This article appeared online at TheNewAmerican.com on Monday, November 25, 2019:
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg officially announced his candidacy on Sunday, declaring on his newly-minted website:
I’m running for president to defeat Donald Trump and rebuild America.
We cannot afford four more years of President Trump’s reckless and unethical actions. He represents an existential threat to our country and our values. If he wins another term in office, we may never recover from the damage.
This is Bloomberg’s strategy: Ignore the other Democrat candidates vying for their party’s nomination and instead focus on the president and his alleged failures. According to Bloomberg,
We have an economy that is tilted against most Americans.
We have a health care system that costs too much and doesn’t cover everyone.
We have communities ravaged by gun violence….
We have a climate crisis that is growing worse by the day.
We have special interests that corrupt Washington and block progress on all of these issues.
To be certain that no one reading his letter misses the point, he added, “Defeating Trump — and rebuilding America — is the most urgent and important fight of our lives. And I’m going all in.”
He ends by promising something for everyone:
Creating good-paying jobs
Providing quality health care for every American
Stopping gun violence
Fighting climate change
Fixing our broken immigration system
Raising taxes on wealthy individuals like me
Protecting women’s and LGBTQ rights
Supporting our veterans
Reestablishing America’s place in the world as a force for peace and stability
And just how does he propose to do this? By spending money. Lots of money. He’s rejecting any outside contributions and funding his campaign alone. This week, for example, he has already committed $37 million to buying 60-second TV spots in 100 markets in 29 states. He has committed $100 million to a campaign focused on criticizing the president in key battleground states, and another $15 million to voter registration efforts in those key states.
He’s skipping the debates. Instead he is focusing on March 3, 2020 — Super Tuesday — when 16 states hold their primaries or caucuses, commanding 1,345 Democrat Party delegates. He is narrowing his focus primarily on Texas and California, which offer the tantalizing total of 642 delegates, or about half the total. If he succeeds, this sets the table nicely for a run for the Democrat Party’s nomination, a result never before accomplished this way in history.
The New York Times doubts that Bloomberg will be successful despite his $100-million-plus effort: “It is highly uncertain whether groups [such as minority voters and less affluent whites] will see a 77-year-old billionaire as a compelling alternative to Mr. Biden who is a far more familiar figure campaigning on similar themes.”
He is counting on his relative anonymity for an advantage as a “surprise contender” and a “new choice” for Democrats still looking for someone with the moxie and the bare knuckles to take on the president next November.
History is not on Bloomberg’s side. If somehow he won the Democrat Party’s nomination, and then beat Trump in November, he would be the oldest person ever to assume the presidency. And he would be the first Jewish president.
History is littered with the detritus of failed campaigns that tried to pull off this sort of end run. And his “favorability” numbers among Democrats, as The New American pointed out, are worst-in-the-field.
At present, he is all but invisible in the polls. In the last four polls taken between November 11 and November 20, Bloomberg captured three percent in two of them, one percent in another, and no-showed in the fourth, for an average of 2.3 percent. In the Real Clear Politics summary, Biden retains a firm grasp on first position, at 30 percent, with Sanders and Warren a full 10 points behind.
But with the millions Bloomberg is poised to spend, he could move the needle a little bit, in favor of Warren or Sanders. With Biden perceived as a “moderate” — a position Bloomberg is promoting for himself — the former New York City mayor could siphon off just enough support from Biden (perceived increasingly as stumbling and often incoherent on the hustings) to hand the party’s nomination either to Warren or Sanders.
The president would no doubt relish the opportunity to face off against either of these far-out socialists.