The biggest winner

Donald Trump. Reason: His numbers rose.

The biggest losers

(1) Mike Bloomberg. Reason: His numbers fell.

(2) Telemundo senior correspondent Vanessa Hauc.  Reason: Hauc wouldn’t let go of a relatively trivial issue like a dog with a bone. Amy Klobuchar admitted she didn’t know the name of the president of Mexico but argued that she knew a lot about Mexico. But Hauc went back to it as if Klobuchar hadn’t said a thing. To her credit, Elizabeth Warren gave a better defense of Klobuchar on this than Klobuchar herself gave. Interestingly, though, Klobuchar didn’t seem to appreciate that.

(3) Lester Holt and the other questioners. Reason: They lost control.

Most interesting and upsetting thing about the economics

Bloomberg, though, not Mr. Personality, did make a good point:

It’s ridiculous. We’re not going to throw out capitalism. We tried. Other countries tried that. It was called communism, and it just didn’t work.

Many in the audience booed.

Second most interesting thing about the economics 

Bloomberg said to Sanders:

What a wonderful country we have. The best known socialist in the country happens to be a millionaire with three houses. What did I miss here?

Bernie replies that he has a house in Washington, one in Burlington and, a “summer camp.” Clearly, Bernie sees nothing wrong with this.

My comment. First, my long-time Congressman Leon Panetta didn’t have a house in Washington. He shared one long-term with fellow Congressmen. Indeed, in the summer of 1986 or the summer of 1987, my wife and I were on a flight from Dulles to San Fran on which I saw him and his roommate, Democratic Congressman George Miller. (It was actually an interesting conversation but I’ll save that for another post.)

Also, although Bernie didn’t make the point last night, he has often defended his being a millionaire as follows:

I wrote a best-selling book. If you write a best-selling book, you can be a millionaire, too,” he recently told the New York Times, striking a downright Trumpian note.

Clearly, in context, Bernie sees nothing wrong with that. And he’s right. So what if someone else, say, J.K. Rowling, sells a lot of books and becomes a billionaire? At what number of sales does virtue turn to vice? Or what if someone, say Mike Bloomberg, comes up with a computer system with a lot of keyboards at financial institutions around the country and charges thousands a year, becoming a multi-billionaire? How is that worse? Would Bernie argue that Bernie earned his money because people valued the book but Bloomberg didn’t earn the money because people didn’t value his service? That’s wrong on its face.

Other Interesting Things

I found one thing to like about Bernie. When someone acknowledges something he likes about Bernie, there’s usually a “but” afterwards. But when Bernie hears the first part, he typically smiles and thanks the person. Then he goes on the attack, but that first part is old school and we could use more of it.

At one point, I think Amy Klobuchar felt so under attack (and I think rightly so–my wife and I noticed that she was being systematically cut off) that she seemed on the edge of tears. From what I think I know about how she treats her Senate staff, I don’t like her. But I did feel some compassion for her.