Just days before the Nevada caucus and the Dem candidates meet for the 9th time and this time Bloomberg will have to answer questions….. There is a lot to get to so without any delay……I begin…….
I will admit that this debate had it all….applause….boos….attack and parry…..in other words all had a good night with the exception of Bloomberg….he took the hits well but at times he looked bored and fed up….not a good look for him.
But let’s look at the action……
Michael Bloomberg was on a Democratic presidential debate stage for the first time Wednesday night and he became a major target in the Las Vegas debate from the opening minutes onward—more so than frontrunner Bernie Sanders. Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Joe Biden, and Pete Buttigieg also took part in the first debate since the New Hampshire primary. Nevada holds its Democratic caucuses on Saturday. Highlights:
- Sanders quickly brought up Bloomberg’s record as New York City mayor, arguing that defeating President Trump will require “the largest voter turnout in the history of the United States” and Bloomberg’s record on issues like stop-and-frisk will make that impossible, the Washington Post reports. Bloomberg countered that Sanders’ support of policies like Medicare for All would make it impossible for him to beat Trump.
- Warren also went on the attack against Bloomberg, saying: “I’d like to talk about who we’re running against. A billionaire who calls women fat broads and horse-faced lesbians, and no, I’m not talking about Donald Trump, I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg.” She added: “Democrats take a huge risk if we substitute one arrogant billionaire for another.”
- Buttigieg tried to portray himself as more electable than either Sanders or Bloomberg. He called them “polarizing” and said Democrats “shouldn’t have to choose between one candidate who wants to burn this party down and another who wants to buy this party out.” “Let’s put forward someone who is actually a Democrat,” he said. Sanders responded that “maybe it’s time for the working class of this country to have a little bit of power in Washington rather than your billionaire campaign contributors.”
- Sanders distanced himself from some of his supporters’ online attacks on critics including Nevada union leaders, the Guardian reports. “If there are a few people who make ugly remarks, who attack trade union leaders, I disown those people—they are not part of my campaign,” he said.
- Warren, asked about her plan for Medicare for All, derided the policies of Buttigieg and Klobuchar, saying Buttigieg’s policy was more of a Powerpoint presentation than a plan and Klobuchar’s is a “Post-It note.” Klobuchar observed that Post-It notes were invented in her home state, Minnesota, NBC reports. Buttigieg said he was “more of a Microsoft Word guy.”
- Bloomberg defended the intent behind the stop-and-frisk policy, saying it was to stop murders. “I’ve apologized. I’ve asked for forgiveness,” he said. “We stopped too many people.” Warren noted the harm the policy had caused to minority communities and told him: “You need a different apology.”
- Sanders, asked about releasing detailed health records after his heart attack, noted that fellow 78-year-old Bloomberg has also had heart surgery, the Post reports. “I think the one area maybe that Mayor Bloomberg and I share is, you have two stents as well,” he said . “25 years ago,” Bloomberg responded.
- Warren used the transparency issue to go after Bloomberg again, telling him he should release women who had complained about sexual harassment in his company from nondisclosure agreements, Politico reports. “They signed those agreements, and we’ll live with it,” he said.
- Buttigieg criticized Klobuchar for forgetting the name of Mexico’s president during a recent town hall meeting.”Are you trying to say that I’m dumb? Are you mocking me?” she asked him. Warren interjected to defend Klobuchar during the heated exchange, CBS reports.
- The second half of the debate began with a discussion of climate change. “If we don’t elect a president who actually believes in climate science now, we will never meet any of the other scientific or policy deadline—and we need to,” Buttigieg said.
- Sanders focused on Bloomberg when asked about his remark that billionaires “shouldn’t exist.” “We have a grotesque and immoral distribution of wealth and income,” Sanders said. “Mike Bloomberg owns more wealth than the bottom 125 million Americans. That’s wrong. That’s immoral.” Bloomberg said he was giving his money away “to make the country better.” “Mr. Bloomberg, it wasn’t you who made all that money, maybe it was your workers as well,” Sanders told him.
