The Political Rundown

Houston, we had a debate

Tiana Kuchta

More stories from Tiana Kuchta


The leading 10 Democrats running for president gathered in Houston last Thursday to debate. 

For those of you that haven’t been following along this semester, don’t worry, I’m not offended. The 10 candidates comprised Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Julián Castro, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O’Rourke, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Andrew Yang.

While this debate didn’t make any large waves in public opinion, according to The Wall Street Journal, there were a few noteworthy interactions. 

The debate began with Biden taking the offensive — an unusual move compared to past debates, but a move that seemed to benefit him. 

“He was going to challenge (the other candidates) instead of being challenged by them, and he did that right at the beginning,” Gerald Seib, from The Wall Street Journal, said. 

Biden challenged Sanders on his plans for government-funded healthcare, which led to a discussion about whether or not using taxes to cover health costs is a feasible plan for this country. Though the former vice president seemed a little overly aggressive for my taste, it was beneficial for viewers to get answers to questions that many people have. 

Though these debates are meant to weed out other contenders, and many candidates use an attack method to prove they are better than others, Warren was able to avoid attacks from her fellow candidates. 

“While Mr. Biden and Mr. Sanders argued to her right, and Julián Castro lobbed grenades at Mr. Biden from her left, Ms. Warren walked away unscathed,” according to The New York Times. “Nobody attacked her. Nobody questioned her electability. Nobody said anything she’d done in her life was misguided.”

While this may lead you to believe that Warren simply stood quietly by her podium as others took on the real battles, that assumption would be wrong. Warren was still able to make her plans clear while avoiding any hostile encounters with the other candidates. 

I don’t know about you, but I think it’s refreshing to have a politician that doesn’t get involved in all the nitty gritty drama. 

O’Rourke also seemed to avoid a large number of the attacks and was actually praised by Biden and other candidates on how he responded to the mass shooting in El Paso — O’Rourke’s home town — according to The New York Times. 

However, his aggressive statement about gun control left some people shocked.

“Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15 your AK-47,” O’Rourke said. “We’re not going to allow it to be used against our fellow Americans anymore.” 

While this fierce take on gun control is something that I admire — especially as mass shootings keep happening across the country — I can see how his stance could seem too bold to many voters and could cause him trouble later on. 

Apart from the Democratic debate, there was some other big news this week as another Republican joined the race. 

Mark Sanford, a former Governor from South Caroline entered the race as of last weekend, according to The New York Times. Sanford has already spoken out against President Trump and believes that it is better to have more Republicans running against him.

“It becomes harder and harder for the president and the party to dismiss a chorus of voices as opposed to one,” Mr. Sanford said in an interview with The New York Times. 

Since the Republican party voted to down the potential for debates back in 2016, according to CNN, we won’t actually get to see these candidates face off. However, we should be able to see more of their values once the primaries get closer this coming spring. 

Until then, you can keep up with me as the Democratic candidates get closer to dwindling. 

Kuchta can be reached at [email protected].