December 19, 2019 - Debate Moderator Questions if Now is Time for Older White Male Candidates

At the sixth Democratic presidential debate, moderator Tim Alberta cites a comment from former President Obama endorsing an increase in women’s executive representation globally and encouraging old men to “get out of the way.” Alberta notes Sanders is the oldest candidate on stage – to which Sanders injects, “I’m white as well” – and asks for his response to Obama. Sanders disagrees and argues that this is more of an issue of class versus race, gender, or age. Biden, another elderly white man on stage, says of Obama’s comment, “I’m going to guess he wasn’t talking about me, either,” and doubles down on his experience. Klobuchar raises her hand and suggests a woman should speak on this question. She says, “We have not had enough women in our government,” but adds, “However, it is not just about numbers. It’s about what you get done.” She points out that she outperformed Clinton in 2016 in Minnesota, demonstrating her capacity to defeat Trump: “I beat him with men more than anyone on this stage.” When Alberta asks Warren to weigh in and notes she too would be the oldest president ever inaugurated, she quips, “I’d also be the youngest woman ever inaugurated,” and adds, “I believe that President Obama was talking about who has power in America, whose voices get heard. I believe he’s talking about women and people of color and trans people and people whose voices just so often get shoved out.” She emphasizes that she is running a different kind of campaign to lift all voices. In this segment, it is notable that white men are being asked to answer for their race and gender privilege, instead of assuming it will or should contribute to their chances of success.