Ad war: Biden hits Bloomberg for kissing up to Obama, Bloomberg hits Biden for kissing up to ... Bloomberg

Nothing can ease my despair at the growing likelihood of a presidential contest between a game-show host and a socialist.

Except one thing: A bitchy slap fight between two underwhelming center-left geriatrics to decide who gets to finish second in the primary to Bernie.

If you read this post last night you know that part of Bloomberg’s ad strategy has been to try to convince voters that he has Barack Obama’s endorsement without ever quite saying so explicitly. Coincidentally, Joe Biden has been spent much of the campaign trying to convince them of the same thing. The difference is that Biden was a loyal servant to O as VP for eight years and reportedly enjoys a warm friendship with him to this day. Bloomberg’s relationship with Obama is more tenuous and … complicated.

How complicated? Watch this.

Last night I guessed that this would be a main Biden attack line on Bloomy at this evening’s debate, especially with Biden needing to blow the roof off next week in South Carolina among the same black voters that sent O to victory there in 2008. Bernie and Warren will handle the attacks on Bloomberg’s plutocracy; for Biden, the task is to make sure SC voters come away from this understanding that he, not Mike, is Obama’s one true son and heir.

Bloomberg has an aggressive rapid-response social media team that naturally saw Biden’s tweet. Their trollish counter was this ad, implying that Biden has endorsed Bloomberg too. And it’s already working! (Sort of.)

Team Joe’s response to that was terse: “I don’t endorse Republicans.”

Can’t these guys find some common ground? Like, how about a tag-team attack tonight on Bernie Sanders over the new revelation that he almost primaried Obama in 2012?

It took [Harry] Reid two conversations over the summer of 2011 to get Sanders to scrap the idea, according to multiple people who remember the incident, which has not been previously reported.

That summer, Sanders privately discussed a potential primary challenge to Obama with several people, including Patrick Leahy, his fellow Vermont senator. Leahy, alarmed, warned Jim Messina, Obama’s presidential reelection-campaign manager. Obama’s campaign team was “absolutely panicked” by Leahy’s report, Messina told me, since “every president who has gotten a real primary has lost a general [election].”…

Messina called Reid, then the Senate majority leader, who had built a strong relationship with Sanders but was also fiercely defensive of Obama. What could you be thinking? Reid asked Sanders, according to multiple people who remember the conversations. You need to stop.

David Plouffe confirmed the report, which also includes details of a contentious meeting involving Obama and Sanders in 2013 over Social Security reform. It’s interesting that this is being leaked after eight years of silence mere hours before a debate that may amount to the last best chance to stop Sanders before he runs away with the nomination. Obama has kept silent about Bernie’s success this month and by all indications intends to stay out of the primary — formally. But maybe he and/or his old team decided that a well-timed scoop about Bernie being an enemy of Barack might derail the Sanders express, especially if Biden makes hay of it tonight at the debate.

Although it’d be hilarious if Bloomberg leaped in and confronted Bernie about the story before Biden got the chance. “How dare you even consider challenging my good friend Barack?”

In lieu of an exit question, here’s some new oppo on Bloomberg that’s circulating today. It’s true that Bloomy’s warm relationship with Trump *should* make Democrats look more dimly at him, but that now-famous photo of the Clintons attending Trump’s wedding that made the rounds in 2016 didn’t seem to hurt either of the nominees that year. And Mitt Romney’s on-again, off-again cordiality with Trump hasn’t prevented him from becoming Democrats’ favorite Republican. For now.

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