ChrisWeigant.com

A Las Vegas Boxing Match Of A Debate

[ Posted Thursday, February 20th, 2020 – 00:43 UTC ]

There's an old switcheroo-at-the-end joke that goes: "I went to see the fights, but a hockey game broke out instead." After tonight, this can now be updated to: "I went to see the fights, but a Democratic presidential debate broke out instead." In fact, the best word I can think of to describe what we all just saw is "brutal." Maybe for the next debate, we should have a metal detector installed so that nobody can bring any brass knuckles to the podium? Just a thought.

Heading into the ninth Democratic debate, Michael Bloomberg was always going to be the main target, and he certainly did receive a goodly amount of attacks tonight. But in the hours leading up to the debate, two national polls were released which were nothing short of stunning. In one, Bernie Sanders led the field with 31 percent support from Democratic voters, which put him ahead of Bloomberg by an astonishing 12 points. The other one showed him with 32 percent support, which was double the second-place showing of 16 percent, for Joe Biden. That shifted the dynamic of tonight's debate, because both Bernie and Bloomberg seemed to get an equal amount of incoming attacks from the other four candidates on stage. And there was more than just a whiff of desperation out of all four of them.

Tonight was the most high-energy debate yet in the Democratic race, as a result. It was also the first one without any gadfly candidates (sorry Tom and Andrew, but the truth hurts sometimes). We had the six top candidates onstage, and no others. All of these candidates will be back for the next debate as well, which will be squeezed in between the Nevada caucuses and the South Carolina primary, next week.

At several points during the debate, the moderators lost complete control of what was going on, as the candidates tried to out-shout each other. We've had such lively moments in previous debates, but tonight it happened from beginning to end, really. It was like watching a rock concert composed entirely of encore songs, with no slow numbers to break up the pace at all. Nobody's going to be bringing up how Bernie Sanders was shouting last night, because all the candidates equalled him in volume, all night long.

Some of the questions tonight were pretty good, which made for a welcome change. But in reality the questions didn't even matter much, because each candidate took the opportunity to slam their opponents almost without regard to the subject at hand. It's a pretty safe bet, at this point, that Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar genuinely do not like one another, to draw the most obvious conclusion from all the punching matches we saw. But they certainly weren't the only ones taking the gloves off. In fact, the gloves came off from the very beginning, when the first question posed might well have been: "Would all the other candidates like to take a gratuitous opening shot at Michael Bloomberg, just to 'welcome' him to the debate process?" All of them eagerly took this opportunity and absolutely ran with it, setting the tone for the entire evening.

But let's break down the candidates' performances, one by one. As usual, all quotes were hastily jotted down and might not be word-for-word accurate, but reflect the gist of what was said (all errors are mine, in other words, for which I apologize in advance). And we're going to list the candidates tonight in reverse alphabetical order, for no particular reason.

 

Elizabeth Warren

Elizabeth Warren obviously drew the conclusion from the last debate that Amy Klobuchar boosted her support (as shown by the New Hampshire results) by being as feisty as possible. So Warren was much more engaged tonight than she was in the last debate.

One irrelevant note: Warren is coming off a cold, and at times her voice sounded pretty scratchy, but this actually seemed to get better for her as the night wore on rather than the reverse.

Warren was the second candidate (after Bernie Sanders) to take a gigantic potshot at Bloomberg in her first response, telling the audience that we didn't want a billionaire who called women "fat broads and horse-faced lesbians" in the White House -- but (surprise!) she wasn't talking about Trump, she was talking about Bloomberg. As I mentioned, this set the tone for the whole night's beatdown of Bloomberg. She ended with: "We can't substitute one arrogant billionaire for another." She also later hit Mike for blaming minorities for the housing crisis (the redlining quote) and for the design of the stop-and-frisk policing plan.

Warren didn't hold back on any of the other candidates on stage, either. She struck back at both Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar for not fully documenting their healthcare reform plans on their website, calling Pete's "a Power Point presentation," and brutally dismissing Klobuchar's plan on her website as "a Post-It note with: 'Insert plan here' written on it." Klobuchar did have a pretty funny comeback for this, but we'll save that for her review section. Warren later returned to this, saying Amy only had "two paragraphs" on her website as her entire healthcare reform plan. Warren is really justified in this attack, since her own healthcare reform plan was scrutinized under such a microscope by the media, which no other Democratic candidate has yet had to endure -- and which may have contributed to her early surge collapsing.

