The Slatest

John Delaney Cemented His Status as 2020’s Sad Sack With the Saddest Moment of the First Debate

Delaney stands at a lectern with a downcast look.
John Delaney at Wednesday’s debate in Miami.
Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

John Delaney is a former Maryland congressman who has been officially running for president already for two years. Despite this, RealClearPolitics’ polling average indicates that he currently has the support of 0.4 percent of the Democratic primary electorate. This is, objectively, sad, and Delaney also happens to be an anonymous-looking middle-aged white guy in a field that is rich with anonymous-looking middle-aged white guys, which adds to the effect of sadness.

Then, at Wednesday night’s debate, he tried to jump into a discussion of (contemporary) undocumented family separation by claiming that his family had been separated, and everyone ignored him.

“My grandfather was actually separated from his family when he came to this country.” “We’re going to talk about Iran right now.” Harsh.

Here’s the apparent backstory to what Delaney was trying to talk about:

Now, denying U.S. entry to someone because of a physical disability does seem cruel and unnecessary. And yet: Being “separated” from your family for the duration of what sounds like a relatively brief administrative process on Ellis Island, for a reason that had nothing to do with nationality or race, is not really comparable to what children at the border are currently experiencing, right? Maybe it was good that Delaney didn’t get to tell the story. Either way, he’s currently leading the race to be this cycle’s Lincoln Chafee.