From left, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.,former Vice President Joe Biden, former South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., stand on stage before a Democratic presidential primary debate Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, in Las Vegas, hosted by NBC News and MSNBC. (AP Photo/John Locher)
I don’t think anybody outside of his campaign would disagree with the statement that Michael Bloomberg put on a horrible performance at last night’s disastrous Democratic debate in Las Vegas. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) destroyed him almost from the start, and he bombed in trying to defend himself. The hits just kept on coming in fast and furious for the two hours that followed.
At the conclusion of what at times looked like a food fight, it appeared that frontrunner Bernie Sanders walked away from the debate re-energized and might have actually won over a few Nevada Democratic caucus voters with his defenses of socialism, which earned applause from the Las Vegas crowd.
Sanders was attacked by all candidates on his record with the exception of one: Warren, who arguably had the most to gain by going after her chief rival in the race to the tippy top of the socialist flagpole. Instead, Warren at points almost appeared to be acting as a bouncer of sorts for Sanders in defending him from attacks on his record from other candidates like Bloomberg and former South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg. And when you consider how Bloomberg has come out of nowhere over the last two months to become a big threat to the top tier – which includes Sanders, that Warren went after him and not Sanders sort of proves the point about where she stands now in the race for the nomination.
But Sanders seeming victory in the aftermath of the debate had to be a major blow to the Never Trump contingent, who have repeatedly tried to insert themselves into the Democratic nominating process by promoting other so-called “moderate” candidates like Joe Biden, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) Buttigieg, and Bloomberg. Last night, Biden survived the debate but didn’t have any stand-out moments at a time when Sanders has lapped him in Nevada polls. Klobuchar and Buttigieg mostly cancelled each other out last night with their back and forth attacks against each other, so they didn’t do themselves any favors, either, in the run-up to the Saturday Nevada caucuses.
Sanders is the Democratic candidate that Never Trumpers like Jennifer Rubin fear the most. The fact that he emerged from the debate mostly unscathed (outside of Bloomberg’s attacks on his socialism) at a time when he’s surging in both state and national polls spells disaster for the efforts of Never Trumpers.
In fact, the world’s smallest violin is playing for them right as this very moment. Bless their hearts.