Commentary: The Democrats’ Slow-Motion Demolition DerbyAugust 6, 2019 By John KrullTheStatehouseFile.com INDIANAPOLIS – Maybe it would easier and less complicated to have all the Democrats who aren’t running for president debate.Part of the problem with the two-night debate marathon that just ended in Detroit is that there were too many people on the stage. The result was a mess, a kind of slow-motion demolition derby that confused more than it illuminated.CNN has received criticism for the format, but it’s hard to see how the network could have devised something that would have served that many candidates and the audience than this approach did. Until the process winnows the field, it’s going to be hard to hold an event involving the candidates that dips below the surface in any meaningful way.This shouldn’t be a surprise.In 2016, the Republicans had a massive field of candidates, too. Their debates also were shambles, but they were shambles enlivened by Donald Trump’s successful efforts to turn the presidential race into a reality TV show. People tuned in to track the latest outrage.Thus far, no Democratic candidate has been willing to debase himself, herself or the process in the way that Trump did. This helps the candidates and the process preserve dignity, but it doesn’t make for compelling television viewing.That’s a problem for Democrats going forward.They’re unlikely to beat Trump, regardless of who the nominee is, if the national discussion stays at a superficial level. No one eligible to run for president this time around can command attention the way the current president can. He is the master of the Tweet and the quick sound bite designed to provoke a response. He loves to say what he thinks or what he will do.It’s the how that always trips him up.That’s why, more than three years after he promised a wall along the Mexican border that the Mexican government would be thrilled to pay for, he’s still scrambling to find a way to start construction and stick the U.S. taxpayers with the bill. The same goes for his pledge to implement a new healthcare plan that would cover everyone at greatly reduced costs. Or his commitment to revitalize America’s struggling manufacturing sector.On the surface, some of Trump’s pronouncements may sound alluring. Most fantasies do.But people live in the world of facts, which is why President Trump has struggled to deliver anything of substance to his working-class base.The Democrat who can beat Trump will be able to point that out. He or she will be able to drag Donald Trump away from his quick-hit, let’s-ignore-reality pronouncements and pull him back to the real world, the land where things don’t just happen because someone says they should.So far, that Democratic candidate has yet to emerge – and it’s hard to see how she or he could in a field this crowded.In Detroit, former Vice President Joe Biden performed better than he did a few weeks ago, but he looked as though contentious campaigning was something he was enduring rather than enjoying. He didn’t look like a guy who would enjoy mixing it up with a street fighter like Trump.Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, demonstrated that she plays offense better than she does defense. She may be able to hit Trump harder than any other Democrat, but she has yet to show that she can take a hit and keep moving forward.The two leading progressives – Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren – made effective cases for showcasing universal healthcare coverage as a Democratic campaign centerpiece, but at a cost. Their dismissal of concerns about taking choices away from Americans and the costs of their plans as “Republican talking points” indicated that they really didn’t have answers for what will be, in fact, Republican talking points.South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg did the best job of staying on message and then expanding on that message, but it’s still hard to see him as a figure who could unite a fractious party, particularly given that the only way he becomes the nominee is by dispatching rivals who waited for their shots a lot longer than he did.But that’s the way things stand now.If this crowded field shrinks to, say, about eight candidates, a lot could change.Democrats should hope that happens soon.FOOTNOTE: John Krull is director of Franklin College’s Pulliam School of Journalism and publisher of TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.This article was posted without option, bias or editing.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
“Daniel has been training with the team now for a week or so and again we will assess that in relation to the game.” As well as Sturridge and Henderson, sidelined since mid-August, Liverpool were also without the key figure of Philippe Coutinho for last weekend’s 3-1 loss at Manchester United as the playmaker served a one-match suspension. That result left the Reds with only seven points from their opening five Barclays Premier League games of the season, a sequence in which they scored just three goals. Rodgers has already stressed his confidence things will improve for Liverpool, performance and results-wise, as time goes on. And he reiterated that on Friday, adding that the return of various personnel – midfielder Joe Allen is also now fit after missing the season so far due to a hamstring problem – will be vital. “We now have players hopefully coming back, which will add to the squad and see us go on a run of games where we can perform well and get the victories,” he said. “Daniel, on his game, is one of the best there is – there are not too many who can compare with him when he is at his level. “When he can stretch teams like he can with his pace and the wonderful variety in his finishing, you put Christian (Benteke) alongside that, Coutinho in behind that or to the side of it, then other players support that – it is a really exciting dynamic. Sturridge has been back in full training since last week after recovering from a hip operation in May, while midfielder Henderson this week underwent a specialist procedure in the United States in an attempt to cure an ongoing heel problem. And Rodgers said on Friday: “Jordan will train today so we’ll see how he comes through that – he has obviously been away and had some work done on his foot, so hopefully all will be well with that but we’ll assess it over the next 48 hours. Press Association Liverpool forward Daniel Sturridge and captain Jordan Henderson could both make their comebacks in Sunday’s home clash with Norwich, Reds boss Brendan Rodgers has indicated. “We have probably been waiting for that for quite a period of time but those types of players like Daniel, with that quality, can give a totally different perspective to your team. “And the reality is we are only a few points off where we’d want to be and there is still a long way to go.” With regard to the scrutiny Liverpool are under and their search for goals and points, Rodgers has emphasised the importance of staying calm. “It is about never getting too carried away if you win or disappointed if you lose,” he said. “It (the lack of goals) has been an ongoing issue for a little while now but we will get there, and the players coming back will enhance that quality in the team and give us a greater opportunity to score goals. “I think it’s very important you remain calm and, for me, I always focus on what I can control – I can’t control what is written or said about me. “All I can do is control the team and how we operate, and try to maximise what I can get out of the players available.” Defender Kolo Toure is another who will be assessed ahead of Sunday’s top-flight game at Anfield after he came off in the first half of Thursday’s 1-1 Europa League draw at Bordeaux due to a dead leg.