Warren shines at first Democratic presidential debate, Latest World News - The New Paper

Warren shines at first Democratic presidential debate

This article is more than 12 months old

MIAMI: A lot could have gone wrong for Elizabeth Warren at Wednesday's Democratic presidential debate.

It did not.

Ms Warren, a US senator from Massachusetts, arrived in Miami riding a wave of momentum among the race's more than 20 candidates.

By luck of the draw, she was onstage a night before most of the other top-tier Democratic contenders, such as former Vice-President Joe Biden and US Senator Bernie Sanders.

As the first night's top-polling candidate, she did not falter.

Her progressive platform - similar to Mr Sanders' - largely went unchallenged by the moderates standing alongside her.

Most important, her status in the race to take on Republican President Donald Trump in the November 2020 election placed her front and centre for the Democratic voters watching at home, and she was given ample time at the outset to detail the populist, anti-corporate themes of her candidacy.

"When you've got a government, when you've got an economy that does great for those with money and isn't doing great for everyone else, that is corruption, pure and simple," she said in the early moments of the debate, when viewership is typically highest.

"We need to call it out. We need to attack it head-on."

Ms Warren benefited as well from the sheer chaos of the programme.

With 10 candidates onstage clamouring for attention and each given only a minute to respond, the evening often felt like a 10-car pileup or a round of speed dating.

It was difficult for viewers to track the questions and responses as some candidates often changed the subject.

They talked over one another in an effort to reassure the Democratic base that they all mostly shared a common set of progressive values, making it hard for lesser-known contenders to distinguish themselves.

Today, Mr Biden and Mr Sanders are scheduled to take to the stage along with other top-tier White House hopefuls, including South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg and US Senator Kamala Harris of California. - REUTERS