Mike Bloomberg just made the debate. Can he keep his cool?

The former New York mayor knows his opponents are coming after him at Wednesday's debate in Las Vegas — and he's been preparing for weeks.


Mike Bloomberg’s free-spending campaign rollout has rocketed him into contention for the Democratic nomination — but he now faces a challenge immune to his fortune.


The multibillionaire qualified early Tuesday for the nationally televised debate in Las Vegas Wednesday night, clocking in at 19 percent in a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll — good for second place behind only Sen. Bernie Sanders. But making the debate stage threatens to lay bare one vulnerability Bloomberg's wealth cannot guard against: himself.


“He’s been super underwhelming on the stump so far. [I] think people seeing him up close; he could suffer from a little ‘Biden syndrome.’ Namely, he’s not as impressive when he’s not produced and he’s also pushing 80, which nobody seems to be talking about,” said New York-based political consultant Neal Kwatra, who is unaffiliated in the Democratic presidential primary. Bloomberg just turned 78.


Cracks formed in Biden’s perceived frontrunner status when he was caught off guard on the debate stage. And while Bloomberg does not share Biden’s specific weaknesses, he brings his own, Kwatra noted: “He’s impatient, he gets ornery and he’ll get annoyed.”


“Most of the country is seeing a capable businessman with short, sweet, pithy ads bombarded all over TV and the internet and there’s a certain brand that’s already emerged,” Kwatra said. “At this stage of the game anything that contradicts that or undercuts that, it’s dangerous.”


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