The 2020 Democratic Presidential candidates have been narrowed down by the DNC with 20 meeting the minimum requirements to make the debate stage. The debates will be held later on this month over two days with 10 people on stage each night. Unlike 2016 where the debates were held on a Saturday night when nobody was watching these two debates will be held on a Wednesday and Thursday night from 9 to 11pm Eastern Standard Time. They will air on NBC, MSNBC, and Telemundo. It should be noted that Tom Perez, the DNC’s Chair has publicly stated that neither Fox News nor any of its personnel will be allowed to moderate any of the Democratic primaries.
“I believe that a key pathway to victory is to continue to expand our electorate and reach all voters,” said Perez in his statement to The Washington Post. “That is why I have made it a priority to talk to a broad array of potential media partners, including Fox News. Recent reporting in the New Yorker on the inappropriate relationship between President Trump, his administration and Fox News has led me to conclude that the network is not in a position to host a fair and neutral debate for our candidates. Therefore, Fox News will not serve as a media partner for the 2020 Democratic primary debates.”
While it’s true that Fox News and many of its opinion hosts push a conservative pro-Trump agenda it’s also true that the journalists they have chosen in the past to moderate primaries and debates have been firm and fair to members of both political parties.
Fox News urged the DNC to reconsider the decision. In a statement, Fox News senior vice president Bill Sammon said the network’s debate team of journalists Chris Wallace, Bret Baier, and Martha MacCallum embody the “ultimate journalistic integrity and professionalism.” He warned that Democrats are missing out on “an important opportunity to make their case to the largest TV news audience in America.”
Fox News by far has dominated the ratings in prime time over many of its left-leaning competitors. Ratings for CNN and MSNBC have substantially decreased since the release of the Mueller report. The majority of their programming revolved around Russian collusion conspiracy theories. When that didn’t pan out the way they hoped their audience showed their disapproval by changing the channel. Note to future television network programmers: never put all of your eggs in one basket. If you go all in and bet the house on red at the roulette table don’t be upset if the ball lands on black.
I understand Tom Perez’s decision to not have Fox News host any of the Democratic primaries. I don’t agree with it but I understand it. He knows that network rarely has a kind word to say about Democrats similar to how the networks that are hosting the primaries rarely speak positively about the president. He wants to make sure the candidates on stage have the best chance to get across their message to the viewing public in the most favorable light possible. What that translates to in decoded political speak means he doesn’t want any of the moderators asking tough questions. Tough questions from a skilled moderator force the candidate to back up their positions with facts. That same skilled moderator will challenge you when you try to deflect from the question and spin the answer to something totally unrelated. If you have someone from Fox doing the moderating knowing that the channel has a less than favorable opinion of Democrats because that’s how they get their ratings, you set yourself up to be potentially embarrassed on a national stage.
That is the exact reason why they should allow Fox News to moderate at least one or some of the Democratic primaries. If the head of the DNC feels Fox moderators won’t give its candidates a fair shake what are they going to do when the ultimate winner goes up against Donald Trump in the general election? If they can’t handle some tough and possible loaded questions from debate moderators in the primaries how are they going to handle those same questions from the same moderators come next fall?
Politics is like a blood sport especially when it comes to the White House. When a prizefighter prepares for a championship boxing match he spends several months prior to the bout training and sparring with boxers that are similar in height and weight, and speed and strength as their opponent. This helps them prepare for the real fight when all the money is on the line. Tom Perez needs to rethink his plan of attack if he wants one of his members to have any chance of success on election night.
Another factor to consider is Trump’s uncanny ability to negatively brand his opponents with unfavorable nicknames. Some notable mentions from the past election cycle include Lying Ted, Low Energy Jeb, Little Marco, Crazy Bernie and most famous of all Crooked Hillary. The DNC and those on the debate stage need to face every tough moderator they can. The perceived threat they face from a so-called unfair media outlet will be nothing in comparison to an incumbent with comedic timing who counter punches with lasting blows. Even to this day, people who attend Trump rallies chant, “lock her up” when the topic of Hillary Clinton comes up. That all stemmed from a loosely veiled threat by Trump during one of their three debates where he said she would be in jail if he were elected president.
In the restaurant industry and life there’s a saying; if you can’t handle the heat, get out of the kitchen. The Democratic Primary debates over the initial two-day period will show a lot of Trump bashing and minimal attacks on each other. Since Joe Biden is the current front-runner expect to see some jabs at him from those on stage that want the spotlight to be on them. While some will try and stay positive and talk about their vision for the future and policy plans they have for the country others along with the moderators will push for impeachment of the president legislatively instead of electorally. I also predict with several of the popular candidates being liberal and socialist you will hear that if elected they will eliminate all student debt, provide free Medicare to all regardless of immigration status and tear down any existing border walls as a direct affront to the current administration. When asked how they will pay for all their lofty goals they will say there’s plenty of money around, it’s only in the wrong hands.
I would like to say that I’m a psychic and can see into the future but really I’m just repeating what some of them have already said. Either way, it will be a lot of Kumbaya for each other and unified venom for the president. Once the field gets narrowed down to single digits the gloves will come off and it will be every Democrat for themselves. That’s when it will get interesting and be worthy of popcorn and beer. Until then it will be a civil affair worthy of cheese and crackers. Perhaps a wine spritzer or lite chardonnay for those who want to imbibe. As for me, I’ll be watching some of it to see what they have to say but I won’t break out the hard liquor just yet. That will be reserved for the later primaries and debates when it shots fired for everyone. If it’s really brutal I’ll have to follow it up with a chaser. Can’t drink like I used too ☺.