Watching the South Carolina fish fry, where reportedly 20 presidential candidates are backstage in the same room waiting to speak. Beto just came on stage. You can watch here:…
Biden just came onstage. Opens with:

"Jim is the highest-ranking African-American in goverment in U.S. history, except for the guy I worked for for eight years."
Damn, that was short. Biden maybe spent 90 seconds talking, if that.
Booker is out now.

Booker, like Beto and Biden, is wearing a blue Jim Clyburn campaign shirt. I'm interested to see if any of the candidates will not be wearing one.
"Let's get out there and kick some bass!"

-- Sen. Cory Booker, with the fish pun
Marianne Williamson is out now. She was introduced as "a great friend of Oprah" and "writing a self-help guide for running for president".

Not sure what to do with that.

She is also wearing a blue Clyburn shirt.
I gotta say: if I didn't know any better, I'd think Marianne Williamson was a seasoned Member of Congress. She's not too bad at stump speeches.
Eric Swalwell just called the Dem candidates "the Avengers" and referred to the GOP as "The Hunger Games". It is, I must say, a clunky thing to say, at best.

He is also wearing a blue Clyburn shirt.
Swalwell, after the unusual opening, is doing pretty good.

"Ending gun violence will be my top priority."
Hickenlooper is out now. He's wearing the blue Clyburn shirt over a white dress shirt with the sleeves rolled to the elbow.
Hickenlooper wasn't bad but a bit unwieldly. He seemed to realize how little time he had to speak about 30 seconds into it and quickly brought his remarks to an end.
Castro out now. Same blue Clyburn shirt over white dress shirt with the sleeves rolled to the elbow like Hickenlooper. It looks pretty good on him, tho. He looks fit.
"We're gonna talk the talk. We're gonna walk the walk. We're gonna be fearless."

-- Julian Castro, at the fish fry
Castro is now impressively reeling off a number of names of Black people murdered by law enforcement and talking about police brutality.
Sanders out now. Definitely got the biggest entrance applause, so far.

Sanders is NOT wearing a blue Clyburn shirt, the first not to do so.
Sanders is doing his usual stump condensed considerably. Living minimum wage, health care, etc.

He is definitely over time and not caring one bit about it.
Sanders is way over time and still going. I imagine some event staffer is frantically waving him off.
De Blasio is out now. Tepid applause, honestly.

He is wearing a blue Clyburn shirt.

"Congressman, that is damn good fish."
De Blasio is not bad at public speaking. He's really not. But he doesn't have a spark either. His narrative seems disjointed and distracted. There's nothing compelling there.
Listening to De Blasio's stump speech feels like someone put a bunch of okay lines, threw them in a hat, and took them out at random.
Bennett is out now.

"Hello everyone, I'm Michael Bennett from Colorado."

He's wearing a blue Clyburn shirt over white dress shirt with sleeves rolled to the elbow.
I can't stop thinking about Bernie being the only candidate so far to not wear a blue Clyburn shirt. That seems ill-advised and a little petty.
Bennett's speaking style is "slightly buzzed". I'm just reporting what I'm hearing. He is not drinking, to be clear, but he sure sounds like it.
Gillibrand out now. She is also wearing a blue Clyburn shirt over a white skirt that I'm digging quite a lot.

"I have taken on the powerful and corrupt my entire career. I took on the Pentagon twice -- first over the repeal of DADT, then sexual violence in the military."
"I have taken on President Trump more than anyone in the U.S. Senate -- I will take on the battles that others won't."

-- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand

She's right, based on voting and nom records.
"Imagine a woman not just having a seat at the table but at the head of the table."

-- Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand
Gillibrand's stump is quite good, in my opinion. It is the best formed, so far. Clear, compelling narrative condensed well.
Klobuchar out now. She is also wearing the blue Clyburn shirt.

She immediately references the last time her being here in support of President Obama.

"Trump made fun of me for talking about climate change in a blizzard. But I wrote back: science on my side."
Klobuchar says she wrote Trump: "I would like to see how your hair would fare in a blizzard."

It's not a terrible line, but it definitely didn't land.
Klobuchar is doing pretty well. Hits her key points, ending on support for reauthorizing the Voting Rights Act.

