, 95 tweets, 85 min read
So, tomorrow (Saturday) I’m going to watch every last #LJ19 speech and do a #megathread analyzing them all, from content to charisma to audience response. For everyone in the #YangGang who couldn’t attend, this will be your Cliff’s Notes.
Thread coming this afternoon 👍
Okay, #LJ19 analysis thread begins here. #DemocraticParty @DNC
First up: @PeteButtigieg. #TeamPete #TeamPeteShowsUp #Barnstormers4Pete

Smart move by @iowademocrats to open with a fresh faced midwesterner. As a Hoosier, I have to admit a soft spot for Pete. #LJ19
Crowd roars for awhile. Iowans dig Pete. He immediately invokes Obama and compares himself to him. Starts throwing shots at Trump. Brings up his military service (thank you @PeteButtigieg). #TeamPete #LJ19
Has a great line about lowering American's blood pressure when they turn on the news and see Pete instead of Donald. Pete casts himself as a uniter. "American majority." He speaks empathetically about rural Americans and conservatives. #TeamPete #LJ19
Mentions systemic racism. Lots of direct call outs of issues that @TheDemocrats care about. Quotes the Bible (good move, Americans are religious.) #TeamPete #LJ19
An underrated aspect of @PeteButtigieg is that he represents a synthesis of progressive and conservative identities -- Gay and Christian, liberal and military. This is a serious strength among the broader electorate. #TeamPete #LJ19
That said, @PeteButtigieg did little to articulate a coherent, unique vision for the future of the country. He mainly focused on how obviously better things would be under his leadership than Trump's. Which would apply to any Democrat on that stage. #LJ19 #TeamPete
Would I vote for @PeteButtigieg? In the general, yes. In the primary, I'm reserving my vote for someone with a compelling vision. Nevertheless, Iowans seemed to like him a lot. I think he has a serious shot of winning the state in the primary. #TeamPete #LJ19
Next up: @JoeBiden. #JoeBiden #Biden2020 #LJ19

Biden starts talking about Trump immediately. I have a feeling this will be a theme of the night for every candidate.
Joe's slurring his words. His age is catching up to him. Running for President is stressful. That can't be good for his cognitive health. Immediate contrast with @PeteButtigieg who is the picture of youth, health, and mental clarity. #Biden2020 #JoeBiden #LJ19
Not an impressive showing by #JoeBiden. Similar to Pete, he's focusing on contrasting himself with Trump, and appealing to the liberal conscience. Not a lot of vision here, either. Panders to the middle class, which is not most of Americans anymore! What about the poor? #LJ19
Both Pete and Joe get positive responses for their moderate stance on healthcare. #LJ19 #JoeBiden #Biden2020 #TeamPete
Joe's speech is poorly structured. This is not very exciting to watch. And far too long. Pete's flew by, by comparison. #TeamPete #JoeBiden #Biden2020 #LJ19
Joe stresses his experience. No "on the job training." That's his major argument for himself over his competitors. Not vision. Not change. Experience. #JoeBiden #Biden2020 #LJ19
I would vote for #JoeBiden in the general but absolutely not in the primary. He offers little in the way of substance, and his evident cognitive decline is worrisome. #Biden2020 #LJ19
Next up: @AndrewYang. #YangGang #Yang2020

The crowd wakes up! #LJ19
Yang immediately stresses the power that @iowademocrats have over the outcome of the election. Then he pivots right into his message -- unlike @PeteButtigieg and @JoeBiden, Yang gets right to the point. #TeamPete #Biden2020 #YangGang #LJ19
Yang is first candidate on stage tonight to talking about the data. The story he tells is sobering. Life expectancy is declining. Suicides. Drug overdoses. Economic desolation that turns blue counties red. And he's engaging the audience directly. #YangGang #LJ19
The call and response tactic by @AndrewYang is much more engaging than @PeteButtigieg and @JoeBiden's Baptist minister vibes. #TeamPete #Biden2020 #YangGang #LJ19
"I know what the true nature of the problems are, and how we can solve them." "A new way forward." "What is the vision?"