Warren did, however, later stand up for Klobuchar when the subject of not knowing the Mexican president's name came up, which Amy did appreciate. But over the course of the night, Warren took on Klobuchar several times over her "think small" campaign, which was pretty effective. Warren even took at least one shot at Bernie -- when asked whether having a Democratic Socialist on the ticket would be a good idea, Warren responded that she was "worried about gambling on a narrow vision" rather than supporting capitalism generally.

Warren also took on Biden, citing a bizarre quote from him while he was vice president: "I hope Mitch McConnell gets re-elected so I can keep working with him." It'll be interesting to hear the fact-checkers dig out the actual quote, and the context in which it was said.

Warren's best moment of the whole night, however, was when she absolutely savaged Bloomberg over all those non-disclosure agreements his company has with women who have complained about him creating a hostile and sexist workplace. Bloomberg really should have been prepared for this question, but he just utterly went down in flames. Warren just would not let him weasel out of it, responding to his saying he hires lots of women with: "I'm sorry, but 'I've been nice to some women' just isn't good enough." When he refused to admit how many non-disclosure agreements there were, she was equally as persistent: "'Some' is how many?" Warren clearly came out the victor of this exchange, as she quite obviously tore Bloomberg a new one, right there on the stage. The audience gave her a huge round of applause at the end of it, too. My guess is that this clip will be the one most played in post-debate analysis.

 

Bernie Sanders

Bernie took a lot of heat tonight, but not much of it was actually anything new. He's taken almost exactly the same heat before on most of these subjects in previous debates, and his answers haven't changed one bit. It was more concentrated tonight, but there were only a few new issues raised.

One thing that may not have been completely new but got a lot more prominence was the charge that the online "Bernie Bros" were both out of control and directly Bernie's fault. Pete Buttigieg brought this up early (before the moderators could even raise it, which they were obviously about to do), and referenced the ugly responses to the Culinary Union (the biggest Union in Nevada) panning Medicare For All. Bernie -- once again -- disavowed anyone who would make threats online or exhibit vicious behavior in any form, saying: "We've got 10.6 million people on Twitter and 99.9 percent of them" are loving people who support his campaign. He went on: "I disown those people who aren't, they are not part of my movement at all." Pete refused to let the issue go and the back-and-forth between the two got more heated than even the attacks on Bloomberg. At one point, Bernie dismissed Pete with the claim: "We have more Union support than you've ever dreamed of," but he was more effective when he pointed out that all kinds of vicious things get said online and his was not the only campaign that was at fault in this regard, stating: "You should see the attacks our supporters get" from others. As I said, this subject has come up before but it's never been aired in such stark terms. And this all happened in the first five or ten minutes of the debate, showing that Bloomberg wasn't the only one with a big target on his back.

The one new subject that Bernie had to deal with tonight is one that the media has been making much of lately -- Bernie had previously said he'd release full medical records, but has only released partial records in the form of letters from his doctors. Now, I haven't seen any medical records released by any of the other candidates, but then again this may not have been as newsworthy (in other words, they might have done so, but it was considered a non-story) because nobody else on the stage has experienced a heart attack during the campaign. Bernie's answer was kind of weak, admittedly, but this will likely not be an issue in the general election since Trump hasn't released any medical records either.

Bernie gave as good as he got, when it came to Bloomberg. He highlighted the fact that Bloomberg used to be a Republican, pointing out that he had supported George W. Bush -- and did not support Barack Obama -- while donating to several GOP senators as well. This is an issue that really should be more potent, but it kind of got lost in all the other Bloomberg attacks. Bernie also got into it with Mike a bit on the subject of how the system had been "bought by billionaires," pointing out how his wealth was more than that owned by 120 million Americans, to which Bloomberg responded: "You wrote the tax code!" But nobody really buys the idea that the inequalities in the tax code are somehow all Bernie's fault.

The attacks on "socialism" were also ramped up tonight, but Bernie fought back pretty strongly when the moderator brought up a recent poll that showed how high a percentage of Americans would hesitate to vote for "a socialist." Bernie shot back: "Who was winning that poll you mentioned?" which pointed out the fact that the media really has a big problem admitting that Bernie is now the unquestioned frontrunner in the race. Bernie then launched yet another explanation of how "socialism for the rich" was the norm now, and all he really wants is a little fairer treatment for the non-billionaires.

Bernie's shining moment, however, came when the moderator asked every candidate a deceptively easy question: "If we reach the convention and no candidate has a majority of the delegates, should the candidate with the most delegates become the nominee?" Every single one of the others refused to support the idea, which only shows how scared they all are right now of Bernie beating the field. When it came to be Bernie's turn, he responded: "The will of the people should prevail."

