I was watching the debate last night when Mighty Mike Bloomberg appeared on screen, talking decisively about his plans for the future. He looked so authoritative and spoke in such concise, eloquent and persuasive terms.
But then the live debate returned from its commercial break and the other candidates on stage continued to wallop the bejesus out of him. Mighty Mike from the commercial break had instantly morphed into Mike The Meek, a stumbling, older-looking much less convincing version of himself. Unfortunately, his real self.
For the other candidates, it seemed like slapping Mike around had turned into a blood sport, Elizabeth Warren delivering the stake to the heart with her “kill it” comment about Bloomberg’s alleged advice to an employee to get an abortion.
I think Mighty Mike — and his managers — made a big mistake putting one of his ads in the debate. Sure the ad was powerful and a testament to the impact of TV advertising. After seeing his ad, I thought my work is done — I now have a candidate who I can support in good conscience and who could trounce Trump.
But then it was back to reality.
Rusty, slow-footed, not-ready-for-prime-time-debate Mike. The contrast was as powerful as the ad, and somewhat depressing, like his on-stage performance. He couldn’t even get the timing or wording right for a self-effacing joke about his clunky performance in the previous debate.
But it was the ad, in part ,that set him up for failure because he didn’t live up to the image it projected.
It’s go-for-the-jugular-time, Mike. Study the film, especially the performances by Warren and Mayor Pete. They’re both so good at calmly and repeatedly stabbing you in the front.
Real soon, the Dems need to figure out how they’re going to win in November. Tom Friedman had the most elegant solution I’ve seen to date in an editorial in today’s New York Times. After reading it, my reaction was similar to my initial thought after seeing “Once Upon A Time …In Hollywood," Quentin Tarantino's alt-history take on the Manson murders.
Which was: If only.