I’m torn. On the one hand, Booker has decided that his last-gasp strategy to gain traction in the polls will be to lightly demagogue his own party for racism. Somehow it’s supposedly the DNC’s fault that neither of the two African-American candidates who ran this year will be onstage at the next debate even though longshot candidates like Tulsi Gabbard and Andrew Yang still stand a fair chance of qualifying. Justice for Booker and his “sister” Kamala Harris, as he’s taken to describing her this week, allegedly means that black candidates deserve as much of a spot as billionaires like Tom Steyer who’ve bought their way on, never mind that voters have been sour on both for months.

So now here he is, conveniently deeply offended at something white mega-billionaire Mike Bloomberg had to say in an interview this morning. Do I really want to abet his bad-faith whining attempts to explain away his own protracted failure to interest voters?

On the other hand, the point he’s making about the habit of some whites, especially those of Mike Bloomberg’s age, to speak patronizingly about black colleagues is fair. Remember this golden oldie, now (almost) lost to the mists of time?

“Articulate” and its twin sister, “well spoken,” are first-ballot inductees in the hall of condescending adjectives that tend to pop up when black professionals are praised. (“Clean” is … next-level.) It was noteworthy for some reason that Barack Obama, Harvard Law grad and law professor, was an effective speaker to Joe “Brain Diarrhea” Biden. Now here’s Mike Bloomberg damning Cory Booker, Rhodes scholar, with similar faint praise:

Being “well spoken” isn’t a notable trait in a presidential candidate, it’s a job requirement. The fact that it stood out in Bloomy’s mind when asked to describe Booker suggests that maybe his expectations for Cory were a little lower, leaving one to wonder why. Booker didn’t need to wonder:

New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker said Friday he was “taken aback” by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg calling him “well-spoken,” and said Bloomberg played into a tired trope about African Americans.

“It’s sort of stunning at times that we are still revisiting these sort of tired, you know, tropes or the language we have out there that folks I don’t think understand. And the fact that they don’t understand is problematic,” the 2020 presidential candidate told Signal Boost on SiriusXM…

Booker said he hopes Bloomberg “gets it now” and that people around him are talking to him about why that language is problematic. He said he has known Bloomberg for a long time and that he has a “great deal of regard” for his fellow candidate.

“I hope people around (Bloomberg) are talking to him about why that plays into what is for the black community in particular, just these are signs of frustration that we continue to deal with issues, whether it was the black face controversies from earlier this year, to the challenges that I don’t think folks understand with Kamala dropping out of the race,” Booker said.

Bloomberg admitted this afternoon that he probably should have chosen another word. That’s the dilemma in gauging something like this, or Biden’s use of “articulate” 12 years ago: Maybe it was intended as a legit compliment. Maybe Bloomy meant that Booker’s a standout on the debate stage even relative to the other candidates, just as Obama was in 2008. Or … maybe he meant it the way one might suspect that a 77-year-old man who grew up before the civil rights era and spent his career in the heavily white financial industry might mean it.

Eh, doesn’t matter. Both these dudes are going to exit the race eventually with four percent or so of the vote.

Here’s an even more notable Bloomberg comment from this morning’s interview, when he’s asked about the thorny ethical dilemma he’s created for the news outlet he owns, Bloomberg News. Should they cover him the same way they cover other presidential candidates, or should they cover no one — or should they maintain a partisan double standard in which they investigate only Trump because he’s the head of state? Bloomy’s response: If you’re taking my money, you stay out of my business. He sounds like the Chinese government dictating terms to the NBA!