Now we're talkin'. #YangGang #Yang2020 #LJ19
@AndrewYang isn't stringing liberal platitudes together like his competitors. He's talking about something NEW – #UniversalBasicIncome. That's a vision! And he's invested in personally, giving money to Americans right NOW. #YangGang #LJ19
Not talking a lot about Trump. That's refreshing. "My first move was not to run for President, because I'm not insane." Also refreshing! #YangGang #Yang2020 #LJ19
Yang stresses that this is not about him. You can actually feel the tonal contrast between @PeteButtigieg and @JoeBiden. They think they're the answer. @AndrewYang thinks Americans are the answer. #YangGang #ANewWayForward #LJ19
Yang probably lost some folks by not pandering to the liberal laundry list, but he delivered something remarkably different from both @PeteButtigieg and @JoeBiden. That alone is a strength. Vision matters. We need it desperately. #YangGang #LJ19
So far, Yang has delivered the best speech of the night. He even got a hug from @ewarren! #YangGang #LJ19

More to come in this thread as @ewarren takes the stage to Dolly Parton's classic 9 to 5, which is and always will be a banger. #LJ19 #TeamWarren
@ewarren Like @AndrewYang, @ewarren immediately gets to the point and starts talking about the problem. She's pointing the finger at corporations and corruption. She's fiery and focused. #TeamWarren #Warren2020 #LJ19
@ewarren is talking about change, especially economic change, just like @AndrewYang. Contrast with @PeteButtigieg and @JoeBiden is extreme. If those two are Baptists, Liz is a Pentecostal. She's bringing some gospel to this thing. #TeamWarren #LJ19
She's talking about big structural change. Again, very aligned with @AndrewYang on that front. @PeteButtigieg and @JoeBiden basically signaled a return to sanity – Yang and @ewarren are progressives trying to move forward. #TeamWarren #LJ19
@ewarren is getting lots of crowd approval for her lines. Like @AndrewYang, she understands that crowd engagement really matters for the message to work. Also, unlike @JoeBiden, she's not showing her age. #TeamWarren #LJ19
Lots of veiled attacks on @PeteButtigieg. She's going hard in the paint for the progressive brand. Not the socialists, mind you. Capitalist progressives. But she doesn't like the moderate branding, either. #TeamWarren #LJ19
Now, one major criticism – at the end she returns to the liberal laundry list, and doesn't quite make the "big structural change" thing land. Change to what, exactly? She diagnoses the problem, but what's the way forward? What is her killer app? #LJ19 #TeamWarren
Would I vote for @ewarren in the general? Honestly, her appropriation of Native identity would make me stay home. That's a serious offense. She's got a good message, brand and delivery, but it's not 100% clear what she wants aside from "not status quo." #TeamWarren #LJ19
But the crowd has responded the most to @ewarren so far. It's pretty clear why she's a front-runner. Her Pentecostal evangelist vibe is quintessentially American and will play well with @iowademocrats. #TeamWarren #LJ19
Next up: @KamalaHarris. #KamalaHarrisForThePeople #Kamala2020 #LJ19

Can she quickly distinguish herself from @ewarren, who just blew the roof off? Let's find out.
@KamalaHarris @ewarren Kamala starts talking about justice, Trump, and – thank God – the future. Yes! The future! Echoes of @AndrewYang in that. #YangGang #Kamala2020 #LJ19
BIG reaction on Kamala talking about why diversity matters. Then Kamala throws some fireballs at @ewarren, indirectly, for being a corporate lawyer. Good move. And #KamalaHarrisForThePeople is a great line in context. #Kamala2020 #LJ19
Kamala's brand is very coastal, very urban. That should be a strength in most of the country but I wonder how well that plays in Iowa, where @ewarren and @PeteButtigieg have received the best response so far. #Kamala2020 #LJ19
She's great at staying focused on her role as advocate for Americans, on turning the justice system background into a branding strength. Not sure she should use Obama's "justice is on the ballot" line, though, it's a little lazy. #Kamala2020 #LJ19
Kamala is also bringing some gospel to this, like @ewarren. Black church energy. Honestly: hell yeah. #Kamala2020 #LJ19
@KamalaHarris mainly makes an argument for herself, not for a particular vision of America. This actually makes her more like @JoeBiden or @PeteButtigieg than @AndrewYang or @ewarren so far. That said, she's more compelling than Joe or Pete. #Kamala2020 #LJ19
The biggest challenge that @KamalaHarris and @AndrewYang face with @iowademocrats is that coastal vibe. But @AndrewYang has an urgency and selflessness, a humility, that @KamalaHarris lacks. If Iowans wake up to Yang's message he can overperform. #YangGang #Kamala2020 #LJ19
Next up: @TomSteyer. #TomSteyer #LJ19

This guy is a big question mark. He brings a very... uh, bland energy after @KamalaHarris. He should be running some @DNC office, not running for President.

People start noticeably talking amongst themselves while he's speaking. Oof.
@TomSteyer @KamalaHarris @DNC @TomSteyer starts talking about impeachment. That's his signature move, is his -- successful to date -- push for impeachment. Good for him. But he's just flat-out not Presidential.

