The First Democratic Debate Is Over — But the Memes Have Only Just Begun

The First Democratic Debate Is Over — But the Memes Have Only Just Begun


The very first 2020 Democratic presidential debate is in the books, and, thanks to the internet, so is a collection of brand-new memes.

On Wednesday, June 26, ten politicians vying for the Democratic nomination gathered together at Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, where they discussed issues ranging from immigration to reproductive health. The debate, moderated by Lester Holt, Savannah Guthrie, Rachel Maddow, Jose Diaz-Balart, and Chuck Todd, allowed us to hear from nearly half of the Democratic candidates, including Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Julián Castro, Beto O’Rourke, and Amy Klobuchar. The second debate, slated for Thursday, June 27, will showcase ten additional candidates, including Kamala Harris, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, and Pete Buttigieg.

Naturally, people on social media were quick to weigh in on Wednesday’s debate; the event had barely gotten started before Twitter found its first meme: Warren and Booker’s reactions to O’Rourke answering a question in Spanish. The former Texas representative was asked about tax rates, to which he responded in both English and Spanish, prompting meme-worthy looks from the two senators at his side. While many candidates have put their bilingual abilities on display throughout the campaign thus far, O’Rourke’s choice to speak Spanish so early on in the debate (and, as some pointed out, without really answering the question) sparked some commentary.

But then, Booker also answered a question in Spanish later on…which also spurred jokes.

While the silent Booker/O’Rourke exchange was certainly a meme-worthy highlight, the internet found plenty of other moments to turn into jokes. From technical difficulties (what was up with the mics?) to The Bachelor references, the tweets just kept on coming. 

As for the forthcoming second debate, the internet has some predictions. 

One thing is for sure: if the LOLs were this good on night one (and just a few minutes in, no less), we’re definitely in for a wild ride throughout the remainder of election season. After all, a debate may only be a couple of hours — but memes live on forever.

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