Billionaire Entryism: Prospects and Problems for Mayor “Mike” Bloomberg’s Presidential Run

By Lambert Strether of Corrente

There certainly are rather a lot of political engaged Democrat billionaire wannabe Presidents: Starbucks’ Howard Schultz (memorably, a “person of means“) who flirted with running, Tom Steyer (of the oddly poor personnel choices), who actually is, and now Mike “Mayor for Life” Bloomberg. From Town and Country:

Back in March of this year, billionaire and former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that he did not plan to run for president in 2020…. “I am clear-eyed about the difficulty of winning the Democratic nomination in such a crowded field.” He appears to be having second thoughts about that last statement. Friday afternoon, Bloomberg submitted paperwork and qualified for the Alabama Democratic primary, which has an early filing deadline.

So, at least Mike — I’m gonna call Michael Bloomberg “Mike,” because I think he likes to be thought of as one of the common people — is keeping his options open, because he’s “all but officially announced,” as WaPo puts it, where “all but” is doing a lot of work. (The announcement could come “as early as” next week.) There is also no Bloomberg campaign site. (Hilariously, immediately after his announcement last Thursday, Bloomberg was dinged by a parody website — still up — featuring the world’s ugliest logo. And how come nobody in Mike’s brains trust thought to buy up bloomberg2020.org? Howard?) In fact, Axios says Bloomberg might not actually run:

Sources close to Mike Bloomberg tell Axios that last week’s announcement was partly a trial balloon to gauge interest and preserve the former mayor’s options — but his own very extensive polling remains far from convincing. Polling being studied by Bloomberg shows big, perhaps insurmountable hurdles, particularly if Joe Biden stays in.

All this excitement because Mike decided to coyly show his ankle! (Presumably those polls include better data than public Morning Consult data, and aren’t driven by what Nate Silver thinks; those are the polling sources cited by Axios.)

Nevertheless, for the sake at least of amusement, let’s assume that Mike succumbs, as so many bosses do, to the idea that he can do the job better than the help, and that he does run.

We should understand that Mike is not all that bad a person, for a billionaire, and not all that bad a mayor. Let me quote this classic “I’m totally not saying this just because I was on the payroll” encomium from Jonathan Capehart at WaPo:

[Mike] would make an excellent president of the United States. I’m not just saying that because I was a policy adviser on his first of three successful campaigns for mayor of New York. He started his 12-year tenure as mayor by pulling the city from the brink of economic oblivion after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, and then presiding over a resurgent Big Apple in the years that followed.

What’s more, [Mike], a true philanthropist who bankrolls efforts to stop gun violence and combat climate change, has all the qualities that President Trump lacks: a moral core, deeply held convictions, a belief in the power of government to address if not fix problems, respect for the rule of law and reverence for our democratic institutions and the Constitution.

Which, if you can manage to remove the egg from Capehart’s pudding, does boil down to “not all that bad.” Jonathan Greenberg, who also worked for Mike, wrote in 2012, when Bloomberg’s final term as May was over:

Under [Mike], “who you know” was replaced by what you proposed — and its benefits to the city and working (though not poor) citizens needing affordable housing.

In a similar vein, creating the 311 information network was a huge public service benefit to New Yorkers who had become accustomed to city offices not answering their phone calls. Then there was the mayor’s audacious indoor smoking ban. [Mike] was widely vilified for pushing it. Critics swore that many restaurants, bars and nightclubs would be bankrupted. The opposite happened. People like me, allergic to tobacco smoke and wary of second-hand smoke for my infant children, could suddenly go out again.

By all accounts the 311 network is really, really good, and it’s a pleasure to see a public official in action who has made government work better (and who didn’t make the 311 network a public-private partnership, or targeted, or means-tested, or a vehicle for some hare-brained scheme involving mobile phones and apps. All of which are pretty plausible scenarios, when you think of it. Also, $8 billion to charity is impressive, especially since much of it is anonymous. Even though it must open a lot of doors.

With all these caveats, let’s look at three topics: First, Bloomberg’s prospects. How well will he do against the Democrat field? Next, Bloomberg’s problems. This is the fun part: Oppo! Finally, we’ll ask if Bloomberg can buy the votes he needs.

