White House Watch: Stakes Raised For Next DNC Debates


The Democratic field is expected to be cut in half the next time the candidates take the debate stage.

As the bar is raised for the party’s next debate (Sept. 12-13 in Houston), fundraising and name recognition become vital. Eight candidates have met the DNC’s debate stage threshold of 130,000 unique donors and two percent support in four polls.

The eight are: former Vice President Joe Biden, Senators Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar and Elizabeth Warren, former Texas representative Beto O’Rourke and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Buttigieg used his time in Detroit last week to ask voters to “summon the courage to walk away from the past.” On the first night at the Fox Theatre, Buttigieg stressed America was “running out of time” to solve critical issues. He advocated for raising the minimum wage and allowing gig workers to unionize.

The U.S. minimum wage is $7.25 an hour.

“The minimum wage is just too low,” Buttigieg said. “And so-called conservative Christian senators, right now in the Senate are blocking a bill to raise the minimum wage when scripture says whoever oppresses the poor taunts their maker.” 

Florida Representative Shevrin Jones, a fellow gay millennial, said Buttigieg performed well in the debate.

“Mayor @PeteButtigieg comes with a fresh perspective that was needed on the stage, and he also speaks with such confidence in his response. He won the day 1 debate in my book,” Jones tweeted.

Following the debates, the nation was rocked again by mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. President Trump issued the standard thoughts and prayers and had flags lowered at half-mast. Calls for legislation on universal background checks and an assault weapons ban resumed as well as identifying root causes.

“We can’t fix the problem if we refuse to name it: white nationalism. An ideology emboldened by a president who stokes the flames of hatred and coddles white supremacists with messages of support. We must do what Trump won’t: condemn this evil and eradicate it from our society,” tweeted Biden.

Added O’Rourke, appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program: “This president’s open racism is an invitation to violence. The writing has been on the wall since his maiden speech coming down the escalator calling immigrants ‘rapists and criminals.’”

Meanwhile, there is the matter of securing the Republican party’s nomination. Currently, Trump has one legitimate challenger – former Massachusetts Governor William Weld.

Weld, 74, has stated he’s in a fight for the soul of the GOP. More recently he has called Trump a “raging racist.” As of the last reporting cycle, Weld had raised $871,852 placing him twenty-fifth among all candidates.

The Washington Times printed this assessment of Weld:

“He wanders every which way; he’s an ideological libertarian who wants to give free college to workers who lose their jobs to automation, he’s a Republican who supports abortion. He’s not libertarian, he’s just not anything. He has proven over three decades in the public square as an elected official and as a candidate, that he will say and do anything to keep himself relevant. And that’s a recipe for irrelevance,” wrote Remso Martinez in an op-ed published Aug. 1.

Thus far there have been no announcements of a Republican debate.