Donald Trump claimed he was too busy to bother with last night’s first 2020 Democratic debate, but then quickly gave away that he was watching when he began tweeting ignorant things about it. That means Trump saw that his biggest nightmare is coming true as we speak.
The biggest liability for Donald Trump heading into 2020 isn’t his toxic unpopularity, or his criminal scandals. Trump’s hilariously bad poll numbers make clear that he can’t win of his own accord, so his only hope is that the Democratic candidates beat each other up so badly during the primary, the eventual Democratic nominee will be too damaged to effectively take on Trump. In such case, Trump’s worst nightmare is the scenario in which the Democratic candidates don’t beat each other up.
Last night we saw some isolated sparring among certain Democratic candidates who have never much liked each other. But for the most part the candidates were respectful toward each other, and avoided hurling cheap insults at each other. In particular, no one on last night’s stage tried to win the night by gratuitously attacking the most popular candidate on the stage, Elizabeth Warren. And no one on stage tried to gain in the overall race by gratuitously attacking the frontrunner, Joe Biden. It just doesn’t look like it’s going to be that kind of primary.
We’ll see what happens in tonight’s debate, where losing candidates will be faced with the chance to try to score cheap points by taking cheap shots at Joe Biden to his face. But if last night was any indication, this is shaping up to be precisely the kind of Democratic primary that will do more harm to Donald Trump than to the eventual Democratic nominee.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report