I’m writing this on the morning after, so please be gentle with your criticism of what I have to say. After all, I am hungover . . . from watching the Democrats debate in Las Vegas. While I’m sure there are varying reactions to the ugly scene mis-labeled as a debate, my personal take-aways are these, from left to right on the stage:


  1. Bloomberg. He looked totally ill at ease and sounded it. What I saw of his personality was not remotely presidential. He was unlikeable and has more baggage than a debutante embarking on the Grand Tour of Europe. Most of it seems well-earned. You know that I had high hopes for Bloomberg as did my wife, Lucy. Speaking for myself, those hopes were dashed last night. He is No. 1 of three old men who I don’t want to be our candidate for President. 
  2. Warren. The scolding school marm. While I don’t like the attack-dog mode of debating, she was consistently herself and quite adept at it. She made me cringe a couple of times and, yes, she seemed full of righteous indignation and anger. She left me lukewarm and pessimistic about her prospects, but she didn’t disqualify herself.
  3. Bernie. Too much angry old man. It pains me not to pull for Bernie to get the nomination because I agree with him on almost everything. But I couldn’t get elected in this country and I doubt he can either.  And ……he is too OLD; his health is fair game and he hasn’t been as transparent about it as he promised to earlier in his campaign. So far, almost all his Democratic opponents have said that he is too socialist, too far left to beat Trump. Won’t Trump have a field day repeating what those Democrats have said about him? He is No. 2 of the 3 old men who I don’t want to be our candidate for President. 
  4. Biden. It astounds me hearing pundits this morning saying that the former vice president had a good night, and I heard it multiple times. Are they watching the same feeble old man that I am? ’Nuff said. #3.
  5. Mayor Pete. Nastiness is not his best look. The interchange between the former Mayor of South Bend and Amy K. over the name of the President of Mexico (whose name she didn’t know the day before) was painful to watch. He rubbed her nose in it and she came back at him appropriately. She actually asked him if he were mocking her. He was. He was trying to make her look bad but it backfired. He looked silly standing there grinning. Until that moment, I had hoped that he would rise above the fray but he, too, was drawn into the mosh pit. I have never seen him look bad in a public appearance, but that was beneath him. I hope it never happens again. 
  6. Amy. Something just a bit off there. You’d think from the foregoing that I would steer toward any port in this storm of sneering, interrupting  and finger-wagging. But Amy is so off-putting to me that I have a hard time thinking of her as president. Perhaps she could be president of the Upper Midwest? She has that down pat. Please, dear reader, tell me what I’m missing. I didn’t like her from the start because I believed the stories about the way she snapped at people in her Senate office. Now, I don’t care that much what she is like to work for. I just can’t watch her in public. Plus she is too centrist for me. 


For the good of all of us — those who follow these things as well as those who don’t —  I hope this debate proves to be an outlier. If our Dems continue their circular firing squad, we’ll be toast by Labor Day. Now I am praying that Tom Steyer makes the next debate so there’s some hope to grab onto.

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About Buck Close

Deacon Buck Close serves on the staff of the Church of St. John the Evangelist in Newport, RI. He was born in South Carolina, graduated from Tulane University in 1972 with a BA in Economics and Latin American Studies.

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