 

Amy Klobuchar

Amy Klobuchar, in the previous debate, did herself a lot of good by being argumentative and feisty. Tonight, she doubled down on this approach (to be fair, so did everyone else), but (to me at least) this wound up crossing over into coming off as downright angry at the other candidates on stage with her. This kind of puts the lie to all her "Midwestern values" and "bringing people together" campaign themes, when you think about it.

Her opening shot at Bloomberg was one of the weaker ones, but she made up for it later on. But the most noticeable disagreements came when Amy and Pete got into it in a big way. This dynamic has been building over the course of the past few debates, I should mention, so it should really have come as no surprise, but it never got quite as vicious as it did tonight. These two just plain don't like each other, it's obvious. And they're both running on the whole "bringing people together" idea, so what does that say?

Amy's best moment (in terms of being funny, at any rate) came in response to Warren slamming her for her "Post-It note" healthcare reform plan. This really could not have been scripted, since who would have prepared for exactly this line? But Klobuchar's response was priceless: "I take personal offense, because Post-It notes were invented in my state." Few today remember it, but "3M" used to be a business called the "Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company," so Klobuchar had a valid point. The line got a big laugh, too. Even if her defense of her healthcare plan (or the absence thereof) was nowhere near as impressive.

Klobuchar's weakest moment, though, came in trying to once again explain why a life-sentence case that happened when she was prosecutor was now under review. She's stumbled on this issue before, so you'd think she'd have a better response, but her response essentially equates to: "I support a review of this case, which I obviously may have screwed up." She also had another weak moment trying to explain why she "couldn't remember" the name of the president of Mexico, when she tried to reel off some flash-card foreign policy facts but it fell flat. When Mayor Pete hit her hard for it, Klobuchar's anger came to the fore: "Are you trying to say I'm dumb? Are you mocking me?" The anger was palpable, to put it mildly.

The other notable dustup between the two happened when Pete savaged Amy for her voting record on immigration and supporting Trump nominees and judges. Klobuchar shot back: "I wish everyone was as perfect as you, Pete," and then the two had a shouting match over who was right about her record. Klobuchar ended it with some more heat: "You've memorized a bunch of talking points -- I've been in the arena."

Klobuchar's most honest moment came at the end, as she was given the first closing statement. She began with: "This has been quite a debate." You can say that again, Amy.

 

Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg quite obviously also decided that Klobuchar's big bump in support after the last debate was worth attempting, and he was more negative and hard-hitting than he's ever been before. He got into several dustups with Klobuchar, but he also trained his sights on everyone else on the stage as well.

Pete began by being more honest than most, in his first statement. He pointed out that the race was now in danger of being narrowed down to Sanders-versus-Bloomberg, especially after Super Tuesday. But he failed to note that this meant that the message of his campaign (as well as all the others) obviously wasn't resonating as well as the two frontrunners. As usual, he had a catchy phrase to describe "a contest between one candidate who wants to burn this party down versus one who wants to buy this party outright."

Early on, Pete launched the first attacks against Bernie, and he returned to take potshots at him all night, but (once again) we've already heard most of these complaints already, and Bernie has a ready answer for most of them. And as with all the other candidates, Pete got in plenty of good jabs at Bloomberg as well.

But Pete's most notably fierce attacks happened against Klobuchar, at least to our ears. When he was hitting her on forgetting (or not knowing, more likely) the name of the Mexican president, Pete pointed out that Amy sat on several Senate foreign policy committees, so she really should know this stuff. "It's not trivia -- you're on the committee" he scolded her. Pete also got in a great comeback for Klobuchar's repeated boasting of her Minnesota election record, saying that if doing well in Minnesota means you should be president, then we'd all remember "President Walter Mondale." An obscure (even "Baby Boomer") reference; but for those who recognized it, it was a pretty good one.

Pete's funniest moment of the night, unfortunately, happened right before Klobuchar's "Post-It" funny comeback, when in response to Warren's "PowerPoint" jibe, Buttigieg responded: "I'm more of a Microsoft Word guy."

Pete's best moment of the night probably came when he was asked an interesting question, about an essay he had written a long time ago where he specifically praised Bernie Sanders for his socialism. The question was framed as: "Are you out of touch with your own generation?" Pete turned this around masterfully, responding: "I was into Bernie before Bernie was cool," which got a big laugh from the audience (as it deserved to).

 

Michael Bloomberg

Hoo boy. While I would bet that supporters of all the other candidates tonight would all argue that their candidate "won" the debate, I would also bet that the consensus would easily be -- among virtually everyone who watched -- that Michael Bloomberg was unquestionably tonight's biggest loser. At times, it was like watching one of those war movies where the fighter plane gets hit, starts smoking, dives into a tailspin, and then proceeds to screamingly go down in flames. Yes, it really was that bad.

