Winning Democratic debate memes: Bernie wrote the damn bill AND threw his hands up

Plus, there were "dark psychic forces" Tuesday night, courtesy of Marianne Williamson.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
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Gael Cooper
3 min read
Democratic Presidential Candidates Debate In Detroit Over Two Nights

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg (left) speak during the debate at the Fox Theatre in Detroit.

Getty Images

Round two of the Democratic presidential debates kicked off Tuesday night in Detroit, airing live on CNN, and compared with the June debates, things were fairly calm. No Spanish. No stunned looks. No one suggesting we get New Zealand on the phone.

But a lively mix of candidates -- Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Sen. Bernie Sanders, author Marianne Williamson, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Gov. Steve Bullock, Rep. John Delaney, former Gov. John Hickenlooper, former Rep. Beto O'Rourke and Rep. Tim Ryan -- found other ways to make themselves heard.

It's expected the candidate field will soon be whittled down, so some of the 20 featured over two evenings this week may not appear again. Last chance to make a meme, ladies and gentlemen. Go to it.

Marianne Williamson: US Ambassador of Candles

New Age author Marianne Williamson might not become president, but Twitter users had a long list of other Cabinet positions that might be a good fit. "Secretary of Keeping it Real," one person suggested. "US Ambassador of Candles," suggested another.

Bernie Sanders wrote the damn bill

Sen. Bernie Sanders scored points with viewers for a sharply delivered line. When Sen. Tim Ryan tried to tell Sanders he didn't know what would be included in Medicare for all, Sanders snapped back, "I do know! I wrote the damn bill!"

The line was a hit on social media. "Bernie is at his best when he's an angry old grandpa," wrote one Twitter user.

Jake Tapper's ready to fight

Moderator and CNN anchor Jake Tapper got some buzz for posing questions to the candidates some viewed as combative. He asked Gov. John Hickenlooper, for example, whether he considered Bernie Sanders "too extreme" to beat Donald Trump.

"Jake Tapper is moderating this debate like Andy Cohen hosts a Real Housewives reunion," cracked one Twitter user.

Maybe I DO have to yell

Bernie Sanders came back into the spotlight later in the night when Tim Ryan told him, "You don't have to yell, Bernie." Some on Twitter disagreed. One Twitter user made a Friends reference, writing, "Tim Ryan telling Bernie not to yell about climate change is like Ross telling Rachel they were on a break."

How about those 'dark psychic forces'?

Marianne Williamson made herself another meme when she cited the "dark psychic force of collectivized hatred," with the unusual phrase earning her a round of applause. But it also attracted social media wits.

"A dark psychic force.... - what does Marianne Williamson have against Miss Cleo??" asked one Twitter user.

Throw your hands up

John Hickenlooper and Bernie Sanders had an interesting exchange. After criticism from Hickenlooper made Sanders gesture with his hands, the two traded words about throwing up their hands. It quickly made for a handy meme. "They definitely did the wave," said one Twitter user.

On Wednesday, CNN will host a second night of debates, featuring former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Kamala Harris, Mayor Bill de Blasio, Gov. Jay Inslee, businessman Andrew Yang, Sen. Cory Booker, former HUD secretary Julián Castro, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, and Sen. Michael Bennet.

Originally published June 30, 6:04 p.m. PT.