On stage, he's already going through the liberal laundry list. Not compelling. #LJ19
There's no vision here. And no brand. @TomSteyer, c'mon, man. And don't play CCR if you have no rock n' roll in your soul. #LJ19
Next up: @BernieSanders. #BerniesBack #Bernie2020

Not a lot of response from the crowd as ambles on to the stage. Oh, man. He's looking and sounding very old. Bernie... #LJ19 😢😢😢
Bernie's talking about Trump. Stop talking about Trump so much, candidates, this is only preaching to the choir and it's not a reason to vote for you. Bernie acknowledges that latter point, though, to his serious credit. #Bernie2020 #LJ19
Bernie's the only speaker so far to use the podium. That isn't a great look. And his message, while serious and moral, doesn't have the verve of @andrewyang or @ewarren. Andrew and Liz can literally run circles around him now. #bernie2020 #TeamWarren #YangGang #LJ19
Bernie sounds like a professor giving a farewell address. People are talking while he talks, just like @TomSteyer.

I'm not gonna lie. He sounds monotone and I'm having trouble focusing on him. Where is the fire from '16? Time is a thief and a murderer. #Bernie2020 #LJ19 😢
Bernie's health and very, very apparent age is going to catch up with him and his campaign. This is starting to get sad, just like @JoeBiden. The cheers feel polite. #Bernie2020 #LJ19
@BernieSanders' focus on workers and working families feels outdated after @AndrewYang was just on stage making people think about a fundamental shift away from 20th century ideas that won't survive an automated future. #Bernie2020 #YangGang #LJ19
"Health care is a human right, not a privilege." @BernieSanders gets a great response to that one! He's starting to visibly get mad on stage, which is his element. Heartening to see, as most of the speech has been academic. #Bernie2020 #LJ19
Cancelling all student debt gets a good response too. But going down the liberal laundry list -- give or take a few more socialist ideas, which helps him stand out -- just makes him sound like a member of the pack, not the leader he is. #Bernie2020 #LJ19
Man, that speech made me sad. This is a world away from the @BernieSanders of 2016. He's struggling; his mind is all there, but his body is slowing way down. #Bernie2020 #LJ19
Next up, after a break: @MichaelBennet. This guy has no hashtags, I'm sorry. #LJ19
@MichaelBennet Next to no response from the crowd as @MichaelBennet takes the stage. People are getting tired and, uh, look, Bennet is a non-entity. #LJ19
@MichaelBennet gives a shoutout to his friend @Thom_Hartmann in the crowd. Then he starts talking about education. This guy has no Elvis, but it's clear that he cares about his signature issues. #LJ19
@MichaelBennet calls out ending child poverty in America. Prioritizes it over #MedicareForAll and #FreeCollege. You know what? Yes. I agree. We ideally shouldn't have to choose but it seems that a move to #EndPoverty should be a priority. #LJ19
@MichaelBennet is getting passionate and waving the liberal laundry list around. So far his distinguishing feature is dissing #M4A and #FreeCollege, which is maybe not a winning move. He's not prominent to compete in the moderate lane. #LJ19
@MichaelBennet called Frederick Douglass and suffragettes founders of America. YES. He should have led with this. #LJ19
That was mostly a waste of time. @MichaelBennet is about as compelling as @TomSteyer but not nearly as rich. #LJ19
Next up: @JulianCastro. #Castro2020 #JulianCastro

This should be interesting. I like Julian. Nice to see a Texan onstage who isn't a Republican. #LJ19
@JulianCastro: "There's going to be life after Donald Trump." "We also need to fight for the poor." This guy and @AndrewYang should need to join forces. They understand the importance of vision and the desperate need to #EndPoverty. #LJ19 #Castro2020
Julian has the best impression of @BarackObama so far. He can't quite compete with @KamalaHarris in the diversity lane but his emphasis on poverty and education makes him feel like a compassionate leftist, not an angry one (see @BernieSanders). #LJ19 #Castro2020
Julian's speech isn't very well-structured for this event, but he does have some really strong anecdotes and specific policy ideas. This guy is underrated. No wonder he supports #UBI pilots! @JulianCastro #Castro2020 #LJ19
Honestly, if political lightning had struck, @JulianCastro could have gone very far in this race. As it is he's just running out the clock. Considering how @BernieSanders is visibly struggling on stage I wish Julian had received some of that campaign's financial support. #LJ19
"Working families." 👎 Sorry @JulianCastro, I hate this phrase. Just say families, jeez. "No more kids in cages." Much better! Good audience response. You can feel the audience start to wake up. #LJ19
"I want to move forward." #SoundsLikeYang Seriously, @JulianCastro, endorse @AndrewYang, you guys could kick ass together. Also, of all the liberal laundry list speeches, this is the best and most detailed. #LJ19 #Castro2020
Not sure I like this Trump defeat fan fiction at the end, @JulianCastro, but the "adios" line is still badass. Very awesome to see someone so proudly Hispanic in the race. #LJ19
Next up: @amyklobuchar. #AmyForAmerica #LJ19

Chants of Amy from the Amy Gang as she looms ominously in the doorway. She's about to throw a binder at this audience. Sorry, couldn't resist.
My Dad's family is from Minnesota. Amy has a "Minnesota Nice" vibe, but like my cruel grandmother.

