If Mike Bloomberg was determined to continue to consume all of the media attention, he succeeded in ways he may not have imagined in Wednesday evening’s Democratic Debate in Las Vegas.
Essentially serving the role of a Donald Trump pinata, one candidate after another took whacks at him on previously made sexist comments, racial positions regarding policing, sexual harassment settlements, undisclosed tax filings, and his enormous fortune.
The scene was reminiscent of the “Two Minutes Hate” exercises from George Orwell’s 1984.
And nobody got in better hits than Liz Warren, a candidate who desperately needed to revive a moribund campaign after a disastrous delegate blanking in the New Hampshire primary.
Warren brought the wood immediately, setting the tone of the evening beat down. In addition to reinvigorating her candidacy with enthusiasm and cash, Warren can point to her exchange with Bloomberg as a preview of what a debate between President Trump and her could look like in the general election.
Warren not only scored points on the attack but also on the defense coming to the aid of a rattled Amy Klobuchar who was getting the Candy Crowley treatment by a panelist Vanessa Hauc of Telemundo (seriously, that was unprofessional) over not knowing the name of the President of Mexico in an interview.
Warren, who shares a similar socialist base with Sanders, was surprisingly charitable to the Vermont US Senator.
While the Warren shortgame is a big question, the Harvard law professor is engaging in shrewd coalition building in anticipation of a potentially brokered Democratic convention.
The Massachusetts US Senator is not so much playing to win Nevada but Milwaukee.
Mayor Pete, the best politician on the stage, was strategic in his attacks, broadsiding Sanders on his ideology to impress the not-blatantly socialist vote and attempting to marginalize Klobuchar as a candidate to clear the field of Midwest “centrist” or rather non- Soviet rivals.
While Mayor Pete played smart he was perhaps too cute in his health challenge with Sanders, mixing some ominous cloud cover into his cheery rainbow messaging.
If not for Bloomberg, Klobuchar would’ve had the worst night in style, coming off hyper-defensive and shaken.
Though the Minnesota US Senator came off with one small victory when Klobuchar landed a jab on the South Bend city official when she pulled back the curtain on his less than stellar electoral history.
Finally there’s the guy who finally had a good day in the year 2020, Joe Biden.
The former vice-president was largely quiet (a good thing for him) and ignored though he did pour a box of Morton’s into the gashes inflicted on Bloomberg by Warren.
Biden could lose badly in Nevada and it won’t much affect his Southern Strategy. What happens to Biden in Vegas, stays in Vegas.