What Was Mike Bloomberg Thinking Last Night? Plus, Gordon Sondland’s Impact
Author: Greg Valliere
November 21, 2019
AN OPENING FOR BLOOMBERG: We applied the following standard while watching the Democrats’ debate last night — which of the candidates on the stage looked like plausible presidents? The answer: no one.
FORGET ABOUT WHO WON DEBATING POINTS and who was the most fluent on issues, we’re getting to the stage in this race where electability is the key issue. So who gained last night?
Joe Biden? Sorry, he’s too old, not crisp or in command. Halting. Can’t get the words out. At times the other candidates laughed, patronizingly, at his stumbles.
Elizabeth Warren or Bernie Sanders? Predictable, nothing new. Too polarizing. Risky gambles, they could lose 40 states — and party leaders know it.
The candidates to watch? Pete Buttigieg, whose momentum wasn’t broken last night; he’s the frontrunner right now but has a long, long way to go. And Amy Klobuchar, solid and likable as always, perhaps on the verge of a winter surge.
Kamala Harris, Cory Booker or Andrew Yang? The future, likely to be strong candidates in 2024 — but they don’t seem to be plausible presidents, at least not now.
Tulsi Gabbard or Tom Steyer? Seriously, what were they doing on the stage?
SO WHAT WAS MIKE BLOOMBERG THINKING? We’d guess he concluded that Trump could beat every one of the ten candidates on the stage last night. A net worth of about $55 billion brings a large dose of hubris, so Bloomberg undoubtedly thinks he’s the only Democrat who can beat Trump, and perhaps he’s correct.
WE WOULD GUESS that Bloomberg’s desire to plunge in was intensified last night. He’s probably correct that winning Iowa and New Hampshire will not guarantee a candidate victory on Super Tuesday in California on March 3, and he’s prepared to spend hundreds of millions of dollars in the two dozen races on that date and on March 10.
WE STILL THINK PARTY ACTIVISTS resent the aging Wall Street billionaire, who is well to the right of most Democrats, but we also still believe Bloomberg has the intellect and temperament to be a good president. Deval Patrick, who will not be the nominee, got it right: there’s a clear path to overtake Biden, Warren and Buttigieg. Bloomberg surely realized that last night.
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WAS GORDON S0NDLAND “someone I hardly knew” as President Trump claimed yesterday? Not really. Sondland delivered body blows to Trump, Mike Pompeo, Rick Perry and Republicans who are scrambling to insist that Trump wasn’t directly involved, even though “everyone was in on it,” as the colorful Sondland said yesterday.
THE BEST THAT REPUBLICANS CAN DO is assert that there’s no definitive proof that Trump was complicit; their fallback, of course, is that even if Trump was the ringleader, his actions did not rise to the impeachable level of high crimes and misdemeanors.
AND THAT MAY BE ENOUGH for the Senate, where there was no real shift among Republicans who were paying attention yesterday. Unless John Bolton produces explicit tapes or emails proving Trump’s involvement, it’s still the same story — the House has plenty of evidence to warrant impeachment, but the Senate will acquit.
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