Bloomberg’s Prospects

Morning Consult started polling almost immediately. Here are the results in chart form:

Speculating freely and toying with the arithmetic on the chart:

My first thought was that Mike could just eat up all the small fry to his right on the chart: his own 4 + 3 + 2 + 2 + 9 = 20, putting him in the top tier. Mayor Mike could then beat Mayor Pete around the head and ears about being a real Mayor as opposed to an action-figure one using South Bend as the latest stepping stone, picking up another few points, and vault right into the top tier. Then again, every one of those third-tier candidates has their own die-in-the-last-ditch supporters, amazing as it may seem; Beto’s supporters actually wept when he dropped out. So assume they’re all hard core and nothing will persuade them. That’s why there are so few of them!

The alternative would be to attack to his left on the chart, slugging Harris because he’s a better cop, Mayor Pete as before, then… Picking up Warren supporters? Depends on how many Warren supporters are all “I want to see a woman in the White House before I die,” I suppose. And on issues with oppo, below. Picking up Sanders supporters? Fuggedaboutit. That leaves Biden, who inexplicably, and very Trump-in-2016-ishly, is still in first, though nobody knows quite why and assumes it will stop. Depends on how many Biden voters are all “I’ve got Obama’s portrait on the wall, lit up, next to Grandma, and I think we should go back to 2008, when everything was fine.” So, being totally optimistic that anybody will take Mike seriously besides the press and desperate Centrists, give Mike his own 4 + 1 (one-sixth of Harris, he’s a white male) + 3 (a third of Buttigieg, ditto) + 6 (a third of Warren, he’s a technocrat with “plans”, too!) + 0 (Sanders) + 8 (one-fourth of Biden). That would be Bloomberg 4 + 1 + 3 + 6 + 0 + 8 = 22, then Sanders 20 – 0 = 20, Warren 18 – 6 = 12, Harris 6 – 1 = 5, Buttigieg 8 – 3 = 5 and the third tier where it is. Sanders vaults into second! No wonder Sanders laughed when he heard Mike was going to run. (Polling also found Mike more disliked than other candidates, which will surely make it harder for him to move voters from one column to another.)

So, that was fun. You can play with the numbers yourself, of course, because I’m totally spitballing, but if you make the basic assumption that Mike picks up some fraction from each other candidates, and Sanders has a rock solid base, I think you will find it turns into a two-man race with Sanders and Bloomberg at the top tier. Invent your own scenarios!

Bloomberg’s Problems

Mike basically has two problems: One is his late entry; the other is that his late entry allows others to define him before he hits the trail. The New York Times describes Mike’s late entry in “Bloomberg Takes Steps Into 2020 Race, Signaling Unconventional Campaign Strategy“:

But [Mike’s] early moves also signaled he would be approaching the campaign in an unconventional manner: In a dramatic acknowledgment of his own late start in the race, [Mike] and his advisers have decided that he would pursue a risky strategy of skipping all four traditional early-state contests in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina, and focus instead on big states that hold primaries soon afterward.

On Friday, [Mike’s] camp began to lay out in public a theory of how he might win the nomination: Advisers said he intended to stake his candidacy on big, delegate-rich primary states like California and Texas, where [Mike’s] immense personal fortune could be put to extensive use.

We’ll get to the question of whether Mike can buy the votes he needs below. The Iowa Caucus is February 3, 2020. Super Tuesday is Tuesday, 3 March. That’s 29 days. Either Mike unleashes the most brutal air war the political world has even seen in California and Texas, or he starts the air war now without campaigning in IA, NH, NV, and SC, in which case it’s hard to see those voters saying anything but “Screw you too, Jack,” leaving Mike with zero votes in the first four states. Big Mo!

Meanwhile, before the ground starts shaking on Super Tuesday, Mike’s opponents will be making every effort, including their own air war, to define him to voters before he can define himself (“Meet the man who wants to buy your vote” springs to mind). Here’s a taste of the oppo that a cursory search of the Internet brings up.

