First hour of Democrat Vegas debate is an absolute slugfest

Everybody attacked everyone else.

Image Credit: YouTube screenshot, NBC

It was like watching drunk family members argue at Thanksgiving. Like the last scene of “Reservoir Dogs,” only bloodier.

In other words, for political types like me it was really really fun.

Viva Las Vegas!

The Wednesday night Democrat debate in America’s capitol of sin (Though DC is a close runner up) was down to six candidates on stage. One flawed front runner who has no chance of winning the White House, Bernie Sanders. One past his prime veep, Joe Biden. One flustered kindergarten teacher, Amy Klobuchar. One rabid frothing attack dog, Liz Warren. One fed up billionaire who couldn’t believe people were allowed to talk him that way, Mike Bloomberg. And the winner of the gore splattered melee, Pete Buttigieg.

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The reason Buttigieg won was that he can use message discipline without sounding like a robot. Unlike poor Biden, who at one point actually quoted his own outline by saying “guns” out of nowhere in the middle of his closing remarks.

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Buttigieg attacked but did not come off as shrill, like Warren. He was able to put Bloomberg on one end and Sanders on the other as opposing bookends who were too extreme for Democratic voters.

But he was careful not to hit Bloomberg too hard, so if Bloomberg drops out Pete can get his support and voters. His target for the evening was Amy Klobuchar, a fellow moderate who he wants out of the race to narrow the moderate choices. He figures Bloomberg can’t stand the heat, he’s right, and Biden will drop out due to a poor showing before the convention. If true then if Klobuchar leaves the race he is left holding the party establishment against Bernie. The pros would love that. So, he goes after Amy and did it so well she was at one point reduced to a confused and babbling mess.

Though he took some hits too, at the end of the night Buttigieg was the least covered in blood. If the Democrats don’t give him at least the veep nod they are insane.

How did it all go down?

Here’s the first hour. Second and final hour in a following article.

They all started out hitting Bloomberg over stop and frisk. Bloomberg’s response was halting and nervous. Then Liz hits him hard on his past with female employees and his crude lines towards women. He told one woman who worked for him, “I’d do you in a second.” When faced with that line, courtesy of Liz, he looks lost and sticks to a script that tells him to change the subject. It doesn’t work and Bloomberg is visibly shaken. You can tell it’s his first time out and he doesn’t like, nor is used to, criticism.

Then Pete goes on the attack himself with his main message of the night, calling both Bernie and Bloomberg “polarizing” and predicting a Trump victory if either is nominated. Referencing Bloomberg’s GOP past and Bernie’s independent Senate status, Pete says he wants a nominee who is “actually a Democrat.”

At his best Pete is a calm accurate gunslinger. But at his worst, which shows up when he gets too much time to talk at public events, he’s the sniveling Pete Campbell from Mad Men,

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As all the candidates tried to avoid looking at the spectacle of the laugh out loud combover of Chuck Todd, Liz decides to just go full berserker and takes a club to everyone else on stage on every topic. It didn’t help her but it was highly entertaining. At that point, though a bit improved as of late, Biden was an afterthought and hardly anyone, except Liz, thought enough of him to attack him.

Bloomberg again blows it when asked about his taxes. He says he has so much money he “can’t go to Turbotax,” thus patronizing everyone who does. His comms team winced at that one. When asked about female employees again and if he would release them from non disclosure agreements, he stonewalled. He got booed by the audience for that move. The first hour ended with Pete making Amy lose it and almost break down when hit by him on knowledge of international affairs.

The second hour in our next piece on this uproarious debate…

David Kamioner
meet the author

David Kamioner is a veteran of U.S. Army Intelligence and an honors graduate of the University of Maryland's European Division. He also served with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked for two decades as a political consultant, was part of the American Red Cross Hurricane Katrina disaster relief effort in Louisiana, ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia, and taught as a college instructor. He serves as a Contributing Editor for LifeZette.

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