Friday was the last Democratic debate before the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday. There were seven candidates onstage at St. Anselm College in Manchester: Former Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Sens. Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Amy Klobuchar, former South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg and businessmen Andrew Yang and Tom Steyer.

So what was my take on this debate? Below you’ll find my winners and losers for the evening.


BIGGEST WINNER: Sen. Amy Klobuchar

On Friday night Klobuchar had a breakthrough moment; perhaps because the U.S. senator from Minnesota knew this could be her last debate if she didn’t step it up — and she did.

Klobuchar’s top moments included her comments on systemic racism and what many — myself included — felt was the winning (and funniest) line of the night: “We have a president that literally blames everyone. … He blames the King of Denmark. Who does that? He blames the prime minister of Canada for, he claims, cutting him out of the Canadian version of ‘Home Alone 2.’ Who does that?!”

WINNER: Sen. Elizabeth Warren

Warren’s performance was strong and steady. She reminded many of us why she had risen (and so fast) in the polls in weeks past.

The U.S. senator from Massachusetts is intelligent and had specific answers (and plans) for most of the questions posed. She also came prepared.

“Put real money into our schools,” she pleaded. “Put real money into housing. Put real money into health care. Put real money into the future of our children. That’s how we build the America of our best values.”

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Warren also told Buttigieg that his answer on race was not sufficient and then proceeded to give the best answer of the night on racial justice.

WINNER: Former Vice President Joe Biden

Biden wasn’t the strongest performer on the stage, and I know many may disagree with my choice here — especially after coming in fourth place in Iowa — but the former vice president had some breakout moments.

First, he directly criticized Sanders on an issue that is of immense importance to Democratic voters: guns and the senator’s record on guns. This is something most of the other candidates forget or avoid pointing out.

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