Like the majority of Americans, I did not watch the Democrat candidates debate last night and most likely will skip tonight's whacko-palooza as well. But almost all of us has heard or read at least one account of what happened under the NBC big top in Miami on Wednesday.

Elizabeth Warren was apparently given the star treatment by the moderators while Beto O'Rourke answered questions in Spanish and Cory Booker spoke about all of the people in his neighborhood who got shot last weekend. Beyond that, it was the same old tired responses to the same old tired questions.

President Trump said the debate was "boring" and he ought to know a bit about it after turning in some of the most entertaining debate performances in recent memory in 2016.

What is getting very little coverage this morning is that little-known candidate Hawaii Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard was the most searched candidate on Google by the time the debate was over. That speaks volumes. What that says to me is that the public is tired of Warren, Booker, Beto and the rest of the circus, and is looking for something new and different. That may be Gabbard. In my view, that makes Gabbard the debate winner.

Winning the debate is not always about the most clever sound bite or the most researched and prepared candidate. Winning the debate is about who moves the voters and that apparently was Gabbard, as more viewers sought to find out more about her than any of the other nine candidates.

This doesn't mean that Gabbard becomes the instant frontrunner but what it does mean is that the other candidates ought to pay attention to what Gabbard did and said last night because she made a connection and they did not.

The media should pay more attention to Gabbard going forward, but probably won't. The agenda-driven cable news networks will continue to focus on Biden, Warren, and Bernie and may not even notice the Gabbard story until and unless the next round of polls indicates movement in her direction.

If I was Gabbard, I would be pretty excited about last night and would expect to see a bump in contributions as a result. Gabbard clearly wins round one.

Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.

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