CAVEAT: Do remember I’m talking about oppo, here. I’m not expressing a view on the merits of these public policies or decisions; I’m imagining what could be done with them if James Carville or Karl Rove went to work on them. To the oppo:

Problems with women (meaning that Warren and Harris supporters will be hard to move). From Reuters, “More women charge Bloomberg LP with discrimination,” 2008:

Financial news and data firm Bloomberg LP, founded by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, is facing a lawsuit involving 58 women who say they had their pay cut, were demoted or denied opportunities because they had become pregnant.

58 women is a lot of video clips. Or from the Daily Mail, “EXCLUSIVE: Billionaire former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg told ‘raunchy’ jokes about women, ogled their ‘a**es,’ mocked the British royals and paid off an employee who said he told her ‘kill it’ when she revealed her pregnancy.” As usua with the Mail, the whole story is in the headilne, so I don’t need to quote further.

Problems with cops (meaning that the left, many blacks, and many liberals will be hard to move). From USA Today, Mike on his “stop and frisk” policies, in 2013:

Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Friday that police “disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little” as compared to murder suspects’ descriptions, sparking criticism from activists and some politicians in a city that has been immersed in a debate about law enforcement and discrimination.

Speaking on his weekly WOR-AM radio appearance, Bloomberg echoed an argument he has made before: that the stops’ demographics should be assessed against suspect descriptions, not the population as a whole. But coming a day after city lawmakers voted to create a police inspector general and new legal avenues for racial profiling claims, the mayor’s remarks drew immediate pushback.

It’s hard to see how this sort of thing would play well among the #BlackLivesMatter contingent, or even the “Listen to Black Women” contingent. And of course stop-and-frisk is controversial in and of itself, as Charles Blow urges here.

Problems with weird ideas about potable liquids (unpredictable, but I would bet the more creative shops would have fun). There are two. The first is banning Big Gulp soda. From Wikipedia, on the “Sugary Drinks Portion Cap Rule”:

Under the plan, all New York City regulated restaurants, fast-food establishments, delis, movie theaters, sports stadiums and food carts would be barred from selling sugar-sweetened drinks in cups larger than 16 ounces (0.5 liters). The regulation would not apply to drinks sold in grocery stores including 7-Eleven, which are regulated by the state. In addition, the regulation would exclude: drinks that were more than 70 percent fruit juice, diet sodas, drinks with at least 50% milk or milk substitute, and alcoholic beverages.

Besides just being funny — who doesn’t love them their Big Gulps? This is America! — regulating soda size bespeaks a tendency to micromanage that some might not think Presidential. And then there’s the mother’s milk thing. From My Brown Baby, 2012:

Bloomberg’s taking it too damn far: he’s requiring hospitals to hide their baby formula behind locked doors so more new mothers will breastfeed.

Beginning September 3, New York City will implement the most restrictive pro-breastmilk program in the nation—keeping and tracking bottles of formula in out-of-the-way secure storerooms or locked boxes, to be taken out only after a mother requests it. Under the program, dubbed “Latch On NYC,” mothers who receive formula will get lectured on the health benefits of breast milk and told why it’s best to offer the breast to her baby instead of the artificial milk.

That’s great news—for sure. As a breastfeeding advocate and a mom who breastfed both her babies for a year, despite extremely limited resources and support, I’m always happy when more moms choose to breastfeed their babies… But really, I won’t ever be down with programs that insist on basically shoving a mother’s titties in her baby’s mouth and then acting like she’s evil and pushing drugs on her baby if she removes her ninny and puts a bottle full of formula in it.

The key word here is choice. No mother, in the middle of all the confusion and emotions and elation and crazy of bringing a new life into the world, needs nurses standing over her, treating her like she has no choice in the matter when it comes to feeding her own child. And she especially doesn’t need anyone passing judgment on her for choosing to formula feed, no matter what her reasoning is.

Problems with housing policy (I’m not sure this would play well in California at all). New York Magazine, “Mayor Bloomberg Sees Lack of Affordable Housing As a ‘Good Sign‘”, 2013:

Mayor Bloomberg has never been known for his tact, but he’s really letting his out-of-touch rich guy flag fly now that his twelve-year reign is almost at its end. Back in September, he repeatedly expressed his desire to “get every billionaire around the world to move” to New York, which he believes would be “a godsend” for the city. Yesterday, on his weekly radio show, Bloomberg addressed the topic of affordable housing for New Yorkers of more modest means. “Somebody said that there’s not enough housing. That’s a good sign,” he explained. “As fast as we build, more people want to live here. Doesn’t mean it isn’t a problem. But there are no vacancies. And that will bring in investment for people to build at all income levels different kinds of housing.”