Part of Bloomberg's problem was the relentlessness of the attacks against him. Every other candidate on that stage has been through eight of these debates already, and they were in no mood to give Mike a free pass for trying to cut to the front of the line. So they unleashed nine debates' worth of attacks, in one night.

Like the first Rocky movie's fight scene, this was both brutal and bloody. You could even call it worse than that, since there was no Adrian waiting to hug him at the end.

Bloomberg was really on defense the entire night. At times he tried to land some of his own punches, but with everyone ganging up on him they seldom had much of an impact. The whole thing was a bare-knuckle brawl in a back alley, complete with both blackjacks and brass knuckles. Maybe a better movie reference would be the epic fight scene in The Quiet Man? Bloomberg's old enough to remember that one, I bet.

OK, I'll stop with the boxing metaphors. But to be honest it's actually hard not to use them, after what just happened to Michael Bloomberg tonight.

Bloomberg, at several points, just flatly contradicted some claims thrown at him by the others, which will doubtlessly keep the fact-checkers up late tonight. But in the end, it probably won't matter who was technically right or wrong.

Bloomberg, throughout the entire night, gave off a sense of entitlement not yet seen on a Democratic debate stage (at least, not this time around). He chided other candidates for not letting him finish, but managed to sound condescending each time. The claims he used to counter others' arguments often left the audience silent, but the other candidates jumped in to fill these awkward moments. His answers on any number of subjects (stop-and-frisk, redlining, why he hasn't released his tax returns, why billionaires are treated so well by the tax code, his own incredible wealth) were not exactly very convincing. He was especially unconvincing when he tried to hit Bernie Sanders for having three houses (Bloomberg owns more than a dozen, himself).

Now, I've seen bad debate performances before. But I have to admit I've never seen such a negative response from an in-house audience before. Michael Bloomberg was actively and loudly booed several times tonight, and he didn't exactly react well. He oozed hostility and condescension, which makes it all the more understandable why he hasn't been giving any media interviews since he started his campaign. The relentless stream of attacks obviously got under his skin in a major way, and he didn't do a very good job of hiding this fact. He looked not just uncomfortable -- as many candidates giving bad debate performances do -- but downright belligerent. This is not a good look for a Democrat, obviously.

Bloomberg had two really bad moments, one short and one prolonged. The short one was when he outright accused Bernie Sanders of being a communist: "We've tried that -- it was called communism and it didn't work." The audience gasped and then booed him, and Bernie later rightly smacked him for taking such a "cheap shot."

But the worst moment of the night for Bloomberg came at the hands of Elizabeth Warren, when the subject of his workplace behavior came up. When Mike tried to tout his company's record (and his mayoral record) on how many women he hired by offering up lots of stats, Warren dropped the "I've been nice to some women" bombshell on him. She pressed him hard on the subject of the unknown number of non-disclosure agreements which were all signed (obviously) to keep women quiet about what Bloomberg said and did and put up with while running his company. Bloomberg wouldn't admit how many of these there were ("very few") to which Warren hit back "How many of them were there? How many?" Towards the end, even Joe Biden weighed in ("It's easy, all you have to do is say: 'I release them from the non-disclosure agreements,' right here on this stage tonight") but Bloomberg kept trying to dodge the issue entirely. To no avail.

Bloomberg's position, as stated, is either unbelievable or completely unacceptable to most Democratic voters, which is why he went down in flames. His first answer was that there weren't that many times he or his company had to pay women off (and make them sign non-disclosure agreements) for him being a sexist pig in the workplace. That didn't go over well with the audience. Then he tried to shift to: "I just made a few jokes," which really didn't go over well (this is the year 2020, after all). But his final answer was his worst: that the women involved were the ones who wanted to keep everything quiet. In other words, they requested non-disclosure agreements from him, in order to protect their own privacy. This is what got him several rounds of extended booing from the audience, which he fully deserved.

All it is going to take to put the lie to Bloomberg's claim is one woman to give an interview on national television where she says: "I had to sign a non-disclosure agreement with Michael Bloomberg, but I was not the one who demanded this -- he was." Whether such a women then goes on to break her N.D.A. and talk about what happened to her or not, this will still prove to the world that Bloomberg is flat-out lying about the whole situation.

Personally, I never expected Bloomberg to do so badly tonight. He can afford the top political talent in the business, and he had to have known this issue would be raised. He should have been more prepared for it, no matter what you think of his candidacy (love him or hate him, in other words). But he was either woefully unprepared or the questions just got under his skin to the point where he forgot all the political advice he had paid for. Either way, his answers were terrible and they were all loudly booed by the audience.