- Sanders said America is already a socialist country—but only for the rich. “I believe in democratic socialism for working people, not billionaires,” he told Bloomberg, saying it was a “cheap shot” for the former mayor to compare democratic socialism to communism.
- Warren implied that some of her rivals had conflicts of interest, ABC reports. “Amy and Joe’s hearts are in the right place, but we can’t be so eager to be liked by Mitch McConnell that we forget how to fight the Republicans,” she said. “Mayor Buttigieg has been taking money from big donors and changing his positions. So it makes it unclear what it is he stands for other than his own.”
- Buttigieg and Klobuchar clashed again when the debate turned to immigration and he targeted her voting record in the Senate. “You’ve memorized a bunch of talking points and a bunch of things,” she told him before listing immigration reforms she has worked on in Congress, the Guardian reports
- Addressing fears of a brokered convention in July, every candidate except Bloomberg said they believed the candidate who got the most delegates should win the nomination, even if they failed to reach the 1,991 necessary to clinch it.
- Most candidates focused on unity in their closing statement. “What I want everyone out there watching to remember is that what unites us is so much bigger than what divides us and that we need a candidate that can bring people with her,” said Klobuchar. Biden’s closing statement was briefly interrupted by protesters.
For those readers that wanted to see fireworks then you probably would not be disappointed….
Elizabeth Warren. Warren, who savaged Bloomberg from her opening answer onward, could hardly have had a better debate, analysts say. “Warren needs a miracle to save her campaign, and while strong debate performances haven’t always translated into good polling in the past, Wednesday night was still one hell of a start,” writes Zack Beauchamp at Vox. “Warren dominated the stage, delivering striking answers in one of the best performances I’ve seen from a presidential candidate—not just in this cycle, but ever.” In one of the most talked-about exchanges, she urged Bloomberg to release women who had complained about sexual harassment at his company from their nondisclosure agreements.
Michael Bloomberg. This was the billionaire’s first time on a debate stage since a 2009 mayoral debate in New York City, and he seemed ill-prepared for the onslaught on issues like the stop-and-frisk policy. “The first hour of the debate was an absolute and total disaster for the former mayor,” writes Chris Cillizza at CNN. “Warren dunked on him repeatedly. Sanders slammed him. Biden bashed him. It was like watching a pro wrestling match where everyone decided to gang up on a single wrestler in the ring—and that wrestler was totally and completely caught off-guard.”
Bernie Sanders. Sanders went into the debate the undisputed frontrunner and emerged largely unscathed, with his rivals preferring to focus on Bloomberg. He had a few weak moments, including when he was asked about releasing detailed medical records, “but there was no singular moment that would seem to upend his current positive trajectory, both in Nevada and nationally,” Shane Goldmacher and Reid Epstein write at the New York Times. “Even if Mr. Sanders did not deliver his most forceful performance, that might be enough.”
Joe Biden. While Biden had some strong moments, he was widely seen as an also-ran. “If there was a bystander on the debate stage Tuesday night, it was Biden,” Aaron Blake writes at the Washington Post. “There was nothing there to suggest he might rescue his struggling campaign.”
Pete Buttigieg. The other former mayor on stage is behind in the polls in the next two states to vote, and his debate performance is unlikely to help him regain momentum. “A stand-out night would have helped, and he didn’t get one. He did not have any obvious gaffe, either,” writes Niall Stanage at the Hill. “Buttigieg, on Wednesday, was OK. And that probably isn’t good enough.”
Amy Klobuchar. Klobuchar, who repeatedly clashed with Buttigieg, got mixed reviews for a debate performance seen as below her usual high standard. “Klobuchar’s streak of successful debates came to an end tonight,” says Christopher Cadelago at Politico. “She’ll need a big finish this weekend to keep herself in the game.”
I do not think that this debate changed many minds on who to vote……I heard NOTHING but the status quo from any candidate with the exception of Bernie.
The one thing I noticed in the debate and the pundits that analyzed the night…..it is wealthy people telling working people what they want……and yet they cannot explain the popularity of Bernie….
All in all great fun for the old professor in me……
I Read, I Write, You Know
“lego ergo scribo”