Pundits are approaching their reviews of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's debate debut with roughly the same energy as film critics approached reviews of Cats.
Bloomberg joined his fellow Democrats on the debate stage for the very first time in Nevada on Wednesday night, but let's just say he might not want to read what analysts are saying this morning. Opinion writers from The New York Times slapped him with an average score of just 2.9 out of 10. For comparison, no other candidate scored lower than a 6 out of 10.
"His performance was a catastrophe — stiff, arrogant, tone deaf, and intensely unlikeable," Peter Wehner wrote.
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"Money can't buy charisma — or humility," wrote Gil Duran. "Historically bad debate performance."
Ross Douthat called the first hour of the debate a "real-world demolition of his virtual candidacy," Jamelle Bouie said Bloomberg turned in "one of the worst performances of the entire primary season" that "could kill his campaign outright," Michelle Cottle said he was "not ready for prime time," and Liz Mair said he gave the "worst answer on sexual discrimination and harassment I've ever heard."
CNN published a similar round-up of analysts' takes on the debate, and the former mayor hardly fared any better.
"Bloomberg gave one of the worst debate performances in recent history," wrote Bakari Sellers, while David Axelrod called it a "disastrous debut."
The Bloomberg campaign, though, is celebrating his performance, in a statement declaring him the "grownup in the room" while promising supporters, "he was just warming up tonight."
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