The Corner

Elections

The Mike Bloomberg of the TV Ads Is Not the Mike Bloomberg of the Debate Stage

Former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg gestures at the Democratic primary debate in Las Vegas, Nev., February 19, 2020. (Mike Blake/Reuters)

Bloomberg recovered a bit by the end and scored with his line about the most famous socialist in the country having three homes, but otherwise he had a catastrophic night. Elizabeth Warren cornered him on his NDAs with women, and he didn’t have an answer. His reply on stop-and-frisk was halting and confused. Altogether, it was a reminder that performance ability isn’t his strength as a politician. The big risk for him now is that anyone paying attention will realize that his TV ads, his biggest asset, are a ridiculously over-inflated version of himself.

Elizabeth Warren probably helped herself. She was sharp and on offense all night.

Pete Buttigieg was as unflappable as always and was the only one to consistently take the fight to the front-runner, Bernie Sanders.

Bernie was solid but lost his cool in reaction to Bloomberg’s attacks (which were enjoyable, though they might not have the intended effect with a Democratic audience).

Biden was okay and now looks like a positively polished and accomplished debater compared with Bloomberg.

Finally, Klobuchar had a poor night. She was overly defensive on her Mexico gaffe and let Pete, who relentlessly needled her, get under her skin.

 

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