I have no idea how much tonight is going to blunt Bloomberg's rise as a Democratic presidential candidate, but he certainly didn't do himself any favors tonight. A lot will depend on how it all plays out in the media (well, the non-Bloomberg-owned media, at any rate). I would be willing to bet -- at the very least -- he's going to struggle to maintain the level of support he now has with women voters, just for starters. I have no idea how many people watched tonight's debate, and I have no idea how many people are going to hear about it in the news (and, more importantly, which clips will make the highlights reel). But I would certainly expect tonight's performance to have a visible effect on all those voters who -- up until this moment -- have been convinced by his ad blitz to consider voting for Bloomberg. He really had that bad a night, in other words.

 

Joe Biden

Sigh. Joe Biden. Yep, he's still in the race. There he was on the debate stage and all....

Biden launched a few attacks at Michael Bloomberg tonight, but then again so did everyone else. He backed up Elizabeth Warren while she was ripping Bloomberg a new one over the non-disclosure agreement issue.

Personally, though, Joe didn't have much of a presence on stage tonight to me. In fact, the most interesting thing that happened while he was speaking was a protest from the audience (which I could not identify, because their screamed slogans weren't audible enough) right before Joe gave his closing statement.

I hate to say it, but even if he finishes second in Nevada and wins South Carolina outright, Joe Biden already seems like somewhat of a has-been.

 

OK, that's it for my debate wrapup. It's late at night, so I want to get this posted. And then (as always) I will go take a look at all the other pundits to see whether we agree on any of this or not. As always, feel free to correct me yourselves, down in the comments, if you think I've got it wrong.

-- Chris Weigant

 

Follow Chris on Twitter: @ChrisWeigant

 

32 Comments on “A Las Vegas Boxing Match Of A Debate”

  1. [1] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    First correction:

    That should be "Culinary Workers Union"... sorry...

    -CW

  2. [2] 
    Michale wrote:

    I am very confused about something..

    Our very own Russ has stated that Democrats are as pure as the driven snow and would never stoop to attacking other Democrats with personal insults..

    Yet this debate showed just the opposite of what Russ claimed..

    Was Russ {gasp} LYING to us when he made his claim???

  3. [3] 
    Michale wrote:

    Hoo boy. While I would bet that supporters of all the other candidates tonight would all argue that their candidate "won" the debate, I would also bet that the consensus would easily be -- among virtually everyone who watched -- that Michael Bloomberg was unquestionably tonight's biggest loser. At times, it was like watching one of those war movies where the fighter plane gets hit, starts smoking, dives into a tailspin, and then proceeds to screamingly go down in flames. Yes, it really was that bad.

    So.... Bloomberg is now the Democrat's Great White Hope, eh?? :D

    More like the Great White Hype...

    Which simply clears the way for Bernie to be ya'all's chosen one.. :D

    Love it.. :D

  4. [4] 
    Michale wrote:

    I hate to say it, but even if he finishes second in Nevada and wins South Carolina outright, Joe Biden already seems like somewhat of a has-been.

    This was all predicted to happen...

    And I hate it that I am dead on ballz accurate with my prediction...

  5. [5] 
    Michale wrote:

    My old friend is back in the news..

    George Zimmerman sues Warren, Buttigieg for $265M, accuses them of attempting to garner black votes by defaming him
    https://www.foxnews.com/us/warren-buttigieg-george-zimmerman-lawsuit-trayvon-martin

    I hope Z gets every penny from those scumbags...

  6. [6] 
    Michale wrote:

    As far as the debate goes, one thing is perfectly clear...

    President Trump was the ultimate winner of this latest Democrat bash fest..

    Because it's clear that Bernie is going to be the nominee and President Trump will mop the floor with Bernie..

  7. [7] 
    Michale wrote:

    This was written before the debate last night..

    Panicked Democrat Establishment Turns To Bloomberg

    Even if he can buy the Democratic nomination, he's not what their base voters want.

    They spent years getting high on their own supply about Biden’s strength and Trump’s weaknesses, but now they’re coming out of their narco haze and they’re panicking. They’re so desperate that they’re willing to sell the party nomination to Mike Bloomberg, of all people. While his views are at odds with many of the Democratic Party’s base voters, it’s hard to get more establishment than Bloomberg, who made billions selling his terminals to Wall Street.

