” CNN-UNIVISION Democratic Debate – ‘A Special and Exclusive Debate’ ” – March 15, 2020.

          CNN-Univision  Democratic Presidential Primary Debate was held in Washington DC tonight.

          Former VP, Joe Biden  and  Senator, Bernie Sanders were the candidates.

          Jake Tapper of CNN,  Dana Bash of CNN, and  Ilia Calderon of Univision were the moderators.

          Issues discussed covered :  Coronavirus crisis, Women’s Rights,  Immigration,  Climate Change, and Foreign Policy.

          This debate is very special in the sense that it was like a ‘person to person chat’ ; and very special too in the sense that there was no audience to stimulate, cheer, or goad the candidates as they performed. Coronavirus restrictions prevented a gathering and the debate took place in an empty hall.

          Coronavirus crisis and how it can be tackled formed the first half of the debate.

          Figure below represents Joe Biden’s Strategy to control Coronavirus :

          His three priorities are (a) to take care of all people affected and scared of the coronavirus with deployment of resources necessary ;  (b)  to prepare every state and union to equip better with materials and resources including test kits, ventilators, hospitals, masks, and any other ;  and  (c)  to tackle the economic fall out so as to preserve every citizen’s requirements.

          Figure below represents Bernie Sanders’ Strategy to control Coronavirus :

          His three priorities are (a)  to be an effective and functional President,  (b)  to take care of all payments necessary to protect the health of every citizen ,  and  (c)  to ensure there is no job loss and individual financial scarcity.

          My general/salient Observations :

          1.  Both Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders came up with relevant points on every issue of discussion. It was a one-on-one competition and the team for both are the Democrats. Both seemed caught up in the emotion of the moment initially while discussing the coronavirus control strategies, and also seemed to be in unison recognising that it is the “emergency need”  of the moment, requiring strong and highly effective focus.

          2.  Neither was there the audience to cheer the speakers nor was there anyone to be cheered by the news/information from the speakers. Lack of comparative enthusiasm was clearly perceptible atleast in the first 75 minutes. If the lack of enthusiasm and desire to get really involved in the debate caused the debate itself to be less impressive, less serious, and less exciting, it will not be an understatement.

          3.  Bernie Sanders took the opportunity to emphasize on his fundamental beliefs and viewpoints that big companies should not look at profiteering ;  stand up for Wall Street’s greediness ;  release emergency funding to take care of people immediately ;  Medicare for all ensuring that nobody is left to worry for health payments ; and minimum pay for workers. He also added that the situation exposed the dysfunctionality of our health system management ;  and  fragility of our economics that so few have so much with many left out in the Society. He scored well on these points in the debate.

          4.  Joe Biden took the opportunity to reiterate the trust and faith that he has gained from the citizens while referring to the misery of an individual sitting out during the debate, and citing some personal experiences and concerns proving his Presidential qualities. This would have made the needed impact on viewers and listeners.

          5.  Both stayed calm through the debate, spoke clearly,  explained their respective viewpoints vividly,  and put themselves to be fair and respectful to everyone.

          6.  The exchange between the two regarding each other voting for the bills or against in the past and now consistently or otherwise was a keenly watched moment of the debate without anyone scoring better than the other. (Presence of audience would have enthused the interactions or even prolonged the arguments as important points).

          7.  Addressing each other by their first names many times in the debate proving that they are true friends without an iota of unpleasantness was something worth noting in this debate. (Presence of audience would perhaps have altered the excellent sentiments displayed by one another).

          8.  Joe Biden’s conviction and Commitment to tackling Climate Change citing instances of his stand – be it fracking, taking on big companies,  no drilling on federal land, high speed rails –  much before those cited by Bernie Sanders must have helped favour his arguments better and more than Bernie Sanders.

          9.  ” I will pick a woman to be a VP if I become the nominee ”  –  Joe Biden’s one sentence that would constitute the single most prominent, great, and valuable takeaway from this single most unique TV debate without the audience.

          To conclude :  Did Joe Biden persuade the voters ? Yes ;   Did Joe Biden communicate his value statements ? Yes ;   and Would  the listeners and viewers have comprehended better ?  Yes.  


   “Dieu avec nous “

   Monday, March 16, 2020 –  8.59 a.m. (IST)

   Tidbit : ” This is the moment when we have to work with equality including China, Italy, WHO ” –  Bernie Sanders.




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