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June 14, 2019 10:16 AM UTC

"Benkenlooper" Makes The Cut--And Will Share The Stage

  • by: Colorado Pols

UPDATE: Here’s the complete debate lineup, via the New York Times:


Michael Bennet, John Hickenlooper.

Colorado Public Radio reports:

Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper and Democratic U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet have both qualified for the first Democratic presidential primary debates. The Democratic National Committee announced the names of the candidates that made the cut on Thursday…

An NBC News drawing Friday will divide the large field between the first and second night. Party officials have promised to weight the drawing with the intention of ensuring that top tier and lagging candidates are spread roughly evenly over the two nights.

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock was the most high-profile candidate left off the list. He failed to reach the party’s polling or grassroots fundraising thresholds.

Today the grouping of the candidates was announced after the drawing mentioned above–former Gov. John Hickenlooper of Colorado and Sen. Michael Bennet will share the stage with the man both have set their sights on as a principal target to plink at from the right side of the primary field, Sen. Bernie Sanders. Both candidates have a higher bar to meet in terms of polling and financial support in order to qualify for the third round of debates later in September, so it’s critical they take maximum advantage of the brief amount of camera time each candidate will receive in Miami.

Obviously it’s what they both wanted, including the chance to face off against Sanders.

We’ll see what they do with it.


21 thoughts on ““Benkenlooper” Makes The Cut–And Will Share The Stage

  1. How the hell does Bill DiBlasio (whom New Yor City residents don't want) make the debate but Steve Bullock (who manages to win two elections in red-state Montana) does not?

    And who knew that Mike Gravel was still alive…..

    Maybe Harold Stassen needs to challenge Bill Weld and Trump.

    1. DeBlasio made 1% in 3 polls somehow – don't ask me how, 'cause I don't know. Bullock only made 1% in two polls (plus one open-ended poll that the DNC said was an unacceptable format way back in March…)

  2. I am pleased that Senator Thurston Bennet and Governor John Frackenlooper will be on stage together. 

    It will be easier to decide which one is more uninspiring.

      1. I like the Senator Bennet with a fire in his belly; connecting that fire to his intellect is a great combo.  He's been a great ally to my ag issues and I think his contribution to the debate will be valuable.  I also like the large chorus at this point; the party is blessed with a lot of talent. I'm with R&R though, bummed that Bullock didn't make the cut, I hope he'll consider his Senate options.  He's definitely the kind of politician we need in leadership. 

        1. I have heard "Passionate Thurston" speak…it is pretty impressive, but he IS campaigning and it remains to be seen if that translates into the demise of some of his traditional alliances.

          I would be impressed if he were to eschew Big Money in his campaign…but, that is unlikely. Your experience with him and confidence in him says more to me than anything he says.

          I certainly won't fail to watch the debates.

  3. Bennet was on national TV yesterday and made some great points.  I listened to what he had to say and he made sense.  The guy has done his homework on some of the most pressing issues in the Senate.

      1. And let's not forget the ability to electrify, Dave. Nobody wants a boring candidate. Did 2016 teach us nothing. We need someone who will excite the excitable base.

        Competence is grossly overrated.

    1. The September debate field won't be "cut" by performance on the June and July debates. 

      It will be cut by the criteria of 130,000 donors [with 400 in each of 20 states] AND 2% in at least 4 polls in July and August.  If those standards were used now, only 9 have ONE qualifying poll and some of those would be dropped due to the donor threshold.

  4. Despite flooding our inboxes with pleas for $1 contributions, Benkenlooper didn't make the 65,000 contributor criteria, so unless either of them have a truly outstanding debate in two weeks, their campaigns will be on life support.

    While they might stagger through the July debates, making the doubled September criteria seems to be beyond either's ability, given the high powered competition facing them.

  5. Day 1: Warren gives a lecture on her policy. Inslee tries to get people to pay attention to his policy. Gabbard is a weird racist. No one cares about anyone else.

    Day 2: THUNDERDOME! Sanders and Biden fight. Hickenlooper and Bennet try to get in the fray and no one cares. Harris comes in swinging at both of them. Brawl on stage.

  6. Honestly, my favorite part is how on-brand it was for the DNC to get clowned by NBC.

    Those in the room then waited to see which group, purple or orange, would debate on June 26 and which would appear on June 27. Campaign operatives and DNC officials present were taken aback when NBC officials deliberated behind closed doors to make the decision.

    When NBC News executives announced that Warren's group would be debating first and the Sanders and Biden group would be debating second, campaign representatives present asked how they came to the decision. According to multiple people at the drawing, an NBC News official told the room it was because they wanted to "maximize viewership."

    A DNC representative present, communications director Xochitl Hinojosa, then spoke up to say that while they appreciated wanting to ensure as many viewers as possible, the DNC was hoping for "more randomization of the process," even in choosing which group would debate first.

          1. Campaign operatives and DNC officials present were taken aback when NBC officials deliberated behind closed doors to make the decision.

  7. Frank Bruni of the New York Times considers the irony that *rump, in the end, will pick the Democratic candidate

    Trump, for example, gets credit for the Democratic primary’s defining aspect, which is the sheer number of candidates — 23. They assessed his underwhelming approval rating, factored in his combustibility and decided that if ever a sitting president looked vulnerable and if any year appeared ripe for a Democratic takeover, that president is Trump and that year is 2020. The many long shots among them weren’t dissuaded by their odds, because Trump took an unconventional route to a victory that stunned him as much as it did anybody else. It suggested that the old rules were out the window and you never really know.

    “Electability” dominates Democratic voters’ thoughts, because many of them are more horrified by four more years of Trump than they were by four more years of his Republican predecessors.

    And every Democratic candidate’s theory of the race is a theory of Trump, reflecting his or her analysis of how Trump pulled off his astonishing upset.

    Did it indeed rest on embittered and economically vulnerable white men in the Rust Belt? Then his challenger must be able to speak to that demographic group.

    Did Trump prevail in 2016 because too few young people, progressives and voters of color cast ballots? Then the key is a candidate who can supposedly energize one or more of those groups.

    Has Trump’s grossly misogynistic behavior and assault on reproductive rights set the stage for a woman-powered rebellion at the polls? 

    Was the lesson of Trump that you must be able to saturate the media, social and otherwise, and become a compulsively watchable character in a narrative of your own invention?

    We have a candidate or several for each of those…

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