LAS VEGAS, NV: Mike Bloomberg saw $500 million in advertising go down the drain in a flash last night as Elizabeth Warren repeatedly roasted him with a flame thrower. Warren’s target? Non-disclosure agreements Bloomberg has with a series of women over complaints about a highly sexualized workplace environment. Like Vlad the Impaler, Warren badgered Bloomberg to release the women from their agreements.
In the #MeToo process, she may have driven a stake through the heart of his campaign.
A bloodbath right out of Hamlet
Warren was joined by the ghost of Joe Biden, who bleated out for Bloomberg to come clean. Bloomberg’s unsteady response only thickened the blood in the water starting last night’s highly watchable bloodbath of Democratic debate. Once begun it never let up.
By the end of the night, the stage resembled the last scene from Hamlet. Where Hamlet, his mother the Queen, his uncle – the pretender to the throne, and a collection of other lesser figures lie mortally wounded. The stage covered with the bodies of the battered and bloodied candidates.
While suddenly a messenger arrives amidst the carnage to announce that Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead, and mark the tableau as the lights dim and the curtain falls.
All of which is a fitting metaphor for a Democratic Party whose nomination process lies in shambles. The Messenger is the American people. And in this case, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are any chances for the Democrat nominee to beat Donald Trump in November.
Brutal night for Mike Bloomberg
Last night was a sorry spectacle. More Spartacus than Lincoln Douglas. More bloodsport than intellectual exchange. With a “Game of Thrones” undercurrent, Elizabeth Warren was apparently the fire breathing dragon.
And Michael Bloomberg was the Mayor of Kings’ Landing:
It is an understatement to say that Bloomberg had a bad night. He was hesitant, defensive, and never quite found his stride except in one snotty encounter where he quipped about Bernie Sanders being a socialist millionaire with three houses.
There were very few memorable moments for him.
The $60 billion dollar man was more Mini Mike than Democrat Savior. He was savaged by Joe Biden for being a Republican. For opposing Obamacare. Biden attacked him for not endorsing Obama in 2008. For stop and frisk. Making repeated remarks insulting blacks and Latinos. Hiding behind the non-disclosure agreements.
For not being a Democrat, and for trying to buy the nomination. Everything but breathing, it seems.
Bloomberg was butchered in public
Biden is the man most threatened by Bloomberg’s rise. So Bloomberg’s poor performance last night had to be heartening to Biden and his competitors. The $60 billion dollar man came out from behind the curtain and was less impressive than he needed to be.
In fact he wasn’t very impressive at all. He had a fumble mouth and a glass jaw. All the money in the world couldn’t save him.
He had one flash of brilliance when he talked about how Sanders’ policies were ridiculous. But he was constantly on the defensive and very rarely acquitted himself with wit or much presence. But Bloomberg wasn’t the only loser for the night.
Everyone on that stage was seriously damaged by what happened last night. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead.
There were no real winners last night, except perhaps Bernie Sanders.
Warren was Chris Christy to Bloomberg’s Marco Rubio
Elizabeth Warren lashed out at all her competitors. However she was vicious toward Bloomberg. Her impaling of the New York Mayor was reminiscent of Chris Christy taking out Marco Rubio at a crucial debate in the 2016 cycle. In desperation, and knowing he was going down, Christy took Rubio with him.
Elizabeth Warren isn’t going to pick up much more support than she already has. Not in Nevada or South Carolina. She has been eclipsed by Bernie. She soft-pedaled with a unity pitch in New Hampshire and it burned her. Now she is delivering scorched earth, with the strong hint of brimstone and desperation in the mix. Not that she wasn’t effective. She demolished Bloomberg.
He may never recover.
But Warren will reap no great benefits from the beating. Nor is she likely to pull from the heavily trafficked moderate lane. She’ is looking at another 3rd or 4th place showing. Its hard to see how she lasts past Super Tuesday. Especially with ever-diminishing returns on her angry live-fire assaults on her competitors.
All the same, it was a damn fine butchering of a live billionaire on national television.
It hard to even watch Joe Biden anymore
Joe Biden looked like a corpse last night. There is no other way to say it. Bloomberg’s stumble may prop up Joe in the short term. But Joe will be challenged to start winning somewhere besides South Carolina. Even there his hold on the crucial black vote is tenuous. He was more fluid last night and attacked Bloomberg successfully.
But he looked like hell. Finger-pointing, mouth agape, eyes-squinting angry. He does not inspire confidence.
Biden is counting on benefiting from the air going out of the Bloomberg balloon. But he’s not likely the only beneficiary. The moderate lane is still crowded. Biden is running out of time to make a credible case. His only hope is to pick up victories in a few states on Super Tuesday. And that Bloomberg continues to falter.
The Peter and Amy show – not a pretty sight
Pete Buttigieg had a good night from many perspectives. He was the youthful voice of reason between the upstart Billionaire, the Socialist, and the aging statesman. But the bitchy fighting with Amy Klobuchar seemed petty and almost taunting.
