Excitement reigns in Democratic ranks as a whole rodeo of presidential candidates is prepping at this moment to step onto the debate stage Wednesday or Thursday evening at Miami Beach's Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.
This is a two-night event to accommodate 20 announced candidates. Maybe more.
The debate's organization, however, may not equal the enthusiasm. But that's understandable considering the Democratic Party is convinced defeating Donald Trump is a given. With that mindset, Dems seem less inclined to properly set up a strategy.
The conventional thought coming into 2019 was, the Democrats had the next general election wrapped up, as easy as placing a product on their Amazon wish list and having it delivered. But it's been anything but that easy.
Despite taking over the House in D.C., there's been little in the way of success to follow. Select freshman Congress members have become a headache, the Blue Wave has curiously been met with numerous states strengthening abortion laws, and the primary election topic -- the Mueller Report -- became less explosive than a firecracker in a tropical storm.
As a result, each of the numerous candidates have become desperate to be identified in the flock; so all manner of pet policies have been forwarded, leading to the field drifting further and further left and in so doing creating fiscal chaos. Banning guns, erasing student loan debt, eradicating private insurance, eliminating the Electoral College -- these are just a sample of the attacks on liberty they are proposing in order to get name recognition. Those don't even address the passionate desire some are expressing for Socialism.
These snake oil merchants have been flooding into Miami since the weekend started, taking part in a number of community area visits encouraged to get them as much recognition (and donations) as possible. Florida being a vital swing state means ingratiating themselves while in town is key. Some of the target locales for the contenders are predictable, but not guaranteed to deliver the traction sought out in this debate window.
Beto O’Rourke is slated to make a visit to the Homestead migrant detention center, because that underscores one of the biggest issues the Democrats have on their agenda -- the immigration conflict. It was exactly one year ago when former Florida U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and Debbie Wasserman Schultz staged a “surprise” visit to the facility. (Somehow dozens of members from the media got wind of the secret.) The media narrative of abused youths quickly dissipated when they toured the facility and found dormitory housing, kids granted a week’s worth of clothes, and being fed three square meals while being taught.
Amid the wails of Democrats who proclaim that immigrant kids had been wrested from parents, 95 percent of the children in the Homestead facility arrived in this country unaccompanied, so we house and care for them before finding a home. As the hysterics from open-borders champions like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez try to liken these climate-controlled conditions to concentration camps, they ignore that the average stay for the children is less than one month before they're placed in homes.
The harshest condition found was some kids needing sweaters, because they were not accustomed to central air conditioning.
Another South Florida hotspot for the White House hopefuls will be the Everglades. With the environment being another hot-button topic for some of the names at the debate podium, the River of Grass will serve as an ideal token backdrop. One item referenced was a large wildfire that flared up early Sunday evening. This too proves to be unfertile ground for hyperbolic prolix. That fire was ignited by lightning strikes, a common component to the fire cycles that are a needed component to the replenishment rotations in the Glades' ecosystem.
The fire cannot even be attributed to harsh conditions, as there have been steady rains in the area for more than two weeks. Assuredly, though, the dramatic vision will become illustrative of mankind provoking calamities to nature. Curious which Dem policies will curtail lightning activity in this, one of the most active regions for such in the world.
Also suggested as a place to visit was Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, now in summer hibernation and mostly empty. What benefit candidates could lend to the damage inflicted on this community is nonexistent. It would make any such stop a cynical and self-aggrandizing ploy. Rendering such a location as a political benefit is likely to strike many in the Parkland community mighty base.
The most compelling topic could be one that is most problematic for the Democrats to discuss -- the plight of Venezuela. With the heavy Hispanic population in the host city, there will be interest in how that nation is addressed, with Cuba regarded as a player. The Democratic Party in general has been critical of President Trump’s involvement, and our State Department and politicians like Sen. Marco Rubio directing activity to remove the current leadership.
Since the Democrats have been appeasing the Socialist wing of their party, there has been criticism of the U.S. involvement, and denials of how much strife the Venezuelan citizens have been enduring as a result of the Socialist regime of Maduro. Any attempt at appeasing local citizens in light of these prior stances will be the delicate verbal dance needed to avoid political damage.
The first nationally televised Democratic Primary Debates, on back-to-back nights, each begin at 9 p.m. ET. They will air on NBC, MSNBC and Telemundo. They will also be live-streamed on NBCNews.com.
Have a look at Party Central's confirmed lineup: Wednesday night will feature Cory Booker, Julian Castro, Bill deBlasio, John Delaney, Tulsi Gabbard, Jay Inslee, Amy Klobuchar, Beto O'Rourke, Tim Ryan and Elizabeth Warren; on Thursday night, Michael Bennet, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Kristen Gillibrand, Kamala Harris, John Hickenlooper, Bernie Sanders, Eric Swalwell, Marianne Williamson and Andrew Yang.
Five other announced candidates have not verified they will participate and so haven't been assigned a spot on the stage: Steve Bullock, Mike Gravel, Wayne Messam, Seth Moulton and Bill Weld.
President Donald Trump may (very well) join in the debates with live tweets. Did I say MAY join in? Silly me.
Two nights of 20-plus candidates attempting to distinguish themselves without torpedoing their prospects will be an interesting spectacle.
Brad Slager, a Fort Lauderdale freelance writer, wrote this story exclusively for Sunshine State News. He writes on politics and the industry and his stories appear in such publications as RedState and The Federalist.