(CNN) – The six main candidates for the Democratic presidential candidacy met for a debate on Wednesday night, just days before the important party assemblies in Nevada.
The focus was on the former mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, who made his first appearance in this, the ninth debate of the Democratic race. And he was very nervous.
These are my winners and losers of the night:
Holy God, what a debate for the Massachusetts senator. From the beginning, Warren seemed to understand that he desperately needed a spark in the race. And she shot out, mainly against Bloomberg. “I’d like to talk about who we compete against,” Warren said in the early stages of the debate. “A billionaire who calls fat and lesbian women with a horse face, and no, I’m not talking about Donald Trump, I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg.” But that wasn’t even the wildest blow Warren threw against Bloomberg! That happened later, when she absolutely destroyed her fabrication about whether she would free the women who had worked for her company from the confidentiality agreements they had signed. It was quite a demolition – helped by Bloomberg’s inability to mitigate the damage – that is rarely seen at this level of politics. If debates matter, Warren should exceed his current numbers in Nevada polls.
The collusion against Bloomberg was fine for Sanders, who, in case you forgot, is the clear favorite for the Democratic nomination. With all the attention – and the opposition’s investigations – on tearing apart Bloomberg, the Vermont Democrat Socialist got a free pass. In his greatest weakness at this time – his reversal regarding the previous promise to publish his complete medical records – Sanders received some blows, but benefited from the decision of Pete Buttigieg not to press on the issue of your personal health, but to focus on Sanders’ health plan. Sanders, as he usually does in the debates, used his best cards (millionaires and billionaires, “Medicare for all”, etc.) who have placed him at the top of the group of Democratic candidates.
Pete Buttigieg / Joe Biden
The fact that Warren gave Bloomberg a treatment of “the naked emperor” will delay the attempt of the former mayor of New York City to take control of the pragmatic centrist lane. It’s a good one News for Buttigieg and Biden, who want / need to be that candidate. Biden, who as a polemicist is extremely mediocre, had one of his strongest stakes on Wednesday night, but that was due, in large part, to the fact that everyone else on stage ignored him. Buttigieg is, without a doubt, the most talented polemicist in the Democratic camp, which means that he simply will not become a pout. He was firm, although not spectacular, in this debate. And he spent a lot of time throwing himself against Sanders, a clear effort to send a signal to voters that he is the most credible alternative to the Vermont senator.
When asked directly if they believed that the candidate with more delegates at the end of the process should be the party’s candidate, even if that person does not win the majority of the delegates during the primary elections, all but Sanders said they disagreed with That idea. (Sanders is the candidate most likely to end most delegates, but far from the majority). Convention negotiated, here we go! (Maybe?)
The first hour of the debate was an absolute disaster for the former mayor. Sometimes he seemed lost, and those were the best moments for him! Warren crushed it repeatedly. Sanders hit him. Biden shook him. It was like watching a wrestling match where everyone decided to launch themselves against a single fighter in the ring, and that fighter was totally and completely off guard. Bloomberg is still very, very rich, and will continue to spend his money on the race. So he won’t go anywhere. But it is difficult to see how the impulse that Bloomberg had accumulated through his great advertising expense did not slow down considerably due to a performance that was very low below those of already low expectations.
The senator from Minnesota has been one of the best participants in the debates to date. But not Wednesday night. The authenticity of Klobuchar has been at the center of its rise, but this time everything seemed too sentimental and too forced. Klobuchar must have known that he was going to be asked why he could not remember the name of the Mexican president, and still had to look at his notes to get the name right! And his follow-up on the number of people in the Israeli parliament also fell completely. It just wasn’t his night.
Maximum clarity: the editor of the Nevada Independent is my friend. But he is also the most important journalist in Nevada and has been for decades. Given all that, I needed a more important role as moderator in this debate. Why have him on stage if he was largely set aside and not given the opportunity to ask candidates about issues he knows Nevada voters really care about?