Media frenzy over possible Michael Bloomberg candidacy for Democrats' presidential nomination reflects desperation over lame field

Media and other Democrats are scared stiff that the incompetent, radical and unelectable field currently leading the polling for the donkeys' presidential nomination will let President Trump win a second term.  That is leading to much eager speculation that mega-billionaire former New York City Mayor — and party-switcher — Michael Bloomberg will run.

Bloomberg left the Democratic party in 2001 to run for New York City mayor as a Republican. In 2007, he left the Republican party to register as an Independent. In September, Bloomberg told the New York Times, he believes "only a major-party nominee can win the White House."

Eight months ago, Bloomberg announced he was not going to run for president. But that was before the Dems' field proved so pathetic.  The New York Times yesterday kicked off the widespread buzz[i] with this rather vague evidence:

Howard Wolfson, a close adviser to Mr. Bloomberg, said on Thursday that the former mayor has grown uneasy about the existing trajectory of the Democratic primary. He said Mr. Bloomberg viewed President Trump as an "unprecedented threat to our nation," and noted the Democrat's heavy spending in the 2018 midterm elections and this week's off-year races in Virginia.

"We now need to finish the job and ensure that Trump is defeated — but Mike is increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well positioned to do that," Mr. Wolfson said. "If Mike runs he would offer a new choice to Democrats built on a unique record running America's biggest city, building a business from scratch and taking on some of America's toughest challenges as a high-impact philanthropist."

Advisers to Mr. Bloomberg said he would likely make up his mind about the race within days, rather than weeks.

He will have to move quickly if he is to compete in a serious way for the Democratic nomination. Beyond Alabama, several other states have filing deadlines in quick succession, including Arkansas and New Hampshire, with its crucial early primary, next week.

Bloomberg petitioners were on the campus of the University of Alabama on Thursday, a Democratic strategist said, and officials with the Arkansas Democratic Party said they had been contacted by a Washington, D.C., law firm on Thursday to seek detailed information about the state's filing procedures. The firm had not named Mr. Bloomberg as its client, stirring speculation in the state party that the surprise candidate might be Hillary Clinton.

Forbes pegs Bloomberg's fortune at $52 billion, enough to self-finance a campaign that could buy every minute of television advertising between now and the election and dwarf any campaign in history on every metric.  But there are a lot of Democrats who are not fond of billionaires.  Tom Steyer's campaign has gone nowhere despite lavish self-funding.  Howard Schultz of Starbucks already considered and dropped a plan to run for the Democrats' nod.  The New York Times notes:

Mr. Bloomberg would face a difficult path in a Democratic primary largely defined so far by debates about economic inequality. His presence in the race would offer fodder to the party's rising populist wing, led by Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders, who contend that the extremely rich already wield far too much influence in politics. He is a former Republican who registered as a Democrat ahead of the midterm elections last year. And his mayoral record, including his support for stop-and-frisk policing and his championing of charter schools, has the potential to alienate pillars of the Democratic Party's political base.

Ms. Warren, who has sparred from afar with Mr. Bloomberg over her proposals to tax the extremely rich, issued a blistering fund-raising message calling his potential candidacy "another example of the wealthy wanting our government and economy to only work for themselves." Campaigning in North Carolina on Thursday evening, Ms. Warren offered a restrained comment on Mr. Bloomberg and cast her candidacy as a "grass roots movement."

"It's not enough just to have somebody come in, anybody, and say they're going to buy this election," she said.

Warren offered this tweet suggesting Bloomberg has a selfish interest in opposing her:

Outspoken socialist Bernie Sanders is unlikley to welcome the competition:

Faiz Shakir, Mr. Sanders's campaign manager, signaled the stiff resistance Mr. Bloomberg would face if he joined the race.

"More billionaires seeking more political power surely isn't the change America needs," Mr. Shakir said in an email.

While Michael Bloomberg is very smart and articulate and has a track record of three generally successful terms as New York mayor and the building of a hugely profitable enterprise (that supplies information to Wall Street traders), he might prove unable to drive the sort of turnout that Democrats need to win the presidency.  The Sanders and Warren progressive wing and the Squad are unlikely to be terribly enthusiastic about supporting a billionaire Wall Streeter (Bloomberg made his first fortune at Salomon Brothers).  And the Millennials looking for younger blood will not be too enthusiastic about a man who would be 79 when innaugurated:


Photo credit: Gage Skidmore.