Does a shout-out to Stacey Abrams, which no other candidate has done.
Tim Ryan now out after a kinda strange "hot yoga" intro by Clyburn.

Ryan is wearing a blue Clyburn shirt that is soaked through with sweat. He needs to hydrate.
"When those factories close, I know who was in them."

-- Tim Ryan, at the fish fry
Tim Ryan has an okay stump. It's a little excitable and distracted but not bad.
Seth Moulton out now. Gets intro'd with "three tours in Afghanistan".

He is also wearing the blue Clyburn shirt.
Moulton calls for impeachment proceedings against Trump.

"I have fought for my country, and I will fight for you."
Andrew Yang out now. Clyburn introduces him as "the leader of Yang Gang".

Yang is also wearing the blue Clyburn shirt.
"The reason Donald Trump is president is this: we automated away four million jobs."

-- Andrew Yang, at the fish fry
"If you've heard anything about me, you've heard this: there's an Asian man wanting to give away $1000 dollars to every American. And that is all true!"

-- Andrew Yang, at the fish fry
"The opposite of Donald Trump is an Asian man who likes math!"

-- Andrew Yang, at the fish fry
Wayne Messam out now. Calls Clyburn "Cly-born".

He is wearing the blue Clyburn shirt.
Messam is the Mayor of Miramar, Florida. He brought his wife onstage with him, kissed her, and she left.

Now talking about his college football career.
Messam is doing an emphasized gun reform pitch. He is definitely over time as he launches into oil drilling in the Everglades.
"I was the first candidate to propose a total forgiveness of student loans in this country."

I don't know if this is true, but Wayne Messam just said it.
Messam is way over time and still plowing ahead.
Messam emphasizes his college football championship and ends by calling Clyburn "Cly-born" again.
Jay Inslee out now. Wearing a blue Clyburn shirt.

"Before I say anything else, can we give thanks for the people who fed us tonight?"
Inslee is giving a great stump speech, focused mainly on climate change. He's impressive.
Delaney out now. Also wearing a blue Clyburn shirt.

My hand to god, I forgot Delaney was in this thing.
"We are on a mission to find the America that has been lost."

Delaney just said this to a predominantly Black crowd. I'm sure everyone gets what he meant, but good lord, what a weird, unforced error.
Elizabeth Warren out now. She definitely has gotten the biggest entrance applause, way more than Sanders.

Crowd chanted "Warren" for a bit there.

She is also wearing a blue Clyburn shirt.
"We need big structural change, and big structural change starts with big ideas."

-- Elizabeth Warren

Talks about taxing the super wealthy, now laying out what she'd do with that money.

Pretty straightforward and bold vision.
The crowd is clearly loving Warren, and her speech is landing quite well.
"We can dream big, fight hard, and win!"

-- Elizabeth Warren

Crowd goes apeshit. I'm not kidding.
Kamala Harris out now. She is wearing the blue Clyburn shirt under a suit jacket. I find it rather stylish.
"We cannot forget that it was here in South Carolina that we had heroes who fought and died for civil rights... that we would have a voice... that we would not relent until there was full equality for all Americans and all human beings."

-- Kamala Harris, at the fish fry
Harris stump is good, but it's getting unintentionally circular with the wording. Hard to explain but she kinda laps the same words over each other in a confusing way.

HOWEVER... crowd is responding well, and she's landing key points.
"We need a president not in the business of beating people down but lifting people up."

-- Sen. Kamala Harris, at the fish fry
Gabbard out now.

"Aloha, South Carolina!"

She is wearing a blue Clyburn shirt.
I honestly forgot Tulsi Gabbard is running for president.
Gabbard gets a decent applause line with "ban private prisons" amid a list of things she'd like to do.

"As your commander-in-chief, I will end wasteful regime change wars that have been so costly."
I don't know, y'all.... I'm trying my best to be open, but I just don't trust Gabbard.
All the candidates are now onstage for a group photo. Bernie Sanders finally put on a blue Clyburn shirt. They are all now waving. This feels awkward.
I would pay anything to put all the Dem presidential candidates in the same room for 24 hours and hidden cameras to watch what unfolds.
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