I never thought I’d feel sorry for a billionaire - a $60 billion billionaire.
But watching Mike Bloomberg getting beat up in the Democrat debate in Vegas Wednesday night was almost tragic.
It was like watching a old boxer who gets clocked early in Round 1 and then wobbles around the ring in a daze for the rest of the fight while he’s pounded unmercifully.
Mike never recovered from the opening series of left hooks and below-the belt punches delivered by Bernie, Liz, Pete, Amy and old Joe.
For two hours he was slapped around and bullied by his much taller, much poorer and much better-prepared opponents.
Mini-Mike found out fast that he was definitely not among friends.
For millionaire socialists like Bernie and Liz, simply being a multi-billionaire capitalist was an unforgivable original sin - no matter how self-made he was, how hard or smart he worked or how much of his wealth he’s given away.
And thanks to the accusations about his sexist tongue, his allegedly racist remarks about New York’s stop-and-frisk crime policy and his arrogant quest to buy the Democrat Party presidential nomination, Mike was put on the defensive all night.
Even the refs - NBC’s all-liberal moderators - had no mercy.
They didn’t challenge Mike’s opponents’ low blows or question their ludicrous plans to have the federal government fix everything wrong with America.
By now everyone in the country knows that Mike’s debate debut was a total disaster. Like Governor Perry and Mayor Giuliani in 2016, he turned out to be all media hype and hope.
Along with his advisers, even his makeup person fell down on the job. Mike didn’t appear anywhere near as youthful or sharp-minded as he does in his slick TV ads.
Mini-Mike’s failure reminds me of what Homer Simpson said to his daughter Lisa after she asked him how she did when she sang at a school concert.
“Honey,” Homer said, “you tried your best. You failed miserably. The lesson is, never try.”
Homer would give the same advice today to Mike, who spent more time apologizing than explaining how his policies differ from his competitors.
He did get off a few sarcastic quips. But apparently he was so afraid of stepping into a politically incorrect hole he didn’t take ownership of the good things he’s accomplished or get even a little bit mad at being a public punching bag.
Liz, Pete, Amy and Joe all got their jollies taking cheap shots at Mike and his fat wallet.
But they did nothing to stop the juggernaut that is going to run all of them over in the coming primaries - Bernie Sanders.
Bernie was stronger than ever in Vegas. He looked crazy and sounded great as usual.
And no matter what the issue was, he always managed to end up on the same ideological soapbox shouting for more socialism, more taxes and stricter government control over evil capitalism.
Liz was tougher than usual and quick on her feet.
But she was also her annoying professorial self - a tiresome know-it-all and a leftwing moral scold who along with Bernie wants to save the planet by implementing the Green New Deal and outlawing fossil fuels.
Mayor Pete - the youngest and poorest candidate - did pretty well. When he wasn’t having a high school lunchroom catfight with Amy, his fellow moderate, he seemed to be the only adult on stage. She did her standard third-place job.
Poor Joe. No one picked on him or paid much attention to him because his candidacy is in a death spiral. He was not as incoherent as usual. But he embarrassed himself by bragging so much about how much experience he’s had in DC that he made it sound like President Obama had been his VP.
So the consensus is clear. The big loser of the night - other than the Democratic Party - was Mini-Mike and the big winner was Bernie.
But we all know that in the long run the real winner - for the ninth Democrat debate in a row - was Donald Trump.
Michael Reagan is the son of President Ronald Reagan. Visit his websites at www.reagan.com and www.michaelereagan.com. Send comments to Reagan@caglecartoons.com. Follow @reaganworld on Twitter.