• Dan Drummond

Pick me, pick me! 33 million people did.

The Democratic debate held on Wednesday night attracted more than 33 million sets of eyeballs, according to various press reports. This is a staggering number and a sign that politics makes for good entertainment

Those who tuned into the debate also got to watch:

  • A very over-prepped, but under-prepared Mike Bloomberg get verbally bludgeoned. And a candidate who didn't smile (that's not a good way to win voters over, by the way).

  • Snappy, well-rehearsed lines by Elizabeth Warren, Pete Buttigieg and even Joe Biden.

  • Some very off-topic questions from the moderators (NBC's Chuck Todd to Bloomberg: should you exist? .... huh?). Bloomberg should have just said, "yes, I do ... do you?" And left it at that, but I digress.

Viewers also got to see these grown-ups revert back to their school days when they may have all tried to be the teachers' pets. Seriously, how many times do they have to hold their hands up like Arnold Horshack in Welcome Back Kotter. As a friend of mine said on Facebook, it was like the Horshack School of Debate Prep.

Forget their politics for a moment and focus on the candidates eagerness to speak. I get that everyone wants to jump in, but watching them all have their hands spring up like that reminds me of a PR lesson I learned many years ago: Look the part.

While the moderators certainly have a job to do in moving the conversations along, getting the candidates to actually answer questions, and of course, ensure there is proper time for commercial breaks, I also think it falls on the candidates to not appear as if they are trying to get picked for a game of dodge ball. Actually, now that I think about it, the debate was kind of like verbal dodge ball. Maybe next time Ben Stiller can be on stage and show them how it's really done?

This hand-raising thing isn't new. All candidates have done it at one time or another. And sometimes they do it when prompted like was the case with earlier debates this year. But for heaven's sake, the exuberance with which these candidates in the Nevada debate was off the charts.

Regardless of their non-verbal actions, the candidates provided us all something to watch and talk about.

In fact, the latest Democratic debate was certainly a good indicator that the electorate is hungry for some rough and tumble politics. With the NFL season over, Americans needed to find another sport to satisfy their craving for contact sports (hockey should count, but it's still a foreign sport to most Americans, which is a shame. Go Caps!). And they got it with this latest debate.

Can't wait for round ... wait, how many debates has it been? Actually, never mind. Just pass the popcorn, crack open a beverage of choice and enjoy the show ... at least until the NFL Draft, which starts April 23.


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