WHAT HAPPENS IN LAS VEGAS

Javier Castillo

Llegeix aquest contingut en català aquí
Translated by Álvaro Rodríguez Huguet

A debate is not a football match. For a US politics enthusiast, it’s far better.

The stage is cleared. A multimillionaire, two old people over 70 years old, a mayor from a lost village, a former vice president and a lady from Minnesota show up. This is not a joke. This is the primary elections of the Democratic Party of the United States. It’s not a stage either. It’s a computer screen with a live signal of the US channel NBC. But, if XXI century does any good, it’s the possibility of watching the debate between the candidates of a country that is 9.000 kilometres apart. Absolute geekiness.

It remains three days left for the democratic primaries of Nevada. The debate time has arrived at Las Vegas. A debate is not a football match. For a US politics enthusiast, it’s far better. Today, Michael Bloomberg finally abandons the TV screen and moves to the set. The former mayor of New York has spent more than 300 million dollars in buying TV advertisements in every state. Now it remains to know if money works for him to win debates as well.

It’s already all set up. The candidates go over the last indications with their consultants. Fans refresh their Twitter since, of course, no US debate can be seen without Twitter. Even less in this era in which a funny meme wins more votes than a good argument. Bloomberg is spending weeks preparing the final argument together with the best political analysts. It begins. The NBC connects live with Las Vegas set. The moderator gives the multimillionaire candidate the floor. And the impossible happens.

“I’m a New Yorker and I know how to take on an arrogant one, that comes from New York.” In his head sounded spectacular. As if he was New Yorker but not arrogant. As if being from the same place as Trump gave him special powers to defeat him. The former mayor of New York seems that still didn’t notice that he is in the primaries to govern the United States, not in the elections of his beloved city. To his left, Elizabeth Warren raises her hand to be heeded. This is repeated in every debate.

All the candidates ask for the floor to the moderator raising their hand, making a fuss and jumping ridiculously even. They seem “model students” desperate to answer the teacher’s questions to win a pat on the back. Warren’s turn: “I’d like to talk about who we are competing against. A multimillionaire naming women as fats and lesbians with horse faces. No, I’m not talking about Donald Trump. It’s Bloomberg.” To the jugular. She earned her pat.

Heavy start of the senator for Massachusetts. Sometimes the democratic primaries seem to be all about who can defeat Donald Trump, instead of knowing the policies programmed by the future candidates. As if putting a democrat that implements the same policies as Trump was enough for them. And, indeed, they have Bloomberg for that. Amy Klobuchar appears looking for her pat: “We need someone different to Trump, not someone richer.” The former mayor of New York doesn’t see them coming. But there is more. The senator for Minnesota take advantage of her intervention to denounce the Bloomberg’s team since they suggested that she and other candidates leave primaries, clearing the path for him in the centre. Asking the rest of candidates to retire in order to win. The multimillionaire doesn’t miss a single one.

The president of the neighbour country

Klobuchar hasn’t got everything in control. A few days ago, in an interview with the Mexican channel Telemundo, she was unable to say the name of the neighbour country’s president. Well, it often happens here with Portugal too. The moderator asks her about the topic. The senator, with a so much prepared response, defends herself stating that she does not think that her “momentary forgetfulness” reflects what she knows about Mexico. Buttigieg, that has been waiting for this moment, reminds her that she works in the committee that supervises the border security with Mexico. Phew, bad for her.

The debate finishes. Sanders and Biden have not appeared. Sometimes, the winner of the debate is not the one who does best, but the most unnoticed. If you speak, you can make yourself look freaking great. But you can also screw it up. It’s 4 AM in Spain. It doesn’t matter in Las Vegas. To Bloomberg it seemed endless. Actually, nights in Las Vegas are always endless. Next thing is to wait the poll. Changes in the opinion polls will depend on if what happens in Las Vegas stays in Las Vegas. Bloomberg may prefer it this way. Make your bets.

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