The Atlantic, the deep pocketed left-wing publication owned by Steve Jobs's widow, is out with an attack on Bloomberg that dredges up dirty laundry about his behavior with women:

... a series of stories about him, accumulated over decades, … suggests in the aggregate a distinct pattern when it comes to his treatment of women: reports of disparaging comments made about women's bodies and appearances. Allegations of a deeply sexist work environment at the company that Bloomberg founded and, for many years, ran. Stories that linger like exhaust in the air every time Mike Bloomberg is mentioned as, potentially, the next president of the United States.

The stories about Mike Bloomberg, though—stories, told through lawsuits and journalistic accounts, that involve allegations not of physical abuse but of more insidious manifestations of misogyny—ask broader questions about the ways electoral politics and basic morality will continue to tangle with each other as #MeToo marches onward. Will the stories (many of which Bloomberg has publicly denied as the inventions of money-hungry opportunists) have any bearing on his potential presidential candidacy? Will the Americans (and specifically now, apparently, the Democrats) of the current moment consider allegations involving casual misogyny, on the personal level and at the institutional, to be politically disqualifying? Will they consider those claims, indeed, to be worth discussing at all? Or will they dismiss them as the predicable collateral of the thing Americans are conditioned, still, to value above all: the successful accumulation of power and wealth?

From 1996 to 1997, four women filed sexual-harassment or discrimination suits against Bloomberg the company. One of the suits included the following allegation: When Sekiko Sakai Garrison, a sales representative at the company, told Mike Bloomberg she was pregnant, he replied, "Kill it!" (Bloomberg went on, she alleged, to mutter, "Great, No. 16"—a reference, her complaint said, to the 16 women at the company who were then pregnant.) To these allegations, Garrison added another one: Even prior to her pregnancy, she claimed, Bloomberg had antagonized her by making disparaging comments about her appearance and sexual desirability. "What, is the guy dumb and blind?" he is alleged to have said upon seeing her wearing an engagement ring. "What the hell is he marrying you for?"

Bloomberg is fond of regulating what other people eat and drink,.As Patterico put it, "[i]f you like Elizabeth Warren but worry that deep down inside she isn't enough of a busy-body regulator for your tastes, you now can vote for the guy who banned Big Gulps and trans fats in New York."

There is also the rather indelicate question of whether African Americans will turn out in the numbers necessary for Democrat victory (blacks account for a quarter of the Dem vote nationally) when the candidate is a Jew. Few in the media want to mention it, but blacks are the most anti-Semitic demographic slice of the American electorate.


Media and other Democrats are scared stiff that the incompetent, radical and unelectable field currently leading the polling for the donkeys' presidential nomination will let President Trump win a second term.  That is leading to much eager speculation that mega-billionaire former New York City Mayor — and party-switcher — Michael Bloomberg will run.

Bloomberg left the Democratic party in 2001 to run for New York City mayor as a Republican. In 2007, he left the Republican party to register as an Independent. In September, Bloomberg told the New York Times, he believes "only a major-party nominee can win the White House."

Eight months ago, Bloomberg announced he was not going to run for president. But that was before the Dems' field proved so pathetic.  The New York Times yesterday kicked off the widespread buzz[i] with this rather vague evidence:

Howard Wolfson, a close adviser to Mr. Bloomberg, said on Thursday that the former mayor has grown uneasy about the existing trajectory of the Democratic primary. He said Mr. Bloomberg viewed President Trump as an "unprecedented threat to our nation," and noted the Democrat's heavy spending in the 2018 midterm elections and this week's off-year races in Virginia.

"We now need to finish the job and ensure that Trump is defeated — but Mike is increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well positioned to do that," Mr. Wolfson said. "If Mike runs he would offer a new choice to Democrats built on a unique record running America's biggest city, building a business from scratch and taking on some of America's toughest challenges as a high-impact philanthropist."

Advisers to Mr. Bloomberg said he would likely make up his mind about the race within days, rather than weeks.

He will have to move quickly if he is to compete in a serious way for the Democratic nomination. Beyond Alabama, several other states have filing deadlines in quick succession, including Arkansas and New Hampshire, with its crucial early primary, next week.

Bloomberg petitioners were on the campus of the University of Alabama on Thursday, a Democratic strategist said, and officials with the Arkansas Democratic Party said they had been contacted by a Washington, D.C., law firm on Thursday to seek detailed information about the state's filing procedures. The firm had not named Mr. Bloomberg as its client, stirring speculation in the state party that the surprise candidate might be Hillary Clinton.

