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Elizabeth Warren Absolutely Devoured Everyone at Last Night’s Debate

Elizabeth Warren looks exceptionally presidential.

(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

In recent months, the Democratic debates have gotten pretty pointless. It’s basically been a place for candidates to get up and relay the broadest talking points form their stump speeches with little pushback and even less actual “debate.” That changed last night.

Now, treating politics like entertainment is dangerous and part of the reason why we ended up with Trump in the White House so it’s not that I wanted drama for drama’s sake, but last night’s debate in Nevada was both a really useful debate in terms of getting to know these candidates and also a legitimately fun two hours of television. That was, in large part, because Elizabeth Warren decided to stop playing nice and call everyone on their crap.

She started the night taking on Bloomberg. Here was the very first thing she said right at the top of the debate:

“I’d like to talk about who we’re running against: a billionaire who calls women ‘fat broads’ and ‘horse-faced lesbians,” she said. “And no, I’m not talking about Donald Trump, I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg.”

She continued, “Democrats are not going to win if we have a nominee who has a history of hiding his tax returns, of harassing women, and of supporting racist policies like redlining and stop-and-frisk. Look, I’ll support whoever the Democratic nominee is, but understand this: Democrats take a huge risk if we just substitute one arrogant billionaire for another.”

The issue of “electability” keeps coming up as a concern for voters, and despite being the only candidates on the stage who have won every election they’ve run in, it’s really only the women who ever seem to be labeled as having an “electability” problem. I think electability is a nonsense phrase but Warren made a great case for why Bloomberg is hands down the least electable person in this race: Because he’s basically Donald Trump.

Warren called Bloomberg out for the nondisclosure agreements he’s had employees sign as part of settlements regarding hostile workplace allegations. She asked the former mayor to commit on-air to releasing those women from their NDAs “so we can hear their side of the story.”

Bloomberg did not react well. He said his company has “very few” NDAs (he wouldn’t say how many) and that no woman has had a problem with him “other than maybe they didn’t like a joke I told.” YIKES.

Bloomberg also said the agreements, signed by “a man or a woman or could be more than that” (???) were signed “consensually” so what’s the point in releasing them from it now?

It was a VERY bad answer.

On that issue of electability, Warren laid it out perfectly: “We are not going to beat Donald Trump with a man who has who knows how many nondisclosure agreements and the drip, drip, drip of stories of women saying they have been harassed and discriminated against. That’s not what we do as Democrats.”

Warren may have murdered Bloomberg, but he wasn’t her only target last night. She also went after Joe Biden’s relationship with Mitch McConnell and Pete Buttigieg’s private fundraisers. She criticized Amy Klobuchar’s and Buttigieg’s health care plans, calling them a “post-it note” and a “thin” plan disguised by a good slogan, respectively.

Check out Pete’s face when she says his healthcare plan is “not a plan, it’s a PowerPoint.” It’s my new favorite reaction GIF for absolutely everything.

Mayor Pete makes a pouty face.

It was a hell of a night for Elizabeth Warren.

This all paid off for Warren, too, in more than just emotional satisfaction.

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Vivian Kane (she/her) has a lot of opinions about a lot of things. Born in San Francisco and radicalized in Los Angeles, she now lives in Kansas City, Missouri with her husband Brock Wilbur and too many cats.