Klobuchar was clearly rattled and buckled like a schoolgirl on the playground. It was a bad night for her in spite of the fact that she had more airtime than anyone but Warren. She was whiny and defensive. The lengthly exchange where she was attacked for failing to remember the name of the President of Mexico in a Telemundo interview grew increasingly amusing.
Not only does Louis Obrador have a stirring story, like Lula in Brazil, but AMLO was a significant departure for Mexican politics. From an interview with Telemundo Klobuchar should not only have known his name. She should have expounded on him, if only because his journey is so interesting and significant.
Buttigieg attacking Klobuchar may have hurt them both
The Buttegeig Klobuchar spat was a secondary bludgeoning in the evenings’ scheme of things. It made both of them look bad, especially Klobuchar. Pete may be trying to edge her out of the race, and he may have a point.
Buttigieg has a chance to place second here in Nevada, ahead of Biden and Warren.
Klobuchar’s rise in New Hampshire kept him from winning there by a few thousand votes. He clearly wanted to cut her knees out from under her and swing some of her votes his way. While he effectively rattled her, and she had a weak and mediocre debate performance, it may not do Pete a whole lot of good.
Bernie Sanders is on the path to the nomination
Bernie Sanders was repeatedly pummeled over his health records and for being a socialist. He presented a spirited defense of democratic socialism and railed against the corporate socialism of the status quo. But most of the attacks of the night were on Bloomberg, who isn’t even on the ballot in Nevada.
Sanders came in the front runner in Las Vegas, and yet, rather than training their attacks on him, it was Bloomberg that was repeatedly savaged. Sanders leaves the debate the undisputed front runner in Nevada, emerging unscathed.
He is expected to get more than 30% of the vote here.
Bloomberg may end up coming in 3rd or 4th on Super Tuesday
Bloomberg has been seriously damaged. There is another debate next week in South Carolina. He has to have a better performance or he may be gone soon after Super Tuesday. Bloomberg has to have better answers about the nondisclosure agreements other than some women were upset about jokes he told.
He has to have better answers on Stop and Frisk. Bloomberg has to articulate a reason why the Democrat party should turn to a Billionaire former Republican to save them. Especially when they have a spirited grassroots candidate in Bernie Sanders.
Or as Pete Buttigieg said, referencing Bloomberg (lapsed Republican) and Sanders (Independent), at least the party could nominate a real Democrat.
Sanders is set to win Nevada on Saturday
A Sanders victory in Nevada on Saturday should give him momentum into South Carolina and Super Tuesday. If Bernie gets 30% of the vote and the next guy is double digits behind that is even better. Biden needs to come in second. However, second place will probably go to Buttigieg. Warren also needs to come in second but will come in 3rd of 4th behind Biden.
Klobuchar is toast. No one knows what Tom Steyer will do, although he has a lot of staff on the ground and spent a lot of money. Keep in mind, if you don’t get 15% you get no delegates. So expect a Sanders, Buttegeig, Warren, Biden, Steyer, Blobuchar finish in Nevada. Sanders will be way ahead.
Bernie could sweep California, getting all the delegates
The nomination is definitely Bernie’s to lose. That is what is scaring the hell out of establishment Democrats. Super Tuesday is March 3rd. Bernie stands to win both Califonia and its 450 delegates, as well as Texas, the two big prizes of the day. In California, Bernie is in the low 30% range, while none of his competitors has more than 12%.
Bernie could win in California and sweep all the delegates because none of the four or five moderates will get more than 15% of the vote. Bloomberg, Biden, Buttegeig, and Warren all hover around 10 – 12%. Klobuchar and Steyer further dilute the moderate lane.
If Bernie sweeps California that would give him an almost insurmountable lead in the delegate count.
The big loser last night was definitely Mike Bloomberg.
But the Democrat party was a big loser as well. The carnage of a “Red Wedding” debate will be felt long afterward. The party is hopelessly split between Sanders and the AOC wing, and the establishment elites who are increasingly desperate.
So much so they were willing to sell the nomination to Mike Bloomberg. Last night put an end to that illusion.
Bloomberg is doubling down with another $300 million in advertising between now and Super Tuesday. By the time March ends he will have spent a billion dollars.
But all the money in the world couldn’t save him after his Las Vegas performance.
The coming Democrat election disaster: Rosencranz and Guildenstern are Dead
Bernie Sanders has the momentum and the fiery grassroots support to lay claim to the nomination. The Democrat establishment stops him at their peril.
In the aftermath of last night’s Shakespearean bloodbath even Hamlet is wincing at the beating Mike Bloomberg took. Democrats across the nation were shaking their heads in disbelief throughout the debate at the devastation they were wreaking on themselves.
The messenger has arrived. Both William Shakespeare and Tom Stoppard were prescient. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are dead. And so are the chances for the Democrat Party in 2020.
The real winner of last nights debate, once again, was Donald Trump