Well, it turns out that a Manhattan full of vacant pied-a-terres owned by foreign money wasn’t all that great an idea, if you go by the vacant windows on every block and the infestation of chains driving out local businesses.

Problems with Occupy (meaning Sanders voters will be even harder to move) From New York Magazine, “Bloomberg’s One Percent Solution,” 2011:

[C]laiming that the [Zucottti Park] encampment had become a menace to public health and safety, Bloomberg sent in the troops. It was a tactical triumph, and a vast improvement on the recent violence in Oakland and Seattle—not to mention on Tompkins Square Park in 1874, when police on horseback bludgeoned protesters. But launching a sneak attack, and keeping it out of sight of reporters to “protect” them, forfeited the high road Bloomberg had tried to walk and stoked the battles between cops and OWS that erupted two days later.

(We might remember that Winifred Wong, one of the group that stoked the 2016 insurgency by first asking Warren, then Sanders, to run, came out of Occupy.)

Can Bloomberg Buy the Votes He Needs?

Finally, can Bloomberg buy the votes he needs? He certainly did when running for his final term as Mayor in 2009:

The advertising was relentless, as was Bloomberg’s spending in that contest (at $102 million of his personal fortune, it translated to $183 a vote – keeping in line with the $74 million Bloomberg spent in 2001 and $85 million in 2005).

The point is: after weeks of no escape from the ad onslaught, I was primed to fly to Gotham and vote for Bloomberg if it meant getting him off the air and letting me listen to baseball as it’s meant – an escape from politics. New Yorkers maybe felt similarly beaten into submission, with that media war of attrition giving the mayor an unimpressive five-point win, far less than what polls had predicted.

So money ball worked for Bloomberg in 2009, but not as well as he’d hoped. Will it work in 2019? Perhaps not. Money ball didn’t work for billionaire Bezos in Seattle. From Reuters, “Amazon’s $1.5 million political gambit backfires in Seattle City Council election“:

Seattle voters, in a rebuke to heavy corporate campaign spending by Amazon.com, have kept progressives firmly in control of their city council, reviving chances for a tax on big businesses that the tech giant helped fend off last year…. Corporate reaction to the election outcome was muted.

Of course, maybe Bezos should have spend $15 million, which would be easy for him to do. My guess is that vote-buying is going to play very, very badly indeed. Bloomberg should read the room, although he’s probably prevented from doing so by sycophants.

Conclusion

So is Mike gonna spend a squillion dollars on fancy consultants and lose? Could be. I can’t even figure out why he’s running now, when he had already decided in March that was a bad idea. I mean, a billion dollar air war that would be seen to work in November would also be seen to work in March, right? And so what if Warren’s elected and starts yammering about taxes? Can’t he buy a few Senators? The only explanation I can think of is that some of his billionaire buddies called him up and asked him to take one for the team (or, as Sanders and AOC put it, “class solidarity”). An alternative would be a “plan B” to fund campaign operations, but would Mike really back out after putting himself on the ballot in Alabama? Just drop it? Does Mike really want to be remembered as the guy who got all of 42 or whatever votes in Alabama, and zero in every other state? I don’t think so. And I don’t think his buddies would be happy if he did that. So I think Mike is in. One thing is certain: A lot of Democratic strategists are gonna be able to send their kids to very good schools.

