"With 15 minutes to go, co-moderator Anderson Cooper turned to the final, most ridiculous question of the evening," Caroline Framke says of Cooper's question relating to Ellen's George W. Bush "friendship" controversy. "This question, insomuch as it’s even a question, was disappointing in several ways at once," says Framke. "For one, this was the final question on a night in which the increasingly urgent issue of climate change only came up when candidates sporadically brought it up (and without Washington governor Jay Inslee there to ring the bell of impending global doom, these mentions were still fleeting at best). Sure, it was a long night, but it was a disappointing choice to end on a strange softball when there was still at least one giant elephant in the room waiting to be addressed. The question’s inefficiency showed in the answers; only a few people meaningfully engaged with it, with the vast majority quickly pivoting to deliver broad closing statements. What’s maybe even more frustrating about this vague attempt at humanizing the candidates, however, is how completely it missed the point of why DeGeneres got blowback in the first place."