In years to come, Thursday night's Democratic debate in Los Angeles might be most remembered for having taken place so soon after President Trump's impeachment—and for the number of mentions of "wine caves." The first half of the debate was largely good-natured, and candidates were in agreement about impeachment, but fireworks began in the second half when Elizabeth Warren clashed with Pete Buttigieg over fundraising from wealthy donors. With only seven candidates on stage at Loyola Marymount University, the hopefuls had more speaking time and the discussion of issues including foreign policy was more substantive. Some takeaways:
- Biden's best debate. Many pundits say this was Biden's best debate performance so far—although he remained the frontrunner after previous so-so performances. "It wasn’t flawless, but he kept things on the rails, had flashes of good humor and was deft with tough moments he could see approaching, including about his age," writes Aaron Blake at the Washington Post. Biden also wasn't a major target for other candidates.