Amy Klobuchar: The Minnesota senator benefited the most from the smaller number of candidates on stage. She got to talk a LOT more than in past debates and used that time very, very well. She started strong — outshining her competitors with her answer on how to convince the public that the impeachment was the right move. Time and time again in answer after answer, Klobuchar drove home her basic message: I’m from the Midwest. I’m a woman. I get things done. And, she effectively took it to South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg over his dismissiveness of service in the Senate. An excellent debate performance when Klobuchar really needed one.
Pete Buttigieg: The South Bend mayor came under more fire Thursday night than in all the previous debates combined, which made for a more bumpy ride for him. But also is all the evidence you need to understand that his rivals view Buttigieg as someone who needs to be slowed in the race. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts went after Buttigieg for holding private fundraisers with rich people, an attack she had been previewing for weeks on the campaign trail. And Buttigieg was ready: “This is the problem with passing purity tests you yourself cannot pass,” he told Warren, noting that she had transferred money from her Senate account that had been raised by large-dollar donors. Not a perfect performance by any means but Buttigieg showed in this debate he could take incoming and dish it out too.