Round 2 of the debates begins tonight on CNN, with 10 debaters tonight and 10 tomorrow. The headliners tonight are progressives Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, who are not expected to challenge each other. But there will be challengers, including Colorado’s John Hickenlooper, who may need a breakout moment to continue in the race. Where Pete Buttigieg agrees and/or disagrees with Warren and Sanders could better define Mayor Pete’s place on the Democratic spectrum. Interestingly, all the candidates of color are in the second night of the debate, which could affect how race plays in this first debate. The New York Times has an interesting interactive preview of what to watch tonight in Detroit and whom. And New York magazine has a list of nine (guess they couldn’t think of a 10th) new campaign dynamics to watch for in the debates.
We’re now in Day 3 of Donald Trump’s rat-infested war on Baltimore. In the latest skirmish, Trump once again slams the “corrupt” House Oversight Committee chair, Rep. Elijah Cummings, who represents Maryland’s 7th Congressional District, which includes much of Baltimore. Trump tweeted, without showing evidence of course, that thousands of Baltimore African-Americans have thanked him, which leads to some obvious questions, like, how did all these supposed thousands thank him? Drop by the White House? Conference call? Renting a banner plane to fly over the White House? Cummings seems to have stopped responding, which is almost certainly the right way to go.
It wasn’t Robert Mueller who convinced Rep. Katherine Clark, a Kentucky Democrat and a member of the House leadership, to come out for impeachment. (The count, by the way, is up to 106 Democrats.) Clark told The Atlantic that it was actually Mitch McConnell who pushed her over the edge. Clark said the most compelling part of Mueller’s testimony, in her view, was that the Russians are still engaged in trying to interfere with American elections. And McConnell, who blew up the other day over news reports that he wasn’t standing up to the Russians, has done nothing to ensure voting integrity. Clark pointed out that McConnell has refused to bring to a vote a House bill that requires candidates who are offered aid from a foreign power to report it to the FBI. And he said there’s no need for paper ballots as a backup for electronic voting systems. You think this is going to be an issue in the 2020 election? And another point, you think the Moscow Mitch nickname is going to stick?