    This week the establishment is really amping up its flirtation with the wee New Yorker. The billionaire businessman hasn’t won any votes yet, and isn’t even on the ballot in the next two states holding elections, but he has won the support of many major media figures. The New York Times yesterday had eight stories about Bloomberg on the politics page of its website, compared to zero for ostensible delegate leader and young mayor Buttigieg. That’s not an accident.

    Last Sunday’s political shows featured non-stop questions and commentary about Bloomberg, not the current odds-on favorite to win the most delegates, Sanders. Until and unless he crashes in a debate or underperforms on Super Tuesday, there is an argument that Bloomberg should be presumed to be the front-runner because he is the establishment’s clear favorite of the remaining contenders. And in the Democratic Party, that establishment support means a great deal.

    Bloomberg is spending unheard of amounts of money to essentially purchase the nomination. He’s spent more than $400 million in advertising, compared to $18 million for the next non-billionaire candidate. He’s providing ridiculously fancy food spreads at voter events. And he’s hiring people at good salaries through November, regardless of whether he wins the nomination or not.

    It is unclear how many people are simply agreeing to be bought and how many think his wealth is his biggest comparative advantage for defeating Trump. Perhaps it’s a combination of both.

    But even if the media and Democratic establishment are more than willing to be bought off, are Democratic voters that pathetic? Possibly, but there is reason to think the voters won’t be as cheap a date as their leaders are proving to be.
    https://thefederalist.com/2020/02/19/panicked-democrat-establishment-turns-to-bloomberg/#.Xk02plTY_at.twitter

    Once again, Democrats crash and burn....

    Ya really have to wonder if, deep DEEP down, they WANT to lose the election and give it it President Trump..

    Because Dims sure aren't making logical or rational decisions..

  8. [8] 
    Michale wrote:

    When Bloomberg starts filling up arenas, you can call him Trump. Or for a Democratic comparison, think of President Obama, who had real energy and real crowds, and not the kind that is purchased.

    Bloomberg isn’t taking on the establishment in his party, as Trump did. He’s aligned with them on all the major issues, from guns to climate change. Compare the establishment’s treatment of Bloomberg right now with how the establishment and media responded to Trump’s candidacy. By this point in 2016, Trump was dealing with non-stop criticism from everyone in the media and party leadership every day. What pushback has Bloomberg received from his friends in the establishment?

    The establishment portion of the Democratic Party and their media masters are more than fine with the soulless exchange of a service for money. Bloomberg’s problematic views on China, race, civil liberties, Me Too, college tuition, taxing the poor, and myriad other issues are something the establishment is willing to ignore in exchange for the outside chance to beat Trump.

    But nominations, and elections, are usually won by people who excite the voters and respond to their issues. The evidence in support of that excitement outside of the establishment wing is lacking, at least at this point.

    Democrats were hoping they had found an Anti-Trump to out Trump Trump...

    "{Democrats} chose.... poorly"
    -Knight, INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE

  9. [9] 
    Michale wrote:

    Questions about Sanders’ health linger after heart attack

    Bernie Sanders says he doesn’t plan to divulge additional information about his health, months after suffering a heart attack on the campaign trail and subsequently pledging to release “comprehensive” medical records.

    “I think we have released a detailed medical report, and I’m comfortable on what we have done,” the 78-year-old Vermont senator said during a CNN town hall on Tuesday.

    Questions about Sanders’ health have lingered ever since he checked into a Las Vegas hospital with chest discomfort on Oct. 1 and had two stents inserted.
    https://apnews.com/019b6618cb74063df43c40d95765c2fc

    This begs the question..

    Will Democrats give Bernie as much grief over his medical records as they gave Trump... excuse me.. PRESIDENT Trump over his tax records??

    20,000 quatloos says... NOT

    I swear, gross hypocrisy must be a requirement to be a Democrat..

  10. [10] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    "You reap what you sow."
    -Jeff Goldblum
    "You reap what you sow."
    -Samuel Jackson
    The Great White Hype

  11. [11] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    This election reminds me of a boxing match I saw many years ago.

    At the time I did not watch boxing but a friend wanted to go to a bar that had the fight on pay-per-view so I went along with him.

    Some of you may remember this fight as it was the one where Tyson bit off Holyfield's ear.

    While waiting for the fight to start everyone was making their predictions on who would win.

    When they asked me I said I don't really follow boxing so I wasn't sure who might win.

    When they pressed me to takw a guess I thought about it for a minute and answered:

    Don King.

  12. [12] 
    Michale wrote:

    Former skeptics now warning of brokered convention 'nightmare' for Democrats

    Democrats who were initially skeptical of the prospects for a brokered convention now see it as a likelier scenario with eight candidates still battling it out for the nomination.

