The first night of Democratic primary debates kicked off on Tuesday night in Detroit, where CNN crowded a stage with ten of the party’s (entirely white) candidates, including Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders, Beto O’Rourke, Amy Klobuchar, Pete Buttigieg, and Marianne Williamson. As expected, its whopping three-hour run time saw Williamson serve up yet another batch of memeable content, though a face-off between senators Sanders and Warren didn’t take place as anticipated. Instead, the pair occasionally teamed up to defend their plans for taking on Donald Trump and implementing Medicare for All. (Not that Warren needed any help when it came to taking on John Delaney, one of the many white male candidates whose identity still remains a mystery to viewers and Twitter users following the debate.)
So, as with the first round of primary debates that took place less than a month ago in Miami, Twitter users banded together to share tips on how to tell the candidates apart—or at the very least, to bond over their confusion.
And yet, by the end of the evening, one of the crowded stage’s lesser-known names—John Delaney—managed to stand apart. Unfortunately for him, however, it was only because Warren fascinated viewers by subjecting him to a stand-out takedown. After Delaney characterized Warren’s plans as “impossible promises” and “fairy-tale economics,” the Massachusetts senator bluntly responded, “You know, I don’t understand why anybody goes to all the trouble of running for president of the United States just to talk about what we really can’t do and shouldn’t fight for. I don’t get it.”
Naturally, their exchange only encouraged those who’d been rooting for Warren from the start.
As for Sanders, the 77-year-old senator was animated as ever, from taking John Hickenlooper’s suggestion to raising his hands over his head to responding to Tim Ryan questioning the effectiveness of his plan for Medicare for All by yelling “I wrote the damn bill!”
Meanwhile, as Williamson made the case for reparations and drew attention to the crisis in Flint, Michigan, many found themselves praising the candidate—though often against their better judgment, pointing to her previous, highly controversial statements on matters such as vaccines and mental health.) But at several points throughout the night, the fact that Williamson is a politically inexperienced self-help guru couldn’t be ignored—such as when she referred to the “this dark psychic force of the collectivized hatred that this President is bringing up in this country.”
Aside from amusing those who stuck around for the entire three hours of debate, the evening’s commentary will apparently serve as feedback for Williamson, too. When a reporter asked her if the night had gone the way she hoped after the debate, she responded, “I don’t know yet. I mean, I’ll tell you when, you know, later when I see the memes.”