As a midwesterner, she's competing with @PeteButtigieg. Bluntly, she's going to lose on likability alone. #TeamPete #AmyForAmerica #LJ19
Stop talking about Donald Trump. Jesus Christ. This is so boring and pandering. #AmyForAmerica #LJ19

This opening anecdote is not great. Very politician-y.
@amyklobuchar points out that @TheDemocrats have been fighting back, electing record numbers of women. Thumbs up to all of this. But I'm not sure why we need the victory lap? Amy is not exactly at the head of that wave. #AmyForAmerica #LJ19
And now @amyklobuchar starts talking about why she's better than Trump and other Democrats. Okay, but what's the vision for America? The liberal laundry list? #AmyForAmerica #LJ19
Yup, the liberal laundry list. Return to sender. After three hours of this, it's old. Put up a vision and stop pandering and talking about yourself and Donald Trump. Ugh. #AmyForAmerica #LJ19
One thing's for sure, watching Amy's speech: @ewarren is going to crush @amyklobuchar in this primary, no question. #AmyForAmerica #TeamWarren #LJ19
So glad that speech is over. @ewarren and @KamalaHarris are so, SO much better than @amyklobuchar, it's no contest. #AmyForAmerica #TeamWarren #KamalaHarrisForThePeople #LJ19
Next up: @CoryBooker. #Cory2020

I like this guy and I'm hoping this speech is good. The audience is tired, so he's got a big challenge ahead of him. #LJ19
@CoryBooker Bill Withers is great, but I hate this song, sorry @CoryBooker.

Going for the heartstrings immediately, talking about Frank Hutchins. #Cory2020 #LJ19
This is a good origin story for @CoryBooker. You can tell he's the real deal, that he's not running for glory. But this is a little heavy and drawn-out story for this crowd. Need to get to the hook faster. #LJ19
"I see you, I love you." "Power comes from the overlooked." This is a cool message, but it's like the cooldown during a revival. My charismatic evangelical peeps know what I'm talking about. @CoryBooker #LJ19 #Cory2020
@CoryBooker calls out the obsession with polling and lack of focus on a coherent vision for the party. But he's yet to talk about a vision for the country. #Cory2020 #LJ19
@CoryBooker calls out focusing too much on Trump. Yes! Thank you! #SoundsLikeYang "We must unite this country again" – chides @TheDemocrats for attacking Republicans and not trying to win them. Team up with @AndrewYang, Cory. #Cory2020 #LJ19
You know, after a slow start, @CoryBooker is building up some heat in this speech. The audience is with him. Good lines about women's rights and worker's rights. "We need a new American movement." Also identifies as #ADOS which is compelling and powerful. #Cory2020 #LJ19
"Beating Donald Trump is the floor, it is not the ceiling." Yes, thank you! #Cory2020 @CoryBooker #LJ19
I really like Cory's focus on uniting this country. Like @JulianCastro, @CoryBooker is underrated, mostly screwed by circumstance. And he's working very hard on stage. This is a very well-structured speech. #Cory2020 #LJ19
Fantastic ending to this speech. Believe it or not, this is the third best speech of the night. #Cory2020 #LJ19

Rankings after the last speaker: @JohnDelaney. #DelaneyDogs, lol
@JohnDelaney The fact that @JohnDelaney has to follow @CoryBooker's standout speech is painful and funny. Delaney got screwed pretty hard. #LJ19
People are talking during this speech, but @JohnDelaney makes an excellent point about the urban/rural divide. This guy is getting next to no reaction. Dead in the water. Say hi to @MichaelBennet and @TomSteyer on your way out, John. #LJ19
This speech is painfully boring. Next. @JohnDelaney #LJ19
Okay, I lied. There's one more, apparently. @GovernorBullock. Great, another member of the boring white guy club. This should be good. #LJ19

"Thank you for staying for the keynote speaker!" Hahaha!
This speech is another boring entry, tied with @TomSteyer and @MichaelBennet and @JohnDelaney, even though @GovernorBullock has more energy than all those guys combined. Bullock is basically @JoeBiden 2.0, for better or worse. #LJ19
Okay, it's over. Now, the rankings, balancing content and response. #LJ19 @DNC

1. #Warren2020
2. #Yang2020
3. #Cory2020
4. #Kamala2020
6. #Pete2020
7. #Castro2020
8. #Biden2020
9. #Amy2020
10. #Bernie2020
11. A whole bunch of boring dudes

That's a wrap, y'all. #YangGang
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