    As the Nevada caucuses approach, strategists say it’s becoming clear that none of the Democratic candidates are likely to win the majority of the delegates before the convention in July.

    Democratic strategist Eddie Vale said he was once “extremely skeptical” of a brokered convention.

    But lately, particularly with the Democratic Party requiring a proportional allocation of delegates, “it’s definitely seeming like it could happen.”

    One Democrat who worked on two campaigns for former President Obama called a brokered convention “the biggest nightmare Democrats can imagine.”
    https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/483751-former-skeptics-now-warning-of-brokered-convention-nightmare-for-democrats

    Couldn't happen to a more deserving group of lusers.. :D

  13. [13] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    In between guests on Washington Journal C-Span ran their promo talking about how they had brought us an unfiltered view since 1979 and how they were bringing an unfiltered view of the candidates in this election cycle and said "-in other words your future."

    I couldn't help but thinking was that a threat?

  14. [14] 
    Michale wrote:

    The much-ballyhooed billionaire, touted as the savior who could rescue the Democratic Party from itself – or rather, from its insurgent socialist wing -- and take the fight to Donald Trump with an endless supply of cash, took a beating from the other candidates and the debate moderators. And the end of the night it must have seemed apparent to him that he’d brought a wallet to a knife fight. Bernie Sanders, the man Bloomberg set out to stop, emerged from the night virtually unscathed.
    https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2020/02/20/bloomberg_bombs_in_vegas_debut__142447.html

    So....

    Who's next up for the Great White Hype of the Democrat Party??

  15. [15] 
    Michale wrote:

    I wonder how many Weigantians will be saying today, "Well... I never really liked Bloomberg anyways..."

    :D

  16. [16] 
    C. R. Stucki wrote:

    Bloomberg may lack 'charisma', or'personality', or 'volubility' or whatever it is that gets people elected in the age of TV. I've long said that an Abe Lincoln wouldn't have a chance in the age of TV. But Bloomberg does have that most improperly named and UNcommon attribute of all, common sense.

    Unfortunately, that attribute ranks WAY down the list of virtues that appeal to the American electorate.

  17. [17] 
    Michale wrote:

    But Bloomberg does have that most improperly named and UNcommon attribute of all, common sense.

    Unfortunately, that attribute ranks WAY down the list of virtues that appeal to the American electorate.

    WORD......

  18. [18] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    I wonder how many Weigantians will be saying today, "Well... I never really liked Bloomberg anyways..."

    as an actual new yorker, i have a reason to dislike bloomberg. he ran the city like his personal fiefdom, and when two terms as king/mayor weren't enough, he bought himself a third. what, me, bitter?

  19. [19] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @cw,

    as disappointing as the first two primaries were, i don't think it's fair to count biden out yet. there are still millions of people in this country who want him to be the next president, yet in spite of how well he polls people have been counting him out since june.

    JL

  20. [20] 
    Michale wrote:

    as disappointing as the first two primaries were, i don't think it's fair to count biden out yet. there are still millions of people in this country who want him to be the next president, yet in spite of how well he polls people have been counting him out since june.

    We'll know by SC..

    If Joe can't do SC with an overwhelmingly and unequivocally HUGE win...

    He'll never go the distance...

  21. [21] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW: His first answer was that there weren't that many times he or his company had to pay women off (and make them sign non-disclosure agreements) for him being a sexist pig in the workplace.

    Question: "For him being a sexist pig in the workplace?" Did Bloomberg actually call himself a sexist pig in the workplace or are you calling him that?

  22. [22] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @kick,
    i think mike was arguing that he wasn't quite sexist or piggish enough to meet the definition.
    JL

  23. [23] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    @m,

    agreed, biden needs to finish top 3 in nevada and absolutely crush carolina to stay in it as a legitimate contender for the nomination.

  24. [24] 
    nypoet22 wrote:

    here's a fun dirty trick that roger stone might appreciate: if rep schiff starts a new impeachment inquiry based on the information on russia and wikileaks and cites roger stone as a co-conspirator, the constitution (II.2.1) prevents the president from issuing a pardon. but does he have the 'ahem' stones to do it?

  25. [25] 
    Kick wrote:

    JL
    22

    Sounds like a crazy debate, for sure. I haven't watched it yet.

    I did hear that Chuck Todd asked Bloomberg a dumb question like (paraphrasing heresay): "Should you get to exist?" What the hell? That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard asked in a presidential debate.

    I also heard they spent another chunk of wasted time debating healthcare plans again when not a single one of them has a snowball's chance in Hell of passing in the Senate. If it's true, that's nuts.

