Given Mike Bloomberg’s dreadful debate performance Wednesday night, this might sound counterintuitive. But I think — by default — the Tiny Tyrant will have a second chance to break out of the pack at the next debate — which takes place this coming Tuesday.
Make no mistake, Bloomberg walked onto that debate stage a Mighty King shrouded in $409 million in paid political advertising. And then… Two hours later… He walked off naked, bruised, and diminished, probably beyond repair.
It’s the “probably” I want to talk about…
My main takeaway from last night is not Bloomberg’s humiliating performance. No, my main takeaway is that the dynamics of the Democrat primary race did not change, and that’s why Bloomberg has a second chance.
You see, Democrats are still seeking a savior, still seeking the guy or gal who can beat Trump. That quest did not end last night. Bernie is their default candidate. Bernie is the front runner only because there’s no one better — and the fact that there’s no one better than Jurassic Socialist tells you just how bad the field is. This is why Bloomberg was able to buy his way into contention without appearing in a single debate, without running in the first four primary states, and without sitting down for a single media interview.
Democrats love that Bloomberg has a bottomless pile of money to blister Trump with, love his digital fighting style, and when you hate Trump as much as they do, and when the Democrat field is as terrible as this one is, that’s enough. However…
Bloomberg blew it last night. The lion turned out to be a shivering gerbil, a diminutive crank constantly caught off guard outside his bubble and uncomfortable in his own lizard skin, a smug billionaire totally unprepared for questions he should have known were coming and wanted to come as a means to put those controversies to bed.
Lucky for Bloomberg everyone else ran in place the whole night.
Bernie Sanders is still Bernie Sanders, the 285-year-old socialist with a bad ticker.
Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar are still charisma-free hall monitors who squabbled like a brother and sister stuck in the back seat on a long drive.
Elizabeth Warren showed a little life, but she was still the shrill and unattractive Elizabeth Warren. By assuming the role of Bernie’s attack dog, you get the impression she knows it’s over and is now running for vice president.
Joe Biden is still Slow Joe: tone-deaf, a little too shrill at times, and diminished by the fact that he is no longer even close to the center of the debate action.
Sure, the debate was more entertaining than the previous seven, but as far as reaching The Goal of finding the guy who can take Trump down, the night was a total dud — which means Bloomberg is still the party’s last hope, which means Bloomberg still has a second chance to be The Guy Democrats Desperately Want Him to Be. The question is…
Can he do it? Can the quivering gerbil live up to $409 million in hype?
Going into next Tuesday’s debate, Bloomberg will certainly have low expectations on his side. Also on his side is the fact that millions and millions of Democrats want him to do well, want him to rise as a savior.
Working against him, though, is his advanced age. Old dogs tend not to learn new tricks. And then there’s the matter of his physical height, or lack thereof…
Trump making an issue of Bloomberg’s height is pure genius. It made it impossible for the former New York mayor to stand on a box, which is what he probably would have done, so he was forced to stand behind the podium looking like a small child with a sour face.
Bloomberg also has no charisma and has never been a good debater, never been good on his feet. He’s used to elite Davos-type forums filled with softball questions and adoring audiences.
That’s my long way of saying I’d be flabbergasted if Bloomberg rebounded, but I’m also saying there’s a chance.
As he moves forward, Bloomberg should keep the following in mind…
Stop and frisk doesn’t matter. Racist and sexist comments don’t matter. Nondisclosure agreements don’t matter. Sorry, they just don’t, and it was beyond idiotic for Bloomberg to allow himself to get wrapped around the axle of stuff that doesn’t matter.
All voters are looking for is competence, is an alpha male. That’s it. That’s all that matters. So Bloomberg doesn’t need to explain himself. No, what he needs to do is prove he can handle those attacks, prove he can brush them off, move on, change the subject…
The only qualification voters are looking for is the alpha male who can beat Trump. That’s it. So if Bloomberg shows up next Tuesday and proves he is able to expertly brush aside these attacks, he can still win.
Question: Will you allow these women out of their nondisclosure agreement?
Bloomberg: I have told my corporate attorneys to make that happen, and in my first hundred days as president, I am going to sign an executive order banning all nondisclosure agreements. Now, as far as my job plan for women…
That’s it. It’s that easy. And then he runs out the clock through Super Tuesday, promising his attorneys are working on it and that he expects a resolution very, very soon. Everyone will know he’s lying. Everyone will know he has no intention of ever releasing these women — just like everyone knows Trump will never release his taxes. But that’s not the point. That’s not what matters. If he can squirm out of the attack and shut it down — even with a lie — that’s what the voters want to see… Competence.
Hey, I’m not validating the way the system works; I’m just pointing out how it does.