Welcome to Opinion’s commentary for the second night of the second Democratic presidential candidate debate. In this special feature, Times Opinion writers rank the candidates on a scale of 1 to 10: 1 means the candidate probably didn’t belong on the stage and should probably drop out; 10 means It’s on, President Trump. Here’s what our columnists and contributors thought about the debate. See rankings for the July 30th debate here. Cory Booker Charles M. Blow (5/10) — Solid performance, but not a distinguishing one. Jamelle Bouie (8/10) — Booker has powerful youth pastor energy, and he used it to great effect, giving the best performance of the night. He turned every question into an effective discussion of values. His criticism of Joe Biden felt gentle and good-natured, even as it was a strong critique of the former vice president’s rhetoric on criminal justice reform. Booker did well in the last debate, but this should be his breakout. Gail Collins (8/10) — Best of the night. Ross Douthat (7/10) — He’s intensely likeable and had the best Biden-bloodying exchange. But he’s still searching for an open lane and a clear rationale as he tries to hoist himself into the top… Read full this story
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