The ninth debate is over, and Bloomberg won.
I don’t mean he won the debate. Mikey Megabucks got shellacked, and well done Liz for laying into him. Bernie took some hits, Amy won the Best Snark Award, and Buttigieg laid about himself famously. Which ended with us on the outside, Bernie in the lead, then four clones, and the Dark Lord rode alone.
Which is right where Mayor Mikey wants to be. His campaign succeeds if it can paint the contenders as Bernie Sanders, a lot of nobodies, and himself as the white knight. That’s the message they need to get across if he’s going to win this.
The media is going out of its way to help him, and so is the D.N.C. for that matter. The moderator’s questions were clearly aimed at showing Bernie with a lead but hardly a decisive one, a whole bunch of split decisions, and Bloomberg on the rise — never mind that “He’s not even on the ballot in Nevada”, as Uncle Joe famously observed. And, when the narrative is set up for you, all you need to do is cast yourself in the role of Hero — which is what Our Favorite Billionaire is doing.
This is the ninth debate. It was on a Thursday. The number of undecided voters that watched outside of Nevada are minimal, and Nevada caucus-goers aren’t voting for Bloomberg anyway so it doesn’t matter that he got trounced. What — is his funding going to suffer or something? Are donations not going to come in?
That’s the demon faced by the other campaigns; none of them is earning enough to compete with the Dark Lord’s media blitz. Mayor Moneybags is going to buy all the ads he can and drive up the market, and the lesser campaigns — Amy and Liz — are going to have all they can possibly manage just to hang on. And, when each loses their home state to Bernie on Super Tuesday, Liz can downplay it by virtue of originally being from Oklahoma, but Amy is out. Pete and Uncle Joe are splitting Wall Street between them, but even they are going to start to dry up before long unless one drops out.
You may think this is about votes and polls and opinions, but it’s not. It’s about money.
Money buys ads, sure, but it also buys ground forces. Bernie had an army of volunteers on the ground in New Hampshire, but he lacked high-level ops. Klobuchar had almost nothing; Tulsi Gabbard had a staff of six, most of whom are relatives. The only reason Pete Buttigieg’s campaign got a substantial number of votes is that he paid for hundreds of ground staff and ten thousand film plastic yard signs — the expensive yet sadly non-recyclable ones.
Ground troops win and lose elections. Bloomingberg has a mercenary army and he can rent more.
The worst part? Bloombucks is right: There’s too many people in the field, and he ain’t leaving. Alone among them all, he won’t have to. He’ll just sit there smugly, a fat golden toad in the garden, watching bug-eyed as all the others collapse.
Right. So the real question: What’s your favorite nickname for Michael Bloomberg? You’ll notice I’ve used a few; feel free to pick your own.
- Mayor Mikey
- Mayor Moneybags
- The Golden Toad
- The Dark Lord
- Our Favorite Billionaire
- Mikey Megabucks
Just write your choice on the back of a $20 bill, and… Heh. Just kidding. But we can use donations, Lord knows. Even if you’re Bloomberg, I’ll accept your money. I’m not proud.