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About Lambert Strether

Readers, I have had a correspondent characterize my views as realistic cynical. Let me briefly explain them. I believe in universal programs that provide concrete material benefits, especially to the working class. Medicare for All is the prime example, but tuition-free college and a Post Office Bank also fall under this heading. So do a Jobs Guarantee and a Debt Jubilee. Clearly, neither liberal Democrats nor conservative Republicans can deliver on such programs, because the two are different flavors of neoliberalism (“Because markets”). I don’t much care about the “ism” that delivers the benefits, although whichever one does have to put common humanity first, as opposed to markets. Could be a second FDR saving capitalism, democratic socialism leashing and collaring it, or communism razing it. I don’t much care, as long as the benefits are delivered. To me, the key issue — and this is why Medicare for All is always first with me — is the tens of thousands of excess “deaths from despair,” as described by the Case-Deaton study, and other recent studies. That enormous body count makes Medicare for All, at the very least, a moral and strategic imperative. And that level of suffering and organic damage makes the concerns of identity politics — even the worthy fight to help the refugees Bush, Obama, and Clinton’s wars created — bright shiny objects by comparison. Hence my frustration with the news flow — currently in my view the swirling intersection of two, separate Shock Doctrine campaigns, one by the Administration, and the other by out-of-power liberals and their allies in the State and in the press — a news flow that constantly forces me to focus on matters that I regard as of secondary importance to the excess deaths. What kind of political economy is it that halts or even reverses the increases in life expectancy that civilized societies have achieved? I am also very hopeful that the continuing destruction of both party establishments will open the space for voices supporting programs similar to those I have listed; let’s call such voices “the left.” Volatility creates opportunity, especially if the Democrat establishment, which puts markets first and opposes all such programs, isn’t allowed to get back into the saddle. Eyes on the prize! I love the tactical level, and secretly love even the horse race, since I’ve been blogging about it daily for fourteen years, but everything I write has this perspective at the back of it.

43 comments

  1. ChrisAtRU

    Perhaps he’s learned from the Clinton’s the fine art of floating a trial balloon??

    Except he had to make it look serious enough (Alabama filing) to make it believable.

    Given Warren’s response, is it possible that he (as a proxy for the billionaire class) was merely looking for a (GoT) bending of the knee from her? Certainly seems like she’s got the billionaire’s backs after categorically refusing to join Bernie in saying that “billionaires should not exist”.

    He’d be an idiot to run, and he would be derisively remembered as that guy – the billionaire goon who thought he could derail the most progressive, grassroots campaign since Debs.

    I want a Bernie/Dirty-Harry mashup … “go ahead, punk, Make my day.”

    Reply
  2. Kurtismayfield

    This man must be completely bored and starved for attention. Does he have to flirt with the national media every once in awhile in order to sleep at night? He was a Republican who would turn Democrat, and he was a proponent of stop and frisk. No way the base is showing up for this man.

    Reply
    1. Arizona Slim

      I think you hit the nail on the head. Poor Michael isn’t getting the attention to which he feels he’s entitled.

      Reply
      1. jrs

        Or he believes that only he can save the country from Trump, but he believes that based on the super rich people he likely associates with and whatever they think, and what does that actually represent as far as the voting masses anyway?

        Reply
    2. vidimi

      for billionnaires, their big issue is inequality. they want to make sure it persists. if anyone so much as threatens their positions as sanders and warren do (warren way less drastically then sanders), they get antsy and try to retain control. so i think this is because of fear, not boredom, that he wants to run

      Reply
  3. ptb

    Yeah the ways this could go wrong are many. Among them Biden and Bloomberg both falling below 15% in the early states.

    Wild theories:

    maybe Biden wants out. maybe his legislative past is catching up to him, and neither his Afro American support nor his general election electability advantage are as solid as widely assumed.

    maybe Bezos and Gates and the Waltons want Biden out, and Blooms is just keeping the seat warm for the actual replacement.

    Maybe they are concerned that Mayor Pete is coming up with some commie plan to let the peons go to school, and suddenly they are not so enamoured with him. Certainly he would be Bloomberg’s most plausible victim.

    Maybe they want to take out all the C list candidates too, and Bloomberg can self fund and hire all their staffers at once, simplifying that process and avoiding any ethical concerns (there’s no contribution limits to self funding, right?).

    TBH I don’t want to discourage Bloomberg supporters too much. It would make for an entertaining race.

    Reply
    1. ambrit

      If Bloomberg comes into the race and peels off a big chunk of Biden’s supporters, that’s another big slice of the Democrat base denied to Sanders.
      Brokered convention, here we come!

      Reply
  4. JBird4049

    Whites are stopped too much and minorities too little? And having an affordable housing shortage is good? I think that I am crossing him off my list of possible choices.

    I know that the Democratic Party mainly represents the 10% or Credentialed Class in the Blue states, but one would hope that they would realize that New York City, San Francisco, LA, and Seattle do not the country make. Even California can be considered ⅓ Red.

