This article appeared online at on Wednesday, February 5, 2020: 

The New York Times unwittingly confirmed Mike Bloomberg’s strategy for beating Donald Trump in November: “Encouraged by the murky outcome [in Iowa on Tuesday] Mr. Bloomberg authorized his campaign team to double his on television commercials in every market … and expand his campaign’s field staff to more than two thousand people.”

What is Bloomberg’s strategy? By focusing on Super Tuesday in March, when 14 states will be holding their caucuses, Bloomberg has taken on the role of a Siamese fighting fish — letting the other contestants exhaust themselves in the present contest — so he can replace the exhausted winner with someone he thinks really has a chance of beating Trump in November. Said the Times: “Mr. Bloomberg’s advisers believed that [this] strategy would only have a chance of working if another moderate candidate — most likely former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. — failed to emerge from February with a decisive upper hand in the race.”

And fail he did. In Iowa Biden finished fourth, behind Buttigieg, Sanders, and Warren, and barely beating out Klobuchar.

Patricia Murphy, columnist for The Daily Beast online, summarized Bloomberg’s strategy:

The real winner this week is former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has been lying in the tall grass of the later states, seeding each with money, TV and staff, waiting for the day Democrats take a look at their options and say, “Is this the best we can do?”


That day seems to be coming faster than anyone anticipated.

John Fund, columnist for the National Review, said that Bloomberg’s strategy “doesn’t seem so silly now. Iowa’s fiasco of a caucus process makes it more like there will be a muddled outcome and a continuation of a divided Democratic field of candidates.”

Bloomberg’s goal, as commentator Liz Peek pointed out, is a brokered in Milwaukee in July: “All [Bloomberg] needs to do is gather enough delegates on Super Tuesday to be a credible contestant and … force the party to a brokered convention … and then to call in some favors. Lots of favors.”

That would, as noted, put him into the position of naming “whomever he thinks has the best chance to beat Trump in November.”

And it likely wouldn’t be Bloomberg himself. He’s too smart for that. He’s too old, too white, too rich, and he doesn’t play well with others. Instead he would be in the position, by calling in his chits, to name whomever he thinks might have the best chance of defeating President Trump in the general election in November.

Speculation abounds over whom that might be, and is likely premature. A lot of things have to fall into place for Bloomberg to assume the mantle of kingmaker (or queenmaker) in July. Hillary thirsts for revenge. Michelle Obama is liberal, black, attractive, articulate, and can fill stadia with adoring fans who have bought hundreds of thousands of her book. There’s Kamala Harris, another liberal, black, attractive, and articulate option. Perhaps Bloomberg has been grooming someone else who is also hiding in the tall grass, waiting for just such an opportunity to save the Party from itself.

But for now, the fiasco in Iowa was a win for Mike.

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