-All right, let’s, uh,
jump straight into it. -Sure. My favorite question to ask,
because it’s not a real thing, -who won the debate?
-(laughs) You know, I-I feel like -Elizabeth Warren survived
the debate -Okay. -and she was taking on
a lot of incoming fire. -Right. So I’m gonna say she won it. But there– I mean,
it’s hard when you have– That Democratic field,
you’ve made note -of how many of them there were
on that stage. -Yes. Right. It was like, you know,
when you pour water on gremlins and they just start,
like, multiplying. It was like that.
It was hard for people to get a word in edgewise. -She came prepared to push back.
-Yeah. I thought she got a lot
more fire than she would, given the fact that,
technically, Joe Biden, up until a few days ago,
is the guy -that’s been leading
in the polls. -Right. What was amazing
about the debate is how little he seemed to
matter to the rest of the field. Joe Biden didn’t get any of the incoming fire
that Elizabeth Warren got. He-he almost got no attention
from the rest of the field. -Is that– is that a bad sign,
almost? -Yes. -I think, if you’re Joe Biden…
-Because that means– -Yeah, ’cause that means the
other people don’t think -Yeah. you’re a threat, which means -you’re not a threat.
-Not a threat. Yeah. I mean, I think there is–
It is a gift and a curse– uh, to paraphrase Jay-Z– -to be– to be in the hot seat,
right? -Right. Uh, Elizabeth Warren likes being
acknowledged as a frontrunner. She doesn’t like taking on
all the criticism -that she got, I’m sure.
-Mm-hmm. Joe Biden, I’m sure, wishes a little bit more of that fire
was coming his way. It was a remarkable turn
of events, -given where we were in
the last debate. -Any standouts? There’s always a debate moment
where someone goes, wow, this was the moment
where you got that little two, -three percent bump that
could be the difference -Sure. -later on in the race. Anyone?
-Between being -a one percent candidate and
a four percent candidate? -Yeah. -It makes a difference.
-Which matters at this point. Um, I think, you know,
with Biden’s dissent, I think, at least narratively, there is an opening for
a centrist moderate candidate. And you saw a lot of energy being put forth by Amy Klobuchar -and Pete Buttigieg tonight.
-Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm. They came with a lot of–
I don’t know– -maybe paprika on their oatmeal
today at breakfast. -Right. -‘Cause they were ready to go.
-Well, yeah. And they kept on saying like,
“The Midwest. -As somebody from the Mid…”
As somebody, like… -Yes. -They kept on…
-Centrism. -Exactly. I am middle.
-Middle of the country. -Middle of the road.
-Yes. -“I’m not crazy.”
-Right. And that was basically
the subtext of every one of their answers. Like, “They’re cray, I’m not.
Vote for me. ‘Cause we need someone
who’s not cray and gonna win.” -Right. -And I think that
they had added momentum tonight precisely because
Biden is bruised at this moment. When you watch these debates…
I mean, it’s three hours of all of these people on stage
putting forth their ideas. They’re going back and forth.
What was interesting is, everyone was going
back and forth. And every time Cory Booker
would speak, he’d be like, -“Guys, guys, guys, guys, guys,
we shouldn’t argue…” -I know. “…because the president
like this, and it’s bad.” But I was like,
“But that’s a debate.” -That’s what a debate is.
-Right. I thought that hand-wringing
was so weird. People were getting like… It was very strange,
’cause he kept on saying it. …so faux, faux-ffended.
-Yes. Like, they were just like,
“This is…” -Like, “Don’t-don’t speak to me
in that tone of voice!” -Right. And it was like, “Did you get
the memo that the point of this is to speak to each other
in that tone of voice?” I mean, I do think that there is a… an emotional battle happening, unfolding inside
the Democratic Party today, -which is, how do you lead
the country forward? -Mm-hmm. What does this party stand for? And it’s a big playing field
between the center of the party and the left flank of the party. And that needs to be litigated. And that’s what
this primary is about. So, yeah,
people should disagree, because, at the end of the day, there needs to be someone that
represents the Democratic Party, and we don’t know
where the party is right now. It’s interesting that you say
the left flank specifically, because, um, just today, like,
there’s news that’s come out -that AOC plans to endorse
Bernie Sanders… -Yeah. …and appear with him
at a rally in Queens, New York
on Saturday. That is pretty big.
