Samantha Bee opened her first Full Frontal of 2020 Wednesday night by running through the highlights of the previous night’s Democratic debate in Iowa, from a performance by Joe Biden “that critics are hailing as ‘awake,’ ‘standing’ and ‘are you OK?’, to Tom Steyer, who “decided to buy his way into the debate with the most inessential campaign of all time.”
“All things considered, Steyer got off pretty easy,” Bee said, “especially compared to the much rougher night that mom and dad had.” She was of course referring to the “personal disagreement” between Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. “But don’t worry, the talking heads are being super civilized about it and not milking it at all,” she added, cutting to a montage of CNN doing just that.
“Jesus Christ! The only way they could be trying harder to get them to fight is if they personally oiled up these senior citizens and threw them into the Octagon,” Bee said. She was equally unimpressed by the media hype around Warren apparently rejecting a handshake from Sanders after the debate.
“That’s it? That’s what’s dominated our national discourse for 36 hours?” she asked. “Two great candidates who are a little sad and disappointed in each other over a misunderstanding?” Bee didn’t even fault Sanders for possibly suggesting that a female candidate couldn’t beat Trump. “I myself might have shouted it into a bottle of wine or 10,” she joked.
“Look, we have not yet found a way to have nuanced conversations about how sexism impacts female candidates,” the host said. “But I will tell you one thing I know for sure. This was the last debate before the Iowa caucus and if we’re having fights, they should be about how to protect reproductive rights, and how to fight gun violence and how Biden looks like he got run through The Irishman de-aging machine.”
But Bee promised that she will vote for “that uncanny valley resident” if he’s the nominee, “because there’s only one wrong choice this November.”
The things happening “off the debate stage” surrounding Trump are “way more terrifying than anything that happened on it,” she added. “If we make enemies of each other now, the fight won’t be about if a woman can ever be president, it will be about if anyone else will ever be president again.”