Skubick: Spotlight on Detroit as Dems launch two nights of debates


The national political spotlight is on Detroit this week as twenty Democrats will be on stage at the Fox Theatre for two nights of debates conducted by CNN. 

We asked 6 News Capitol correspondent Tim Skubick, who is covering his tenth presidential election, to give us a peek at what to expect.

Go to the head of the class is you can name all twenty Democrats running for president.

Lots of luck.

Which is why the Detroit debates are so important especially for those candidates with little, if any, name recognition with voters.

They may be one debate away from being broomed from the stage next time.

That would include the likes of Andrew Yang, Mike Bennett, John Delaney and John Hickenlooper.

The star attractions on Tuesday night, Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders and the Wednesday night headliners are former vice-president Joe Biden and Senator Kamala Harris in a rematch of the first debate in June.

In the grand scheme, is the detroit meeting going to change the race?

Political consultant Robert Kolt calls it a blip.

“The debate is important for Detroit and Michigan and maybe long term for the process,” says Kolt. “But it will be a blip in campaign history. Most people will forget it.”

Unless, of course, somebody makes a huge mistake, such as Dan Quayle trying to score points by talking about former president John Kennedy, Jr. during his 1988 debate with Senator Lloyd Benson.

Benson: “Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine. Senator, you’re no Jack Kennedy.”

Quayle: “That was uncalled for, Senator.”

So a political debate is much like watching a NASCAR race, everyone is waiting for a spectacular crash.

The biggest impact may not come from the debate itself but in the media coverage of it afterwards where more citizens will read about what was said.

It’s likely the president will be watching and Kayleigh McEnany, his national press secretary with this take.

“It exposed what we have been saying all along: There is no moderate in this field, there is leftist progressive that wants to take away private employer-based insurance but give taxpayer-funded healthcare to illegal immigrants,” said McEnany. “It’s a losing formula and the American people get to see those radical policies we talk about often play out on the debate stage and we’ll hear more in Detroit.”  

6 News will have full coverage from Detroit and post-debate analysis Tuesday and Wednesday at 11 p.m.                    

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