Drunkblogging the Second Democratic Debate: Night Two

And then there were ten.

There were ten last night, too, but this is a different ten. Sadly, Thunderdome rules do not apply, and everyone who walks on the stage will also walk off it. Officially I think of the 25 announced candidates, only Eric "Duke Nukem" Swalwell has dropped out. And the DNC's admission rules are still lax enough that 20 out of 24 made the cut.

The field is expected to winnow quickly now, hopefully fast enough that the debate will need only one round. Your sanity requires it. So does my liver.

Tonight's lineup:

Barack Obama's Former Vice President Joe Biden, who would like to remind you he served with Barack Obama during the Obama Administration

Senator Michael Bennet (Colorado)

Senator Kamala Harris (Poopville, CA)

Entrepreneur Andrew Yang (Somewhere very nice, you can be sure)

Failed (But Not Former) Mayor Bill de Blasio (New York City)

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (Last seen acting very presidential wearing a T-shirt and doing shots, NY)

Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii, wish you were there)

Julian Jay Inslee-Castro (I'll have to get back to you on this one)

Spartacus (Ancient Rome)

That's only nine, but I can't remember who I forgot.

I'm told that the liveblog's auto-refresh feature is working again, so no need to hit that reload button. Just pour yourself something tasty, grab a comfy seat, and enjoy the show.

It was a big dud tonight.

Not that there weren't any fireworks, because there were a few. Not because it was tedious, which might just be my partisan bias. And not just because the field of ten had maybe three actual contenders.

It was a big dud because -- and correct me if I'm wrong here -- nobody did anything to move the needle.

Biden recovered from his last outing, but didn't show us anything new. Harris failed completely to capitalize on her earlier gains, and if I found out she really was on some kind of cold medicine, I wouldn't be in the least surprised. Booker promised to take on Biden, but demurred. Gabbard is *this* close to being a real contender, but isn't quite campaigning at that level. Castro is better than expected, but not that much better. And the rest were all just kind of there.

So as I said earlier, I think Biden wins by default. And Harris lost... because, jeez, did you see her?

And everyone else is pretty much treading water.

My advice to the Dems would be to winnow this debate field down by 75%, and to do so quickly. Because duds don't sell, not in the primaries, and not in the general election.

I hope they don't listen.

Closing Statement: Biden repeats his "battle for the soul of America" schtick. It works with this crowd... and that's what counts tonight, yes?

Closing Statement: Harris is closing with her AG record, which Gabbard absolutely savaged her for earlier tonight. It's like she forgot that ever happened, and judging by her NyQuil demeanor, maybe she has.

Closing Statement: Booker won't let anyone underestimate your worth or something.

He tells a decent story once he gets going, but I still say he's running for Veep.

Closing Statement: Yang wants you to know he isn't wearing a tie, which has got to be worth at least $1,000 a month for every American.

Kidding aside, he sounds relaxed, but also nonsensical.

Closing Statement: I've heard Castro give this pitch before, and to my ears it sounds more 1972 than 2020.

Closing Statement: Gabbard is selling her foreign policy creds, but she's getting a couple basic facts wrong. And she sounds like a Cold War dove when it ain't exactly 1963 or '83 anymore.

She was so good in the middle third, but consistency isn't her strength yet.

Closing Statement: Gillibrand, she of the white woman privilege, wants to stop dividing people.

Here's a tip.

When Ross Perot pitched his 1-800 number all the time, 800 numbers were fresh. Pitching your website in 2019 is lame.

Closing Statement: Inslee is going to save the Earth, because this is the "one last chance" to save it.

Pretty sure we're screwed then. Who's up for being totally irresponsible until the end comes?