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All the six Democratic candidates were meeting onstage for the first time since Trump ordered the killing of Iran’s top military commander Qassem Suleimani earlier this month…writes Nikhila Natarajan

NEW YORK, March 2, 2019 (Xinhua) -- U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders speaks during his first presidential campaign rally in Brooklyn College, New York, the United States, March 2, 2019. U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders kicked off his 2020 presidential campaign as a second-time runner on Saturday in his hometown borough of Brooklyn, New York, reiterating his Democratic socialist views that have been reshaping the Democratic Party. (Xinhua/Li Muzi/IANS) by .
Bernie Sanders (Xinhua/Li Muzi/IANS)

With no clear winners emerging from a swiftly shrinking Democratic field, Americas leading newspapers and television networks headlined their coverage of the Democratic debate in Iowa with the gender clash viewers saw on prime time television over a disputed remark on a woman’s electability to the White House.

It’s the home stretch barely three weeks from the Iowa caucuses and political pundits are still scratching their heads about how Tuesday will reshuffle the pack but are stoked about some of the peak moments from Tuesday’s Democratic debate.

The US presidential elections are barely 290 days away.

“It’s just a brilliant move to take a question like that and make it into a positive like she did on the gender issue tonight. It was a powerful statement tonight”, MSNBC ‘Hardball’ host Chris Mathews said about Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren taking a simmering issue out into the open.

For 20 years now, Iowa has backed the eventual Democratic nominee and stakes are high before the first votes are cast there. A win in Iowa could set the tone for the rest of the race.

WASHINGTON, May 22, 2019 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during the Public Safety Officer Medal of Valor presenting ceremony at the White House in Washington D.C., the United States, on May 22, 2019. (Xinhua/Ting Shen/IANS) by .
U.S. President Donald Trump

“The truth about this week’s clash between Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren is that it’s not really about Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. It is partly about them, of course: about whether Mr. Sanders told Ms. Warren 13 months ago that he did not believe a woman could be elected president, as she says he did and he says he didn’t. But the bigger picture is The Electability Question, a conversation so well worn it may as well be a proper noun,” reads a post-debate report in The New York Times.

“Warren has needed a moment like this and she gave a pretty good performance,” Republican strategist Mike Murphy told NBC News.

So, how does this change the game?

“This doesn’t move the needle very much,” Jason Johnson, Politics Editor of The Root, said on late night television.

“More restrained than roaring,” is another analysis from The New York Times.

Latest polls in Iowa show voters are split tightly between four top candidates: Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg.

News sites like Breitbart and Fox that lean heavily Trump, brushed aside the Democratic debate as a low energy affair. Their view: “None of the Democrats” have the goods to take on Trump in the fall.

But when Warren torched the men on stage, the political conversation lit up instantly.

“Collectively, they have lost ten elections. The only people on this stage who have won every single election that they’ve been in are the women. Amy (Klobuchar) and me,” Warren said.

All the six Democratic candidates were meeting onstage for the first time since Trump ordered the killing of Iran’s top military commander Qassem Suleimani earlier this month.

NEW YORK, June 14, 2017 (Xinhua) -- Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg delivers a speech at the High-level Dialogue on U.S.-China Economic Relations in New York, the United States, on June 14, 2017. More than 30 scholars from leading think-tanks in both China and the United States gathered here on Wednesday to discuss the bilateral economic and trade relationship between the world's two largest economies. (Xinhua/Wang Ying/IANS) by .
Michael Bloomberg (Xinhua/Wang Ying/IANS)

Almost in real time while the Democratic debate was on, Trump was running his own counter-programming. He rallied his supporters in battleground state Wisconsin defending his decision to kill Suleimani while Democrats droned on that Trump is putting Americans in harm’s way.

While all this was happening, former New York mayor and billionaire Mike Bloomberg’s campaign had a blast, sending out two hours’ worth of bizarre tweets while skipping the debate.

Bloomberg is self-funding his campaign for president and did not make the cut for the debate basis rules set by the Democratic National Committee. Bloomberg has vowed to get Trump out of the White House and is ready to spend a $1 billion to get the job done.

“Inside Bloomberg’s plan to drive Trump insane” is how a Vanity Fair story begins on Bloomberg’s grand scheme.

Whether it’s the money or that he is spending all his energy on trolling Trump, Bloomberg is steadily rising in the polls despite wading in late. Already, calls for his inclusion on the debate stage are gaining momentum.

Sample this from among hundreds of wild tweets posted by the Bloomberg team during the Democratic Debate: “In a Bloomberg Administration, there will be no tweeting from the Oval Office. Just an aggressive number of TikToks.”

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