The coming attractions promised a feature something like Quentin Tarantino’s “Kill Bill,” but titled “Kill Mike,” as in the billionaire former mayor of New York, Bloomberg, who has bought his way into second place in the Democrat race for president.
The pundits predicted the other five candidates would gang up on Bloomberg, who would be rusty and unable to defend himself, the experts said.
They were largely wrong.
The other five — Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, Amy Klobuchar, Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg — did what they had been doing, sniping at each other, even more than at Bloomberg.
On this judge’s score card, Mayor Pete got points for making accusations and defending himself without raising his voice. I like calm and rational, but that’s just me.
Warren seemed pressured to make her points to stop her slide in the polls. Biden tends toward liplock when he talks too fast and trips on his tongue. Sanders was, well, the same — coming across as a thundering Old Testament prophet with his vision of a brave new world.
I thought much more would be made of Bloomberg’s blemishes — his support of New York’s flawed stop-and-frisk policy, his opposition to increasing the minimum wage, his torrent of cash, his reported abuse of women, his unwillingness to reveal his tax returns and his health report.
He defended the billions he has amassed and said he is giving away his fortune for the good of the country. His debate performance was more than just adequate, except for being rocked halfway through by Warren’s demands for transparency about Bloomberg’s non disclosure agreements with an unknown number of women.
Sanders said he had 10.6 million people on Twitter and 99.9% were decent, and disavowed any of his people who were not. In the big picture, there are 330 million people on Twitter and I’d estimate at least 10% need to have their mouths washed out with soap. But that’s just me.
When Sanders complained about the “corrupt political system” that allowed major companies to avoid paying taxes, a stoic Bloomberg countered, “Who wrote the tax code?”
The billionaire also said it was “ridiculous” to believe the American people would support turning their country toward socialism.
Sanders said Bloomberg had more wealth than 120 million Americans.
Bloomberg seemed to be OK with that.
Just before posting this, I see the talking heads on CNN are calling this a disaster for Bloomberg.
Everyone’s got an opinion. What’s yours?