Forbes pegs Bloomberg's fortune at $52 billion, enough to self-finance a campaign that could buy every minute of television advertising between now and the election and dwarf any campaign in history on every metric.  But there are a lot of Democrats who are not fond of billionaires.  Tom Steyer's campaign has gone nowhere despite lavish self-funding.  Howard Schultz of Starbucks already considered and dropped a plan to run for the Democrats' nod.  The New York Times notes:

Mr. Bloomberg would face a difficult path in a Democratic primary largely defined so far by debates about economic inequality. His presence in the race would offer fodder to the party's rising populist wing, led by Ms. Warren and Mr. Sanders, who contend that the extremely rich already wield far too much influence in politics. He is a former Republican who registered as a Democrat ahead of the midterm elections last year. And his mayoral record, including his support for stop-and-frisk policing and his championing of charter schools, has the potential to alienate pillars of the Democratic Party's political base.

Ms. Warren, who has sparred from afar with Mr. Bloomberg over her proposals to tax the extremely rich, issued a blistering fund-raising message calling his potential candidacy "another example of the wealthy wanting our government and economy to only work for themselves." Campaigning in North Carolina on Thursday evening, Ms. Warren offered a restrained comment on Mr. Bloomberg and cast her candidacy as a "grass roots movement."

"It's not enough just to have somebody come in, anybody, and say they're going to buy this election," she said.

Warren offered this tweet suggesting Bloomberg has a selfish interest in opposing her:

Outspoken socialist Bernie Sanders is unlikley to welcome the competition:

Faiz Shakir, Mr. Sanders's campaign manager, signaled the stiff resistance Mr. Bloomberg would face if he joined the race.

"More billionaires seeking more political power surely isn't the change America needs," Mr. Shakir said in an email.

While Michael Bloomberg is very smart and articulate and has a track record of three generally successful terms as New York mayor and the building of a hugely profitable enterprise (that supplies information to Wall Street traders), he might prove unable to drive the sort of turnout that Democrats need to win the presidency.  The Sanders and Warren progressive wing and the Squad are unlikely to be terribly enthusiastic about supporting a billionaire Wall Streeter (Bloomberg made his first fortune at Salomon Brothers).  And the Millennials looking for younger blood will not be too enthusiastic about a man who would be 79 when innaugurated:


Photo credit: Gage Skidmore.

The Atlantic, the deep pocketed left-wing publication owned by Steve Jobs's widow, is out with an attack on Bloomberg that dredges up dirty laundry about his behavior with women:

... a series of stories about him, accumulated over decades, … suggests in the aggregate a distinct pattern when it comes to his treatment of women: reports of disparaging comments made about women's bodies and appearances. Allegations of a deeply sexist work environment at the company that Bloomberg founded and, for many years, ran. Stories that linger like exhaust in the air every time Mike Bloomberg is mentioned as, potentially, the next president of the United States.

The stories about Mike Bloomberg, though—stories, told through lawsuits and journalistic accounts, that involve allegations not of physical abuse but of more insidious manifestations of misogyny—ask broader questions about the ways electoral politics and basic morality will continue to tangle with each other as #MeToo marches onward. Will the stories (many of which Bloomberg has publicly denied as the inventions of money-hungry opportunists) have any bearing on his potential presidential candidacy? Will the Americans (and specifically now, apparently, the Democrats) of the current moment consider allegations involving casual misogyny, on the personal level and at the institutional, to be politically disqualifying? Will they consider those claims, indeed, to be worth discussing at all? Or will they dismiss them as the predicable collateral of the thing Americans are conditioned, still, to value above all: the successful accumulation of power and wealth?

From 1996 to 1997, four women filed sexual-harassment or discrimination suits against Bloomberg the company. One of the suits included the following allegation: When Sekiko Sakai Garrison, a sales representative at the company, told Mike Bloomberg she was pregnant, he replied, "Kill it!" (Bloomberg went on, she alleged, to mutter, "Great, No. 16"—a reference, her complaint said, to the 16 women at the company who were then pregnant.) To these allegations, Garrison added another one: Even prior to her pregnancy, she claimed, Bloomberg had antagonized her by making disparaging comments about her appearance and sexual desirability. "What, is the guy dumb and blind?" he is alleged to have said upon seeing her wearing an engagement ring. "What the hell is he marrying you for?"

Bloomberg is fond of regulating what other people eat and drink,.As Patterico put it, "[i]f you like Elizabeth Warren but worry that deep down inside she isn't enough of a busy-body regulator for your tastes, you now can vote for the guy who banned Big Gulps and trans fats in New York."

There is also the rather indelicate question of whether African Americans will turn out in the numbers necessary for Democrat victory (blacks account for a quarter of the Dem vote nationally) when the candidate is a Jew. Few in the media want to mention it, but blacks are the most anti-Semitic demographic slice of the American electorate.