AOC is one of the rising… I thought it was gonna be Lizzo. He was like, “There’s gonna be
a special guest!” I was like… (laughter) -No?
-Um… I mean, AOC is cool, too, but… -But she does not… Yeah.
-Who’s gonna move those votes? She doesn’t rap.
She doesn’t rap. I get it. Um, it does seem like-like
a major mini moment, you know? -Sure.
-Because at the… You know, because Bernie Sanders
is one of the big players -in AOC’s life,
her political life. -Mm-hmm. And so, now, her coming out
for him does sort of put him on the pedestal as the left wing
of the party, yes? Yeah, it’s… it’s a…
it’s a blow to Warren as much as it is a boon
to Sanders. I mean, the fact that Warren
is the one with the momentum, she’s a woman– not that that
needs to be who women endorse. -But the fact that she didn’t
get that endorsement… -Right. …is gonna be
as much of a story as Bernie getting
the endorsement. But let me ask you this, though. Do you think
it could actually help Warren? -Because here’s something
I’ve noticed is… -Mm. Mm. You’ve got AOC coming out,
saying, “I’m with Bernie.” -Right. -You’ve got Fox News
and Republican outlets -who have been trying to paint
Warren as Bernie. -Right. -Lefty Liz.
-Now you have AOC saying, -“No, Bernie is my person.”
-Sure. And AOC is painted
as the crazy left of the thing. And so now,
you’ve got Elizabeth Warren who has a space where
she’s carved herself out as, “No, I have a plan,
but I’m not as left as Bernie. I’m also going to give you
progressive policies.” Does that actually help her? That is like a seven-layer ninja, like,
mind jujitsu sundae. And I appreciate it, Trevor. I think she’s probably more
just, like, bummed that she didn’t get
AOC’s endorsement. But, I mean, I think
probably there’s some, like, -residual aftereffect that is
positive for her. -Right. I-I think it bears mentioning
in this moment that AOC worked
on Sanders’ campaign in 2016. Um, the reason
she ran for office in 2018 is ’cause she was recruited
by a group -that grew out
of Sanders’ campaign. -Mm-hmm. So she clearly feels
some affinity there, and maybe– I don’t know– he promised her
a vice presidency? I don’t know
what was in the bag to sweet… I’m kidding about that.
I don’t have any reporting to suggest
that they’re running together. Although, he would have to pick
someone pretty young. Um… -(laughter)
-Uh… so… So, all of that is to say, um, I think it’s a good
and important thing for Bernie to get that endorsement
as there are a lot of doubts about his staying power
in the race right now. So the debate is done. We just
watched the fourth debate. Are Americans learning anything
from these debates? Is the needle being moved
in any particular direction? Or has it just become rhetoric? Like, when you’re watching,
just as an observer who is both, you know,
in the world of news, but also as somebody
who’s just involved in politics and as an American,
are you watching that going, “Huh. that does change my mind,” or “That actually
would move the needle”? You know, I think
this debate gets… or these debate series
are getting dinged for being, you know, the too many gremlins
on stage, etcetera. I’m dinging them myself.
But at the end of the day, I do think
that there is some sub… there is some substantive debate
about health care policy. -Yes.
-We didn’t see anything on the environment
or immigration tonight, but we’ve seen that
in previous… previous debates. I mean, I think you have a bunch
of people on stage who very… care… care
very deeply about policy… -Mm-hmm.
…and want to talk through it, and understand this moment
for the Democratic Party. So I do think
there’s meat in there. I think there should be
fewer questions like, “Hey, old person,
are you too old?” and “Young person,
are you too young?” I mean, nobody up there
is gonna be like, “You know what?
I am too young for this.” “I am too old for this.
Take me out, Coach.” -Like, no more
of those questions. -Right. Overall, I’m giving this
a strong B minus -in terms of substance. -Well,
it was a pretty good debate. -B minus from you is an “A” for
many people. -You’re welcome. Thank you so much for joining us
on the show again. -Thank you.
-Great having you back. The Circus airs Sundays
at 8:00 p.m. on Showtime. It’s a really fun show.
Alex Wagner, everybody.