Democrats Went After the Wrong Guy

Ronald Brownstein
Democrats Went After the Wrong Guy

LAS VEGAS—Faced with signs that Bernie Sanders is consolidating his position as the clear front-runner in the Democratic race, the presidential candidates last night chose to focus most of their fire instead at the new guy onstage: Michael Bloomberg. The withering criticism, especially that from Elizabeth Warren, left Bloomberg visibly staggered at times and reflected an undeniable imperative for his opponents’ campaigns: His unprecedented TV-advertising blitz across the states voting in March threatens to catapult him past all of them as the principal alternative to the Vermont senator, who has taken a solid lead in the latest national polls. Appearing on MSNBC after the debate, Joe Biden declared that “Bernie’s going to get vetted in a way he never has been before.” That moment may be coming, but it certainly didn’t arrive last night.