  26. [26] 
    Chris Weigant wrote:

    Don Harris [11] -

    OK, that was a funny story. And you were exactly right -- you called the winner perfectly!

    Kick [21] -

    Nope, that was all me. From all accounts, he was indeed a sexist pig, in the original 1970s sense of the term. But you're right, nobody actually used that term last night, it was just my own personal reaction.

    General Comment -

    Seems like all the other pundits are calling it a win for either Warren (most of them) or Sanders (a few of them). I can't argue with either of these. Amy tarred her brand, Pete didn't shine either, and Biden was mostly an afterthought. But I was right in predicting that everyone definitely agreed that Bloomberg lost. I even saw a few "down in flames" metaphors (although not as convoluted and drawn-out as what I wrote...).

    I doubt this is going to change things a whole lot for the NV vote (since Mike's not on the ballot), but it could change national polling over the next week or so -- right before Super Tuesday. We'll see...

    -CW

  27. [27] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    CW-
    Even though it is a true story, just like a Fractured Fairy Tale there's a meaning behind the story that applies to politics.

    Did you get the meaning as well as the humor?

  28. [28] 
    Don Harris wrote:

    Kick-
    Why is "Should you get to exist?" such a dumb question?

    You ask me that about One Demand all the time. :D

    And I ask CW that about One Demand all the time.

    We may not agree on the answer, but we both ask the question.

    I do have an idea what CW's answer would be, but I would like to hear from CW why he arrived at that answer.

    While he doesn't owe me, I do think I've earned it by being persistent in seeking an answer from CW in the same ways he lauds others for being persistent when someone doesn't give them an answer that CW wants answered.

  29. [29] 
    MtnCaddy wrote:

    Michale,

    In answer to your [36] in the last column,

    If the Democratic establishment steals the nomination from Bernie I'll do what I did in 2016: hold my nose and vote a straight Democratic ticket. I was not thrilled to vote for Hillary, and I view everyone besides Bernie and Elizabeth to be establishment tools, but Trump is an abomination and for the good of the country has to be removed from office.

  30. [30] 
    Kick wrote:

    CW
    26

    Nope, that was all me. From all accounts, he was indeed a sexist pig, in the original 1970s sense of the term. But you're right, nobody actually used that term last night, it was just my own personal reaction.

    Okay then, but it doesn't qualify as "right" since it was simply a query from someone who hadn't seen anything at the time but heard it was crazy... and wondering if that "debate" got so insane that "his first answer was" Bloomberg actually using those words to describe himself... which would qualify as the kind of crazy where Bloomberg's debate prep team would need to be hung... in the original 1870s sense of the term. ;)

  31. [31] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris
    28

    Why is "Should you get to exist?" such a dumb question?

    If you cannot understand why that would be an ignorant political debate question, then nothing can help you.

    You ask me that about One Demand all the time. :D

    No, I most certainly don't. In fact, not a single commenter on this forum has ever questioned your right to exist, and you've actually been given advice and encouraged repeatedly by the vast majority to solicit your personal political venture on your own website along with a lot of ways you can accomplish that, to which you generally respond in the following manner:

    One way to get the idea into the public discourse, in addition to the things you have listed which other than stand on a street corner with a sign I have done as well as many things you did not list, is to contact journalists to encourage them to do their job and inform citizens aboot One Demand and comment in a public forum and keep at it until I get results- both of which I do here. ~ Don Harris

    http://www.chrisweigant.com/2018/12/18/watching-the-overton-window-move/#comment-130640

    And I ask CW that about One Demand all the time.

    Your political venture's right to exist has never once been in question; rather, you've solicited him repeatedly to the point of daily trolling his forum regarding your ridiculous belief that it's his responsibility to inform the public regarding its existence... a very big difference. In point of fact, neither CW nor anyone else has ever once questioned its right to exist but have most emphatically encouraged you to start your own blog in order to accomplish the advertisement of your clearly obvious existence.

    We may not agree on the answer, but we both ask the question.

    Not sure how you figure "both" when literally no one else is asking.

    I do have an idea what CW's answer would be, but I would like to hear from CW why he arrived at that answer.

    What part of "no" don't you understand?

    While he doesn't owe me, I do think I've earned it by being persistent in seeking an answer from CW in the same ways he lauds others for being persistent when someone doesn't give them an answer that CW wants answered.

    You just claimed he didn't owe you followed by your explanation of why he owes you.

  32. [32] 
    Kick wrote:

    Don Harris

    I've asked you repeatedly to stop taking my words/comments and using them in order to solicit your political venture on this forum... so just stop.

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