This is not the way to be greeted back, innocently watching Morning Joe, slurping raisin bran, sipping caffeine, and out of the blue confronted by the ultimate “bracket-buster” presidential candidate, Michael Bloomberg.
Just what this race needed, another billionaire far to the right of the mainstream Democratic party.
It is true, Bloomberg is not Donald Trump, and so he has that going for him, yes. But, in this time of piercing polarization, the one and only time we might have had hope that a true progressive could win both the Democratic nomination and possibly the presidency, it would have been on this occasion.
We will have enough difficulty beating Trump.
Bloomberg is starting on the Democratic side, having to file paperwork to make it in the Democratic primary in Alabama. I suppose that makes some sense, if you ignore the fact that he’s been a Republican most of his life, and has never held office as a Democrat. Most of my Republican friends would disagree with labeling Bloomberg a Republican. That is fine, they are in a better position than me, to define “Republicans.” But that leads to the next logical conclusion, when neither party claims a person, what spot does that candidate most naturally occupy? The independent.
The worry, obviously, is that Bloomberg is testing the waters on the Democratic side to ultimately end-up in a three-way race as the independent. In that scenario, Donald Trump wins the next election going away. The biggest gift one could award Trump is a viable independent “moderate” to split the “non-Trump vote” and allow the firm Trump base to stay solidified.
Many of us have been too reliant upon approval ratings and polls demonstrating Trump being underwater by 10 to 12 points nationally and down one or two points against Biden in the purple states. It allowed us to walk around believing ourselves “ahead” in the polls. But, no matter the approval ratings or polls, a year out, and even with a possible impeachment proceeding coming, the biggest predictive factor in any incumbency race, is the economy, and to this point, the economy has remained strong. Thankfully.
It is exceedingly difficult to defeat an incumbent in a good economy. Trump is not a popular president. At no point has he even enjoyed the approval rating over 50%. He has a base that sits anywhere between 38 and 46% of the nation, and they are firm in their support to the point of hopelessness. There is a middle that is largely apolotical and wants to be left alone, and then there are Democrats, learning to tie our shoes. If the election comes down to Trump, with a good economy, a progressive Democratic candidate, and Michael Bloomberg, Trump wins. Laughing his ass off at how it all aligned again.
Were the race to be simply Bloomberg versus Trump, I just don’t know. He would get lots of “independents” and most Democrats. But there would hardly be a surge of voters rushing out in excitement to vote “Bloomberg!”
A lot of people in this nation are going to be attracted to a candidate like Bloomberg. This person can “make a statement” in not voting for Trump, but be “safe” in avoiding a progressive Democratic woman, or man.
IF Bloomberg won the Democratic nomination and won the election, he would be fine in a parallel universe where every politician in Washington DC suddenly transformed to the political “nothingness” of Michael Bloomberg. He could make the trains run on time (probably very well). pass budgets, actually appoint people to positions, and bring some people back together.
Seeing as how we don’t live in that universe, Michael Bloomberg would get exactly nothing done. I doubt Michael Bloomberg can name three things he wants to get done. I suspect the thing he most knows is that he wants to be president, and Trump is vulnerable.
This is not a welcome development. I see it as rather ominous. Many people have underestimated Michael Bloomberg throughout his life, to their detriment. and many of us have underestimated just how difficult it will be to beat an incumbent president in a good economy. Tough stuff.
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