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The Democratic presidential hopefuls sharpen their elbows

Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar look to the moderators during the Democratic presidential debate in Las Vegas on Wednesday.Erin Schaff/The New York Times

Bloomberg’s next step should be aside

Renée Graham’s commentary the morning after Wednesday’s Las Vegas Democratic debate (“Warren soars, Bloomberg flops in knives-out debate,” was right on the mark. Mike Bloomberg, who should have been completely prepared for questions about his record, including stop-and-frisk policies when he was mayor of New York and a hostile and sexist work environment, seemed ill-equipped to respond. His commercials may be dazzling, but his debate performance failed to live up to the them; his poor showing should lead to a downturn in his polling numbers and, one would hope, his dropping out of the race.

Really, this should be viewed as a victory for democracy, showing that the Democratic presidential nomination cannot be bought. There is no shame in being an accomplished billionaire, but a presidential candidate needs to offer the voters more than expensive advertising. Bloomberg should step aside and commit his vast wealth to supporting a candidate prepared for the challenge of running for this office.

Cynthia M. Sullivan



Candidates’ clash is a sign of a party with a host of ideas and visions

I loved the debate. This is the primary season. I reject descriptions of Democrats as being in disarray. There were lots of good ideas, solutions to problems, and visions for our country flying around and being debated. This is what we want to hear. Even explanations of what socialism is and isn’t, and where we are putting it to effective use in our country, are a great thing to have discussed.

The candidates jabbed at one another’s ideas, experience, and policy plans. They didn’t attack each other’s looks, like our juvenile president does.

The Republicans have only the autocratic, fascist-like one note sounded by Donald Trump to go with. There are no alternative Republican ideas anymore; there is only Trump’s out-of-control, impulsive, and corrupt way of doing business and running the country into the ground.


I hope that once a nominee is named, all these good Democratic candidates will stay in the public sphere and continue the fight for the party until Election Day. Any one of them would be so much better than what we are living with now.

Susan Rothstein


Clinton didn’t click with poor white voters in 2016 — Democrats shouldn’t repeat mistake

Re “Democrats turn scrappy in bare-knuckled debate” (Page A1, Feb. 20): It was good that the candidates at Wednesday night’s debate addressed our racial history and what we need to do to address inequities. However, I feel they passed on a chance to talk about issues affecting working-class and poor white citizens. The issues are different, but the pain felt in parts of the country that are hurting and predominantly white also needs to be addressed.

The Clinton campaign missed out on an opportunity to reach out to these voters in 2016. Let’s not cede ground, in either compassion or policy, to a huckster who doesn’t care about the lives of the poor or marginalized, regardless of race or creed.

Edwin Andrews


Progressive purity tests will boost only Trump

Wednesday night’s debate confirmed Barack Obama’s prediction last year that Democrats could find themselves in a circular firing squad regarding their cancel-culture mentality. Past statements, even many years ago and taken out of context, are enough to make a candidate unfit not only to run for office but to be a Democrat.

White progressives, and their supposed moral superiority, will guarantee the reelection of Donald Trump. Just because you stick a “Hate Has No Home Here” sign on your manicured lawn, that doesn’t mean you are a better person. You may be the one with the tolerance problem.


Now, I’m not saying it’s OK to hate. It’s just that it’s OK to be human, and we all, to varying degrees, carry bias, prejudice, and intolerance. We are a tribal species, and we tend to associate with people of the same race, ethnicity, nationality, or religion. This reality is unacceptable to white liberal progressives. We must be pure of heart. Past transgressions must be punished.

If I have a difference of opinion or, God forbid, happen to be a Republican (I’m an independent), it doesn’t mean I’m a racist. If I don’t pace the kitchen floor at night worrying about transgender bathrooms, it doesn’t mean I’m a homophobe.

Racist, homophobic, xenophobic Republicans aren’t the ones who will get Trump reelected. Purity-minded progressives will.

Michael Ivas