Drunkblogging the October Democratic Debate

And then there were... twelve?

When we last did this in September, ten of the Democrats' presidential contenders met the official rules to qualify for the debate stage. The result was an overlong three-hour debate which still left too little time for any one candidate to shine. Although to be fair, I'm sure the quality of the individual candidates had as much to do with that as the sheer number of them.

So for tonight's debate, the DNC raised the goalposts, toughened the standards, lowered the limbo bar... and instead of ten qualifying candidates, we got... twelve.

Yes, twelve.

I swear, only the Democrats could enforce a stricter set of rules yet still let in more people.

Here's tonight's lineup:

Joe Biden (Consiglieri, Kyiv)

Cory Booker (Revolt leader, Rome)

Pete Buttigieg (Iowa [Previously Indiana])

Julián Castro (???)

Tulsi Gabbard (Sole voice of sanity, Doomed)

Kamala Harris (Ilsa, The Wicked Warden)

Amy Klobuchar (Running for class president, ended up here by mistake)

Beto O’Furry (King of Memes)

Bernie Sanders (Chief Secretary, CPSU)

Tom Steyer (Billionaire, bought himself a podium)

Elizabeth Warren (So proud to live, so proud to die)

Andrew Yang (Free Money Guy, Latenight Informercials)

The tech gnomes tell me the autorefresh feature should be working, so no need to click the refresh button on your browser tab.

The big show starts at 8pm Eastern. Now if you'll excuse me while I refresh my Bombay Sapphire martini, the drunkblog should go live in five... four... three...

The wrap?

Our own Roger Simon (I think) has one planned for later, as does Tyler O'Neil. I've been at this screen for just shy of four hours, and am probably too caught up in the minutia to give you a decent wrap-up.

So with that, I'll bid you goodnight.

Biden took a nice question and turned it into a screaming Orange Man Bad rant.

As expected.

Biden: "We're all acknowledging that we have to reach across the aisle to get things done."

Also: Obligatory John McCain reference, who "used to work for me."

Warren: I knew a Republican once almost 30 years ago when I was still sort of a Republican, but that counts, right?

Bernie: I TRIED TO TALK TO A REPUBLICAN ONCE BUT IT TURNED OUT TO BE A RUTABAGA SHAPED LIKE JOHN MCCAIN'S HEAD AND THEN WE MADE PIE TO FEED PEOPLE IN YEMEN.

Mayor Pete: "I think about the friendships I formed in the military... definitely different politics... we learned to trust each other."

Seriously, I think he has a great career in talk radio ahead of him.

Harris: "Probably Rand Paul."

That's a funky answer, and I like it. First thing she's said tonight with a hint of the genuine around it. I give Anderson Cooper a lot of hell, all of it deserved, but this was a lovely, unexpected closing question.

Yang: My surprising friendship is a guy named Fred who drives a truck and spent some time in jail and voted for Trump but now he's voting for me and he does drugs.

Booker: I have so many weird friends, one of them might have even been a Republican.

Beta: I shared a ride with a Republican once. We tried to buy weed but it turned out to be oregano.