COLUMBIA, S.C. – Since Friday night, a few days and two states removed from the first democratic debate, 21 of the 23 candidates were nominated for their party's presidential election. They made sweats through matching T-shirts for pictures with Rep. James E. Clyburn (S.C.), who hosted their famous fishing steps. Some threw arms around each other. Almost all shared laughs.
Saturday, in front of a national television audience at the South Carolina Democratic Party Convention, no one left collegiality. They stuck to their stubs and even avoided polite efforts. However, against this background of peaceful coexistence, a few candidates tried to distinguish themselves from the package.
For seven minutes speaking, the candidates put their position and put forward strong arguments for their particular leadership.
Sen. Kamala D. Harris (Calif.) Made the most noticeable effort to stand out and abandoned her usual biographical stub for a more pointed and powerful explanation of why she is the right candidate.
In the first six months of his campaign, Harris had avoided referring his fellow candidates unless asked. She was almost completely rude to comparing herself with other Democrats, was relentlessly polite in her criticism of former Vice President Joe Biden, who heads early vote, and was consistently absent in criticism from others in her party.
At her first event in Columbia Friday afternoon, Harris began throwing stiff arms by undermining arguments presented by her fellow candidates against Medicare-for-all and identifying her as the most effective of the gun -kontrolpolitikker. On Saturday, a drum line led her down the escalator to a horde of followers, the most attentive entry to one of the candidates. She spent part of her time on the stage arguing that the democratic candidate should not just be "a leader of our country, but we need a leader of our party."
Harris also used his time to define his political plan as "a 3 am agenda" – a collection of plans to solve issues that keep people up at night, as opposed to structural changes.
It placed Harris as opposed to Sens. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) And Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Both known for their sweeping system-changing visions, but also skeptical about their ability to implement these policies in the face of the inertia of Congress.
Former Maryland congressman John Delaney, one of the few members of the field who has shown a consistent will to criticize his competitors' policies, also challenged the idea that these high-flying policies are a useful approach.
"I don't think what the American people need is more gridlock, more partisanship and more ideology" Delaney said. "… We have to be the party that presents common sense solutions, not impossible promises."
Sanders spent his first few minutes on stage to call Third Way, a centrist democratic group he calls "corporate wing" of the party whose conference last week sparked a political story of Warren's potential as a "compromise candidate" between the center of the party and to the left.
"At this conference, I was called an existential threat to the democratic party. Why am I an existential threat?" Sanders asked before he stated that the systemic changes he promised would pose a threat to institutions.
Sanders made these comments near a man in a "No Old White Men 2020" shirt, an appropriate representation of another split that played out Saturday, as it could at the debate stage.
South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg made his usual calls for a "new generation" of leadership, an implicit knock on Sanders and Biden, but not a new one. Former housing secretary Julián Castro did the same as he usually does. But neither went out to explicitly criticize Biden, Sanders or any of their elders.
Beto O & # 39; Rourke created the event's most theatrical speech by standing on a platform in the middle of the room, rather than on stage, which left cameras focused on the "BETO" characters and followers. Rourke, who has fought for recent polls, also declined from his normal stumbling block and quoted Robert F. Kennedy in a more emotional speech than usual, one that revived a sleepy afternoon wave.
Biden seemed to launch his own counter-arguments against those who wonder if his age could be a hindrance: he left all his fellow candidates on Friday night fishing steps. He remained until almost midnight, as if to challenge the idea that a 76-year-old cannot stop.
Biden again fought the performance in his remarks Saturday, a disciplined decline of his political positions involving little editorial. When he presented one of these posts – his health plan for a public opportunity with a buy-in for those who can afford it – Biden raised another way he might soon see contrasting with some of his fellow candidates.  "We need to build on the economic care law," said Biden, who was vice president when President Barack Obama's administration pushed through that signature initiative. "Don't tell it."
And when he avoided challenging his fellow candidates, Biden avoided the weekend without marking any criticism either. After a week when Cory Booker (N.J.) beds criticized Harris and others for his comments on his work with segregationist late James O. Eastland, no one took it up with Biden at this stage on Friday night. No one took it up in their speeches Saturday either.