    Reply
    1. Lambert Strether Post author

      > one would hope that they would realize that New York City, San Francisco, LA, and Seattle do not the country make

      They don’t realize that, in fact actively resist it. That’s why they only give lip service to voter registration, and let the Republicans make the running on voter suppression.

      Reply
      1. ambrit

        That is probably what will squeak Trump over the finish line and into a second term. The “Rust Belt” voters still have not seen any concrete improvements in their lives, but, as Obama showed, Promises of Hope and Change can fool enough people for the needed margin. If the Democrat Party keeps shooting itself in both feet, Trump has a decent chance.
        For the psychological underpining of Hope and Change, the Democrats fall short on specific proposals. Tax cuts and policy papers have not a hint of the allure of specific promised acts, such as actual border walls or “saved” factories.

        Reply
  5. Michael Hudson

    I think Bloomberg calculates that he only needs 1% (One Percent) of any given state to win the nomination.
    That’s assuming that no candidate gets 50% on the first ballot. So it will be up to the super-delegates, who want anyone but Bernie or even Elizabeth. The others are hopeless, so … its Mike or Hillary.
    You can remind me of this next summer.

    Reply
    1. JBird4049

      Do to the whole Democratic Party’s nominations what the New York establishment did to shift the New York Working Families Party’s endorsement of Bernie Sanders to Liz Warren? It is theoretically doable, but rigging the vote outright, especially if it is apparent in the regular delegate count, that Sanders, Gabbard, or even Warren, has the overwhelming majority vote count would almost guarantee a Trump victory.

      It is the general acceptance of vote however crooked that is one of the few things keeping the country together politically. Once that goes, the whole system’s legitimacy and authority collapses. Almost certainly the Democratic Party as well and maybe the Republicans becomes a rump party as its base while strong is really rather small.

      Reply
    2. Lambert Strether Post author

      Yes, I didn’t get into the brokered convention scenario. Bloomberg actually spoke at the 2016 Democrat convention::

      [BLOOMBERG:] When I enter the voting booth each time, I look at the candidate, not the party label. I have supported elected officials from both sides of the aisle. Probably not many people in this room can say that, but I know there are many watching at home who can. And now, they are carefully weighing their choices. I understand their dilemma.

      So, no “vote blue no matter who”, eh?

      I know what it’s like to have neither party fully represent my views or values. Too many Republicans wrongly blame immigrants for our problems, and they stand in the way of action on climate change and gun violence. Meanwhile, many Democrats wrongly blame the private sector for our problems, and they stand in the way of action on education reform and deficit reduction.

      Grand Bargain, here we come! (I can just see the liberal Democrats throwing Social Security over the side because of Trump’s “profligate spending.”)

      Reply
    3. ambrit

      I’m firmly on board with the Hillary 2020 “Conspiracy Theory.” Her past performance shows a ruthless and overwhelming ambition.
      I can imagine Bloomberg introducing Hillary as a ‘surprise speaker’ at the beginning of the convention.

      Reply
      1. JBird4049

        Oh, crud, I hope not. That is so stupid, some people are probably suggesting it to Bloomberg and Clinton.

        I can see it now on the tv “And now a surprise guest…please give a warm welcome to Madam Cthulhu!”

        At which point, I start trying out all the varieties of beer at the local grocery store.

        Reply
  6. Summer

    Hey, now you have Deval Patrick “mulling” a run. Not a billionnaire, but does nice things for them.

    “Deval Patrick, Foreclosure Mogul

    How the 2020 Democratic presidential contender helped a Republican billionaire rip off the middle class….”

    Huffpo…

    Reply
    1. chuckster

      Again, every vote Deval takes comes out of Biden’s hide. The PTB are starting to see that they can’t carry Biden across the finish line. Everyone assumes that Booty-Judge is a stalking horse for Biden. What if it’s the other way around? I still believe the Democrats know that they can’t win in 2020 and are setting Booty-Boy up for 2024.

