(Tom Toles/The Washington Post)

I’m Hugh Hewitt, and this is Round 27.

The Commentary

“When I learned that some Democratic officeholders are refusing to join the president today as he goes to El Paso and Dayton,” Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) told me on my radio show Wednesday morning, “my heart just sunk.”

“I mean, surely this is the time when we could put aside politics and come together, and our leaders could act as one to give our condolences to the victims’ families,” she continued. “And it’s just, it’s extremely disappointing. There are times for political debate, but this is not one of them. This is a time for us to come together as a nation and express our sorrow.”

Not surprisingly, it is the senator closest to the center of the country’s left-right spectrum who echoed the average American’s reaction to the instant hyper-politicization of the massacres in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio. This was a week when one of the would-be Democratic nominees might have risen above the crowd by virtue of an appeal to our common humanity and citizenship.

On my show, I played Sen. Robert F. Kennedy’s eloquent remarks in Indianapolis the night of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination as a contrast to what we’ve seen and heard from the Democratic contenders this week. The contrast between a presidential candidate from 1968 whose own family suffered grievous violence and would soon after do so again and the candidates of 2019 does not favor the latter.

Because every one of the Democrats missed this moment completely — a moment for people who would be president to act “presidential”— in the rush to court the core of #TheResistance, my rankings remain unchanged. Someone could have stepped up.

Instead, they all stepped in it. The country’s middle did not miss what happened, and though the echo chambers of #NeverTrump media applauded the harshness of the rhetoric from this collection of candidates strung out from the left to the far left, don’t expect the general-election voters to forget that, when the country could have used some words of unity and even a truce.

Hugh Hewitt

The Ranking

Ranking not showing? Click here.

Position Challenger Change Over Last Ranking
1. Joe Biden
2. Elizabeth Warren
3. Kamala D. Harris
4. Bernie Sanders
5. Pete Buttigieg UP 1
6. Cory Booker DOWN 1
7. Beto O’Rourke UP 3
8. Julián Castro DOWN 1
9. Amy Klobuchar DOWN 1
10. Tom Steyer UP 1
11. Andrew Yang DOWN 2
12. Michael Bennet DOWN 1
13. Steve Bullock RETURNS TO RANKING
14. Tim Ryan DOWN 1
15. Tulsi Gabbard DOWN 2

Falls off ranking: John Delaney

Also receiving votes: Jay Inslee, Seth Moulton

Last week’s ranking: Round 26 | These 8 candidates have spots in the next debate. Can the rest catch up?

Don’t forget to click on the yellow highlighted text above to expand the Ranking Committee’s annotations. Agree? Disagree? Share your thoughts in the comments. We’ll see you for the next ranking.

Read more on 2020:

Jennifer Rubin: There are some surprises in Iowa

Eugene Robinson: Trump made his visits to Dayton and El Paso all about him

Jonathan Capehart: Joe Biden reminded all of us of what a presidential president would sound like

Ed Rogers: Political posturing in the El Paso aftermath is a sorry spectacle