maybe it’s what happens when it’s just a two-candidate encounter. But Joe Biden was a lot better in his Sunday CNN debate with Bernie Sanders. If his goal was to look substantive, trustworthy and assertive, mission accomplished. We needed this as much as Biden did. “It’s about the world,” he emphasized when referencing COVID-19. “It’s got to be all hands on deck.” In other words, a pandemic calls for global cooperation and U.S. leadership.  The former is not possible without the latter. It all complements his real-world experience. The former vice president would also utilize the military as necessary.

Although Biden took unfriendly fire from Sanders on past stands, ranging from the Iraq war vote to NAFTA to health care, he managed to wax inclusive when it came to Sanders and even Elizabeth Warren. Then he created a “breaking news” moment by committing to a woman on a Biden ticket as well as a black female on the U.S. Supreme Court.

“The character of the nation is on the ballot,” underscored Biden. “We’ve got to restore the country’s soul.” True. Also true: It helps to look the part when delivering truisms.

* “Democrats are hungry for reform, not revolution.”–That was Will Wilkinson, vice president for research at the Niskanen Center, underscoring a post-1776 reality. Not even post-Great Depression FDR found revolution preferable, let alone practicable.

* “It’s going to be up to the (Biden) campaign to craft messages for young people and develop a really good surrogate program. I don’t think Biden is the best person to speak directly to young people.” That was Anne Moses, founder of Ignite, which encourages young women to enter politics, underscoring a major challenge. As a corollary, you would have to wonder if, for example, AOC is up to the surrogate challenge–given the extended, existential threat to the nation and the globe if the Democratic nominee loses to Trump.

* “Not me. Us.” The Bernie Sanders’ campaign slogan.

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