New York Post debate analyst Peter Kauffmann is the founder and principal of Bluejacket Strategies, a public affairs firm in New York. During the 2016 election cycle, he was an adviser to Priorities USA, the primary super PAC supporting Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. He has also served as a senior campaign adviser to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, press secretary for Sen. Clinton and spokesman for the DNC.
“Preseason is over,” Kauffmann said. “The Democratic race got real tonight, and these candidates started to realize that only one of them is leaving Iowa with a W.”Having only six candidates on stage means: “They have the time to make their points in a way that they haven’t before.”
The debate “definitely was more combative than it has been” and part of that was “the moderators really trying to go out of their way to draw confrontation.”In the past, “there was one frontrunner everyone attacked, and tonight you had all the frontrunners going after each other.”
That is except for billionaire Tom Steyer.
“There were five candidates on stage and then Tom Steyer,” Kauffmann said.”He just didn’t fit. We’re at the serious point in the campaign, and he just doesn’t belong in this group.”In the much-anticipated dust-up between Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, she was victorious.“He sounded angry and came across as petulant in trying to win the point,” while, “she went past it.”
Other standouts included Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Sen. Amy Klobuchar who deftly answered questions and appealed to a larger swath of voters.