5 things we learned from kind-of a meh debate


What a boring mess.

If the lesson from the first round of presidential debates was that attacking pays off, the participants in Tuesday night’s debate — with the possible exception of a no-name ex-congressman — either couldn’t execute or didn’t even try.

That might not have been so bad if CNN spent the two-plus hours of debate delving into policy in a substantive way. But it turns out 10 candidates discussing their differences on the nation’s complicated health care system in 30-second snippets isn’t especially revealing. It certainly didn’t make for riveting TV.

Tuesday served as a lesson in stout defense. Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren deflected lobs against them from the junior varsity squad. Because Warren had the more commanding performance, it was likely her night. But her night in a debate that few people will probably remember a week from now.

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