At least half the debate stage walked into the Fox Theatre tonight bordering on desperate for a breakout showing.
But with time running down, it doesn’t seem like any of them have struck a resounding chord.
The moderate gang of former congressman John Delaney, former Colorado governor John Hickenlooper and Rep. Tim Ryan clearly made a bet that they would make their mark by attacking Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. They’ve succeeded in stirring up a few hot exchanges, but they’ve almost blended into one voice – making the same arguments and, more often than not, failing to land a memorable blow. If anything, they’ve handed the progressives a platform to make their case against some familiar criticism in real time.
And then there’s former congressman Beto O’Rourke. He’s been more assertive than he was during the first round of debates in Miami, but once again, the Texan has drifted in and out of an often hot debate.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar has made her points, but like O’Rourke, she has not conjured a moment that people will be talking about tomorrow. Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, too, has performed as expected: mostly arguing that his political success in Montana shows he can win in GOP territory. But he also has spent much of the night on the periphery.