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The Surrealist Democratic Debate Scorecard

No sleep till Brooklyn — and then still no sleep because there was a lot of yelling

You can apparently get a cheer anytime you want in an NYC-based debate just by saying the word "Brooklyn," but the similarities to the film Newsies stop there. Sad!

Bernie Sanders

Style: The man wields sarcasm like your least favorite uncle and condescends like he knows your Netflix queue. He has more New York attitude in his little finger than Hillary Clinton does in her Goldman Sachs transcripts, which may be why he wags his hands at her so much. Scored points off of her Wall Street connections and campaign donations, but talking down to Hillary Clinton is the last thing Rick Lazio can remember about his political career. Sanders's authenticity is endearing, except when it reminds you that he’s completely unself-aware.

Substance: Made actual news in addressing the grievances of Palestinians with seriousness and empathy; probably lost some (more) votes as well. Because he couldn’t answer questions about Dodd-Frank in the New York Daily News interview, the whole class is going to have to stay after school. On the other hand, ably defended his vote on the 1994 crime bill as a vote for the Violence Against Women Act and the assault weapons ban; on the other hand, still can’t get it through his head that when the “South” voted against him, it’s because in the South, the Democrats are black.

Overall: A cast iron pan heated until it smokes

Kurt Woerpel/MTV

Hillary Clinton

Style: I guess she came as a doctor because she knew she was going to draw blood. No one responds better to being attacked than Hillary; I sort of wish she didn’t appear to enjoy striking back quite so much. (Then again, it’s only after being attacked that she’s ALLOWED to be so tough.) Her basic debate plan was Obama’s legacy under glass, with a big sign saying, “Break in case of emergency.” Less obviously, she worked the head-shake-and-smirk. Toward the end, she started yelling the names of states she’s won — which didn’t work out well for Howard Dean, but then again, he hadn’t won as many states.

Substance: On the other hand: The blood drawing was field-hospital messy and far from textbook. Her attacks on Sanders for being insufficiently anti-NRA wouldn’t have landed half as well without Sanders’s own help. Made up for a tepid non-apology regarding the crime bill by being explicit where Sanders is obtuse: “White people need to understand there is systemic racism.” When she talked about reproductive rights, it was the closest anyone in the Democratic debates has come to talking about their genitals. Then again, her bragging about raw vote totals was pretty much exactly like Trump, dick or no dick.

Overall: Potpourri that has lost its scent

Kurt Woerpel/MTV