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At the second Democratic presidential debate tonight, former Maryland congressman John Delaney learned that debating good is real hard.
As the official wife guy tried to set himself apart from the bottom of the pack, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) saw an opportunity to turn his weakness to her advantage. Twitter was here for it.
Warren was already getting online accolades for a fiery performance full of instant sound bites, like telling Delaney to stop using Republican talking points, when Delaney said that Democrats shouldn’t pursue progressive policies that are popular with the left-wing of the party.
Warren was ready.
“I can’t understand why anyone goes through the trouble of running for president just to talk about what we can’t do,” she said.
And the crowd went wild.
Warren campaign already celebrating her dunk on John Delaney https://t.co/1cNIMXBucW— Ben Jacobs (@Bencjacobs) July 31, 2019
Name: John Delaney— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) July 31, 2019
Cause of death: Elizabeth Warren#DemDebate
I 100% believe John Delaney is the most qualified candidate on that stage to take our fledgling pencil production company back to profitability by a combination of layoffs and lower quality pencils.— Matt Fuller (@MEPFuller) July 31, 2019
Bernie Sanders: "Healthcare is a human right"— Mike Drucker (@MikeDrucker) July 31, 2019
Elizabeth Warren: "We must end the imprisonment of children at the border"
John Delaney: "You guys - it's cheaper if we *bring* food to Disney World rather than *buy* food at Disney World"
One extremely clever person even edited Delaney’s Wiki during the debate to add a date of death.
Someone edited John Delaney's wiki lmao pic.twitter.com/Q88cCo78On— Ken Klippenstein (@kenklippenstein) July 31, 2019
While some were content to tap-dance on the grave of Delaney’s campaign, others wondered why he was getting so much air time in the first place.
“Who decided John Delaney is the guy at zero percent who should get more time from the moderators than the people who have cracked one percent?” Brian Beutler tweeted. MSNBC correspondent Sam Seder was similarly confused. “Why is John Delaney getting any questions? This is absurd,” he wondered.
I can't tell if John Delaney is holding Jake Tapper's dog for ransom in exchange for airtime, or if he already killed the dog and Jake is taking revenge— Dylan Matthews (@dylanmatt) July 31, 2019
WARREN: I bel—— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) July 31, 2019
MODERATORS: Thank you, senator. Back to Delaney for some unknown reason.
The Delaney campaign might take some solace in the fact that he was leading the race for the biggest improvement in how many people were Googling him, according to NBC.
Unfortunately for him, odds are, they were just trying to find out who was getting slaughtered on national television.
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Claire Goforth is a Jacksonville, Florida-based journalist covering politics, culture, justice, and unicorns. Her work has appeared in publications ranging from regional alt-weeklies to Al Jazeera.