Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, struggling to stand out from the herd of Democrat presidential wannabes during Night 1 of the first primary debates, went for the cheap cheer by declaring, in response to a question about the greatest security threat facing the United States, “The biggest threat to the security of the United States is Donald Trump. No question about it.”
So, it must have been a cold splash of reality when NBC News analyst Jonathan Allen observed in the aftermath of the Wednesday night program from Miami that President Trump was left “largely unscathed,” as reported by Fox News.
Inslee is running almost dead last in the field of 22 Democrats vying for their party’s 2020 presidential nomination. But he should be too worried, because he came out ahead of Sen. Cory Booker, the vehemently anti-gun New Jersey pol, in a Drudge Report Insta-Poll. Also trailing Inslee is Texan Beto O’Rourke, the former congressman.
Inslee, running on a climate change platform, fired the verbal shot as though he had been practicing the one-liner for just that moment. While it garnered a huge cheer from the audience, analyst Allen wrote late Wednesday evening that Trump was the “big winner” of the first debate.
“For long stretches,” he wrote of the debate between ten candidates, “it seemed, they completely forgot about the man who has been at the center of pretty much every discussion among Democrats for the last two-plus years — the man they’re competing to take on next year. The obvious reason: The motivation to beat each other was, on this night, more urgent than defeating Trump — a life-or-death moment for some of their campaigns…Trump was the chief beneficiary of that dynamic.”
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But Trump may have to share the spotlight with Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, who emerged as a surprise winner in the Drudge Report poll. An Iraq war veteran, Gabbard pulled in a strong 38 percent of the votes in the Drudge poll that got some 70,000 votes.
Born in American Samoa in 1981, the 38-year-old Gabbard has been in Congress since 2013. During her remarks, she came across as confident, poised and matter-of-fact. She may be the one to watch as the campaign unfolds, while other candidates in the crowded field may only be worth watching as they start dropping out.
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