How real is Bloomberg’s White House bid?

MICHAEL BLOOMBERG as mayor of New York City (Shutterstock).

It’s not fair to call Michael Bloomberg just a superrich dilettante. He is, after all, a former mayor of New York City, so he does have some experience as a political officeholder. It is fair to describe Bloomberg as a superrich guy who obviously was looking for something to do, so he decided, “I think I’ll dabble in presidential politics.”

“Let’s see. What am I, a Republican or a Democrat? This time around I’ll be a Democrat, because that other rich guy is claiming to be a Republican. He’s nowhere near as wealthy as I am. That much we know, even though he refuses to release his tax forms, possibly because they would show he’s really dirt-poor. Still, he is currently president of the United States. So Democrat it is.”

There’s a ton of Dems already, vying to replace President Donald Trump. That’s provided he’s still in the White House, what with impeachment and all. If Trump does make it through Election Day, Bloomberg has decided that none of the Democrats has gone beyond dithering, leaving too great a possibility that Donald Trump would get a second term. So Michael Bloomberg has offered a way out: He’s the way out. And he’s pulling a Mighty Mouse – as in “Here I Come to Save the Day,” which if you’re not a TV cartoon aficionado, is the “Mighty Mouse” theme.

How would he pull off the superheroic deed just a few months before the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, where all the others have such a gargantuan head start? He’d simply ignore those first states as just overhyped media events anyway, and focus on Super Tuesday states later that are more populous and diverse, after others have stomped on each other early on. Besides, with an estimated net worth of $50 billion plus, Bloomberg could probably just purchase Iowa and New Hampshire. Then he could simply declare their elections null and void.

That’s not as far-fetched as it sounds. Michael Bloomberg’s fortune was accumulated by his ownership of countless media properties. So the question comes up, How would those news organizations cover his candidacy? Nobody really knows the answer, other than the one he gave during another of his candidate flirtations, when he suggested that they may just drop campaign coverage. That would certainly not endear him to the editorial staff who would be laid off.

What about his “stop and frisk” program when he was mayor of Gotham? He bought into unleashing the police to abuse the masses, particularly the poor masses and minority masses.

What about his coziness with the other fat cats? Wall Street has no better friend than Michael Bloomberg, which is not exactly fashionable in his current party these days, certainly not among progressives.

Of course, Bloomberg does support gun control, which thrills Democrats and anybody with a lick of sense. He’s plowed gazillions of dollars into support of that cause and gazillions more into Democratic candidates’ campaign funding. So he is a mixed bag to his new party.

His argument will be that he’s the only one who stands a chance against Donald Trump. Getting rid of Trump is the be-all and end-all for Democrats, many of whom might say: “Michael Bloomberg? Sure, why not?” That is his hope, at any rate. And he has the big bucks to pay for his hobby.

Bob Franken is an Emmy Award-winning reporter who covered Washington for more than 20 years with CNN. (c) 2019 Bob Franken. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.


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