The Final Debate Drunkblog Before the Voting Begins

The Final Debate Drunkblog Before the Voting Begins

We need to indulge in a little TV nostalgia before tonight’s big show begins.

Cheers was a huge hit for NBC in the 1980s, mostly because of seriously sharp writing, but also because of the will-they/won’t-they chemistry between Sam & Diane. Every Thursday night, millions tuned in to see if this would be the week they finally stopped fighting and started… well, you know.

After that, NBC execs were forever on the lookout for the next Sam & Diane. The order went out to all their showrunners: “Give us the next Sam & Diane!” My favorite response to the call came in the mid-’90s on the all-too-shortlived Newsradio. The producers had the perfect setup for the next Sam & Diane with Dave & Lisa, who were young, attractive, and the actors (Dave Foley and Maura Tierney) had terrific chemistry. But the producers of Newsradio were more than a bit subversive, and instead of drawing out the tension for years, Sam & Diane-style, had Dave & Lisa getting it on (off-screen, of course) in the first or second episode.

The reason I bring this up is that the media seems to think that Liz & Bernie could be the next Sam & Diane. Except, instead of romantic fireworks, they’re hoping for a long-awaited political slugfest between two feisty rivals who haven’t done much more than tease audiences for months now.

That’s the smoke. But the fire should aimed at Joe Biden, whose commanding lead with black primary voters makes him the odds-on favorite to win the nomination.

So Bernie doesn’t think a woman can win, and Liz is mad that he’s undermining her — but so what? Unless somebody can knock Joe down a peg or two, instead of winning their party’s nomination, Liz & Bernie will be fighting over the scraps of who might get to be Secretary of the Department of Stuff Biden Wouldn’t Even Do When He Was Veep. And even that’s on the unlikely assumption that Biden could actually beat Trump.

Anyway, that’s my pre-debate take. The real debate drunkblog begins in five…



…you know the rest.

Closing statements time.

You’ve heard all this before: It’s the Reader’s Digest version of their stump speeches, and if anything is less interesting than the actual “debate,” it’s this.

I’ll let someone else here at PJ do the complete wrap, so instead, I’ll just restate — ever so briefly — my theme from tonight’s debate.

There’s not a single winner on this stage. There’s not one candidate showing the gumption it takes to win the White House. And I’d say that even if the White House were currently occupied by a Mitt Romney or a John McCain. They just don’t have the fire.

I don’t know what my Democrat friends would say, if they were unguarded long enough to give an honest assessment. But I can’t imagine they would express much excitement.

Because how can you get excited about a bunch of contenders seemingly content with nothing more than a participation trophy?

And with that: Goodnight. We’ll be back in three weeks with live coverage of Iowa.

Here’s the big close, where each candidate promises that they’re the one who can take on Donald Trump on a debate stage.

But they can’t even take on each other. They can’t even get their energy up when thrown softballs by Wolf Blitzer. These folks couldn’t get it up with a hot tub, a platter of chilled raw oysters, some Barry White on Spotify, and a handful of little blue pills.

Limp debate, limp candidates, limp chances.

Buttigieg: “God does not belong to a political party,” but if He did he’d be a Democrat.


Scaremongering 101 teaches us to scare all the people about all the things all the time.

Joe Biden is reminding of us of Solyndra like it was a good thing.


“Natural gas is a transition fuel.”


Did I sound just like a Dem there? I tried really hard to sound just like a Dem.

Inquiring minds want to know.

So there’s a routine at these debates.

At the start, the moderators remind the audience against any unruly outbursts of support. But then the candidates get people so worked up over a vital issue, that they just can’t help themselves and burst into applause. Then the moderators warn them again, and then it happens again anyway.

That hasn’t happened tonight, except for the initial warning.

I’m reminded of the old Steve Martin gag (from “Grandmother’s Song”) about getting all exciting and going to a yawning festival.

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