Thursday, February 20, 2020

Will the Real Mike Bloomberg Please Sit Down and Shut Up?

I can hear Mike Bloomberg in the background, speaking painfully bad Spanish on a commercial. He's blanketed the air with them, and I suppose he paid for this one well before the debacle of having to face actual people and answer actual questions last night.

Elizabeth Warren drove a stake through his ice-cold heart. While he certainly couldn't have felt it, the entire nation watched it both last night and on endless clips this AM. I was watching CNN this morning, and it was an endless loop of people marching in and out commenting on just how awful Bloomberg was. The front page of the Post today is a virtual obituary for him.

I was really glad to be off today so I could watch last night's debate. I was nodding off at points, especially during the second hour, after most of the fireworks had past. But I forced myself, and watched Michael Bloomberg try to appear capable of coherence after standing around angered he had to lower himself communicating with people not on his payroll. I had a blast tweeting about it too.

Mayor Pete came off as that kid in your class who thinks he's smarter than everyone else. He had a withering comment for just about everyone else on the stage. At one point he said, like DUDE, I liked Bernie before it was KEWL! He was really aggravating. This is the kid who, when the modest girl in the next row gets a higher score than him, raises hell about how that can't possibly be true. The last time I had a boy like that, he attributed the impossibility to the girl's national origin. Pete isn't a bigot, so I'd vote for him in the highly unlikely event he got the nomination. However, he's overtaken Joe Biden as my second least-favorite candidate.

Bloomberg will strike back with paid ads, blanketing the entire globe with them as only a self-important, self-serving billionaire can do. But he'll never be able to come back from having no answer for Warren when she asked him why not release the non-disclosure agreements so we could know what he actually said. Bloomberg contended they were "jokes," but given the volume of his Trumplike misogynist cracks, it's likely they were pretty awful. NDAs mean he paid them off to keep their mouths shut. If he had to do that before he was seeking national office, these "jokes" must be pretty vulgar indeed.

There were a lot of sleazy attacks on Bernie Sanders. Bloomberg suggested anything that was not capitalism was communism, which drew groans from the crowd. He also had a clearly prepped crack about Sanders owning three houses. As it happens, Bernie lives in Vermont, where he's got a modest house. Like many Senators, he has a residence in DC. Also, his wife inherited a house they sold to buy another.

This was the best his highly paid staff could come up with. I know teachers who own multiple houses. Sanders became wealthy after penning a best-selling book, but his wealth is in a completely different universe than that of a man who can bombard the media with misleading ads.

Watching Bloomberg's ads, you'd think Barack Obama had endorsed him. Obama has endorsed no one. You'd think Bloomberg singlehandedly gave 700,000 New Yorkers health care, rather than enabling a state program in the city. You'd think stop and frisk never happened, even as he had cops grab our students day after day for the offense of not having Mike Bloomberg's skin color.

I wonder what his highly paid debate consultants will write for him to say next week. Whatever it is, it can't and won't undo the damage he did himself last night.

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