Former Maryland Rep. John Delaney participates in the first of two Democratic presidential primary debates hosted by CNN Tuesday, July 30, 2019, in the Fox Theatre in Detroit.
Photo: AP Photo (Paul Sancyat)

Several centrist pundits have chosen former Rep. John Delaney as a winner of Tuesday’s Democratic debate over his criticism of Medicare for All. Yes, you read that right: people who are paid to analyze politics watched Delaney fall flat on his face and concluded that this behavior would in fact make him popular.

Delaney, conveniently, was the chief executive of a health care company in the ‘90s and is the nephew of former Aetna CEO John Rowe. In 1999, Delaney sold his company for $30 million.

At the Washington Post, Jennifer Rubin wrote that, “of those, Delaney clearly had the best moments of the campaign by going toe-to-toe with advocates of Medicare-for-all,” which is an optimistic way to describe what was in fact Delaney getting absolutely demolished by Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

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And here’s how CNN’s Chris Cillizza viewed Delaney. I’m including his thoughts at length for full insight into the centrist brain worm disease (emphasis mine):

Before this debate, no one knew who Delaney was or what he believed. If you watched this debate, both of those questions were answered. That doesn’t mean you necessarily loved Delaney, as he quite clearly embraced a moderate view on almost everything. But Delaney’s repeated clashes with Sanders and Warren were a win for the former Maryland congressman in the very fact that they existed. Yes, Warren dunked on Delaney over what she insisted was his emphasis on what Democrats can’t or shouldn’t do, but all in all, this was a very good debate for him.

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Somehow Cillizza viewed Delaney’s complete humiliation as a positive attribute. These are people who will tell you that to fail is to win.

His analysis also has a great correction: “This story has been updated to correctly state that John Delaney is a former Maryland congressman.” What part did he even get wrong?

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Vox’s Dylan Matthews also argued that Delaney won:

Delaney’s ability to dominate that corner of the debate and take the argument to Warren and Sanders was notable. It’s not clear that there’s a lane for a non-Biden centrist, but there certainly isn’t a lane for six of them. Considering how little an impression his campaign has made to date, Delaney made a respectable case Tuesday night that he can own that lane.

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I mean, where is the lie, Max Boot…

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Just what we need, more vocal moderates.

And at the Post’s creative fact-checking department, Glenn Kessler still hates Bernie Sanders. Billie Eilish voice: duh.

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