DNC qualification rules don’t say “only Bernie and Biden,” but the threshold of delegates used eliminates Tulsi Gabbard and any other candidate other than Bernie and Biden.
After Super Tuesday, Tulsi Gabbard appeared to qualify for the next Democratic debate in Phoenix, Arizona. Unsurprisingly, the DNC changed the rules to keep her out of it. Now the event will feature only Sanders and Biden.
For all the Democrats’ talk about diversity, it has come down to two old white guys.
Zach Montellaro writes at Politico:
DNC sets up Biden vs. Bernie clash in next debate
After months of crowded Democratic presidential debates featuring up to 12 people on stage at once, this month’s showdown in Phoenix will almost certainly include just two candidates: Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders.
In order to qualify for the March 15 debate on CNN and Univision, candidates need to have earned at least 20 percent of the pledged delegates awarded as of that date, the Democratic National Committee announced Friday.
That’s a mark that both Biden and Sanders easily clear, according to the latest delegate tally after Super Tuesday. As of Friday afternoon, Biden had earned 48 percent of delegates awarded thus far, while Sanders had 41 percent.
The question now is whether or not Bernie Sanders will bring the fight to Joe Biden. For his part, I think Biden will go after Sanders relentlessly. He now believes he has the entire Democrat establishment behind him, and he’s right. If Bernie really wants this, he’s got to show it by going after Biden.
Yet somehow, this feels more and more like 2016 all over again:
— New York Post (@nypost) March 6, 2020
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich has given some thought to the new dynamic in the Democratic primary.
He writes at FOX News:
The Biden-Sanders dilemma the Democratic Party now faces
Now, the race is down to Biden and Sanders, with the Democratic National Committee preparing to change its debate eligibility rules to keep Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii, off the debate stage. Standing with two old white guys, she could maybe make an appealing contrast and represent a last stand for diversity – but not with the Democratic establishment that hates her firmly in control.
Biden and Sanders find themselves with real dilemmas, but the dilemmas are different for each candidate.
In Biden’s case, he is already looking ahead to the general election against President Trump. A major selling point in the flood of endorsements is the belief among establishment Democrats that Sanders is simply too far to the left. So, one challenge for Biden will be to communicate that he is more reasonable…
Meanwhile, Sanders has his own dilemma.
If he wants to become the Democratic nominee, he has to take Biden down. This means speeches, advertising, and debate performances that are harshly critical of Biden and expose his many weaknesses. Biden is potentially susceptible to attacks on his family making money overseas, or his past positions to a whole series of issues which now run afoul of left-wing canon.
Either way, it should be an entertaining debate.
Preview of the debate between Sanders and Biden. pic.twitter.com/2qw226Cdj9
— Jim Bevan (@JimBevan85) March 7, 2020
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