CNNers Realize Impeachment Obsession Hurting Dem 2020 Race

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Even before the MSNBC Democratic primary debate was finished on Wednesday, CNN was already live with their post-debate analysis. And during a day marked by hours upon hours of televised impeachment hearings, their analysts and commentators discovered that, in many ways, their obsession with impeaching President Trump was hurting their party’s primary process.

The first analyst to make the connection was former Obama adviser David Axelrod, who thought the debate was less exciting that the hearings themselves:

DAVID AXELROD: I have to say I think I'm having some sort of impeachment affect.

[Laughter]

I'm just like where's Devin Nunes?

[Laughter]

Where’s Jim Jordan? Where’s the excitement? Where’s the energy?

I had the same feeling watching this. I was like, oh, those guys, they exist,” added host Anderson Cooper, seemingly quipping about realizing how the candidates were still around.

Former White House official David Gergen said he felt “heavily influenced too by watching the impeachment hearings all day. It made tonight seem a little flatter I think. It took some of the emotional drama out of the evening.

 

 

He went on to argue that impeachment has highlighted the two true lanes in the Democratic race. “It's not just the centrists versus the liberals. It is the people that put the emphasis upon healing and unifying the country versus those who want to fight and have a revolution,” he said.

According to him, those on the revolution side embodied “the worst aspects” of impeachment:

Personally, after the impeachment hearings, I'm looking for a healer first. I'm more drawn to that. I think people like Van represent that kind of politics as well. And I think it makes Warren -- it increases the danger that she's going to seem -- she has plan for everything. She's going to throw everything out, she’s going to start all over again. And it seems both impractical, but there's a hectoring quality there that I think reminds you of some of the worst aspects of the impeachment.

With a different take on the damage impeachment was doing, former Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe lamented that the public was beaten down by the day’s hearings and didn’t tune in.

“I don't think it moved the ball much tonight to be honest with you. We can all say what we want. I don’t think-- I think there is exhaustion with impeachment going on today. I'm not sure how many people stayed in -- tuned in to the debate,” he explained.

In his opinion, Senator Amy Klobuchar (MN) was the saving grace of those exhausted by impeachment. “I thought Amy Klobuchar—I thought she did a great job. She looked human, she was funny. In an exhausting day for everybody in the country, I thought she was a good relief and helped herself,” he claimed.

The transcript is below, click "expand" to read:

CNN’s DNC Debate Post Analysis
November 20, 2019
11:01:47 p.m. Eastern

DAVID AXELROD: I have to say I think I'm having some sort of impeachment affect.

[Laughter]

I'm just like where's Devin Nunes?

[Laughter]

Where’s Jim Jordan? Where’s the excitement? Where’s the energy?

[Crosstalk]

ANDERSON COOPER: I had the same feeling watching this. I was like, oh, those guys, they exist?

AXELROD: It was in many ways the most low key of all. It got a little bit more animated at the end. And I don't think it's going to change a whole lot.

(…)

DAVID GERGEN: I was heavily influenced too by watching the impeachment hearings all day. It made tonight seem a little flatter I think. It took some of the emotional drama out of the evening.

But there was something else that came out in the contrast. I think watching the last few days of these impeachment hearings has made you very, very aware that among Democrats, there are two lanes. It's not just the centrists versus the liberals. It is the people that put the emphasis upon healing and unifying the country versus those who want to fight and have a revolution. And I think you Biden and Buttigieg and Klobuchar in that first group and Warren and Sanders in the other group.

Personally, after the impeachment hearings, I'm looking for a healer first. I'm more drawn to that. I think people like Van represent that kind of politics as well. And I think it makes Warren -- it increases the danger that she's going to seem -- she has plan for everything. She's going to throw everything out, she’s going to start all over again. And it seems both impractical, but there's a hectoring quality there that I think reminds you of some of the worst aspects of the impeachment.

AXELROD: You just got Van booted out of the left.

[Laughter]

(…)

TERRY MCAULIFFE: I thought a good debate. I liked the issues that we talked about. I always like when we get into good policy discussions, parental leave, talk about affordable housing. I don't think it moved the ball much tonight to be honest with you. We can all say what we want. I don’t think-- I think there is exhaustion with impeachment going on today. I'm not sure how many people stayed in -- tuned in to the debate.

(…)

I thought Amy Klobuchar—I thought she did a great job. She looked human, she was funny. In an exhausting day for everybody in the country, I thought she was a good relief and helped herself.

(…)

NB Daily Campaigns & Elections 2020 Presidential Debates Events Trump Impeachment Political Groups Liberals & Democrats Cable Television CNN Anderson Cooper 360 Video David Axelrod David Gergen Terry McAuliffe Donald Trump

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