      Reply
  7. richard

    I kind of liked the fake logo
    the 70s style font probably just released some nostalgia dopamine in my brain
    that explains it

    Reply
  8. The Rev Kev

    Sounds like a micro-manager. He may be in for a shock in the unlikely case that America decided what they really needed was another rich, old, white dude in the White House to fix their problems. Harry Truman talked about this when he lost the election to Eisenhower back in ’52. He said that Eisenhower, as a soldier, was used to giving orders and having them obeyed. The trouble is that after Eisenhower took up office as president, he would give an order – and nothing would happen. That Eisenhower would flounder for awhile as he learned this aspect of the Presidency.

    Reply
    1. Big River Bandido

      Truman chose not to run for re-election in 1952. The Democrat nominee against Eisenhower was Adlai Stevenson.

      I realize that’s a side issue to your main point about presidential power, but I just couldn’t let it stand because I just have that annoying trait. Sorry.

      Reply
  9. Pat

    First I think the NY wealthy and intelligentsia truly do live in a bubble. They like Mike. The rest of us not so much, although a goodly portion will vote for anyone with the Democratic nomination no matter how bad he will be for them (I don’t have the heart to explain to the retirees and soon to be retirees I know how much of a target they are for so many of the approved Democrats, not to mention the students and recent graduates.)

    I attribute the following to Mike’s decision:
    1. The acceptable candidate has obviously got problems and is unlikely to go the distance, but if he does he is going to need someone willing to do a Cheney if elected, someone who can take over when he crashes. Pete Is a figurehead not a manager.
    2. Warren’s wealth problem is unacceptable to them regardless of how weak tea it is. She cannot be the fallback to a failing Biden.
    3. Someone needs to bluntly show how wrong Sanders is about everything! Yeah, Mike and his class really do think that Sanders is lying about them and bribing the public with ponies.
    4. I don’t think a brokered convention backdoor nomination for Clinton is one of the reasons, but I do believe Mike will be easy to bring on board if Sanders even comes close to looking like he will get the nomination.

    Things to add to the opposition, Bloomberg’s adamant belief that there was no reason to raise the minimum wage, and his entire approach to Education including but not limited to expansion of charter schools and choices of chancellor of Education (Joel Klein, Cathie Black).

    Reply
  10. none

    Bloomberg was fairly popular as NYC mayor, and he may have done some dumb shit but he was way better than Ghouliani. I still don’t want either one of them as president.

    Reply
  11. Joe Well

    No one else thinks Bloomberg is a great thing for Bernie Sanders? And a revitalized Black Lives Matter?

    And if Deval Patrick runs, he will seriously cut into Warren’s “base” in her home state and surrounding states so she may not even win any of them.

    Reply
    1. NotTimothyGeithner

      I believe it’s about drawing distinctions. Bloomberg to the crowd that still watches debates Is simply another voice in a cacophony of cookie recipes. With time spent on cookie recipes, the differences between Sanders and Biden or Sanders and Warren get shoved aside. The implications of money leading to celebrity aside I’m not wild about giant fields. Since Bloomberg is just a Republican who doesn’t want minorities to have guns, he’s simply there to whine about “how are you going to pay for it” and poison actual discussion.

      It’s a hypothetical, but if there was an heir apparent to Monahan in New York, HRC simply never parachutes in as she would be painted as a carpet bagger. Against a field of 7, it was a Snow White and the seven dwarves primary.

      Reply
  12. Mattski

    My far simpler (oversimple?) analysis has been that the more corporate weenies nakedly revealing the profoundly corrupt nature of our political process the better. Crowd the field with corporate Democrats and let them subdivide the corrupt corporate Democratic slice of the pie ever more discretely.

    I just spend a good part of each day cursing the fact that Bernie has to try to woo this increasingly conservative portion of the Democratic electorate rather than the country at large. But the goal is not, cannot, just be capturing the presidency in 2020. I think than an increasing number of people get that.

    Reply
  13. WheresOurTeddy

    If you wept when Beto dropped out you need to get a hold on your life.

    So glad Bloomberg is running, couldn’t have made the point about the arrogance of the rich better than he can by just being himself.

    Sanders 2020

    Reply
  14. mtnwoman

    Hope Bernie runs Independent.
    If/ when Her Majesty HRC was running, NO ONE was ”allowed’ to run.
    All these candidates are to dilute the vote, derail Sanders.

    Reply

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