One Night, Five Democrats, Five Town Halls

CNN held five back-to-back town hall events with five Democratic presidential contenders last night – Sens. Amy Klobuchar, Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris and Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

Good stuff from everyone, they all had strong moments at times.

A few takeaways:

While I appreciate the moderate lane Klobuchar has staked out for herself, it came across a bit timid and noncommittal in some of her answers. I’ll admit that a lot of issues can’t be truly addressed in a couple of minutes on a stage, but she was notably more cautious than her fellow candidates.

I really like Kamala Harris. She’s clear about what she stands for, and she has a strong decisive energy about her.

When asked about impeachment proceedings for Donald Trump, she said Congress should take steps towards impeachment but added Democrats must be “realistic about what might be the end result.”

One of Harris’ best moments came when she was asked about the issue of gun violence in the country and what she would do about it. Here’s what she said:

I have to say I almost became emotional as Mayor Pete took to the stage. As a gay man, to see this 37-year-old mayor take to the stage as a real player and handle himself so well was uplifting and energizing.

Mayor Pete had one of the biggest moments of the night when he was asked about the back and forth he’s had with Vice President Pence, and a comment made by Trump ally and homocon Richard Grennell, the current ambassador to Germany.

Buttigieg’s response: “I’m not a master fisherman, but I know bait when I see and I’m not going to take it.” And the crowd went wild.

A new talking point emerged throughout the night after Sen. Sanders said even the Boston bomber deserved to be able to vote. Sen. Harris concurred saying, “We should have that conversation.”

But Buttigieg was clear and concise in his opinion that prisoners should not be allowed to vote. “While incarcerated? No, I don’t think so,” the South Bend mayor said.

CNN has recapped each of the candidate’s hour-long turns onstage.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar

Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Sen. Bernie Sanders

Sen. Kamala Harris

Mayor Pete Buttigieg

A few more moments from the night: