The Democrats debated tonight at the Hotel Paris in Las Vegas and they may not be able to leave it behind.
Warren beat Bloomberg for everybody (as Biden says, “like a drum”); but, it is unclear that anyone won tonight. That said, Bloomberg’s impact on the debate will be that everyone prepared for a knife fight with him, but, once he was dead, they all stood around with sharp knives and nowhere else to put them but each other.
Klobuchar might have spoken the most, but, many of these were defensive. Warren did the work of Gingrich in 2012 and Lloyd Bentsen in 1988 combined. Bloomberg’s response on NDA’s would make Harvey Weinstein blush. Buttigieg sees the votes for Klobuchar as zero-sum, and, so he’s going after her.
Bloomberg made Biden look young, coherent, and, frankly, liberal in ways that the previous dynamic did not. Biden even looked magnanimous to Buttigieg while attacking Bloomberg for not releasing women from their NDAs. This seems like an issue that can stick, particularly during a Democratic primary.
Bernie Sanders was also there.
Okay, kudos to Chuck Todd for asking candidates how they view the concept of a brokered convention. All said follow the rules except Sanders, which is the opposite of his position in 2016. Anyway, it is quite likely that he is reaching out to Super Delegates already in anticipation of this event which means that he’ll play the game unless he loses.
Bloomberg’s argument for his existence in this race is that he could actually beat Trump, but, tonight’s performance indicates he has spent $400 million and he’s terrible. The challenge is that the Democrats were so intent on using their weapons on each other that they forgot about attacking Trump once The Bloomberg was slayed.
[Well, perhaps not slayed, he will likely turn into mist form and float back to his coffin where he’ll reanimate after a few hundred million dollars in ads.]
The debate did have an upside: no Tom Steyer.
Final Note 1: Somehow, some way, we had a Nevada debate that didn’t involve Yucca Mountain.
Final Note 2: Clearly Bloomberg needs to spend more on debate prep. I’m available for $20k per month.
Final Note 3: Joe Biden finally got to talk about trains! They will solve climate change. [Actually, they could.]