Michael Bloomberg may have enough money to buy New York City, but he doesn’t have nearly enough to buy the Presidency of the United States.
But somehow he thinks he does.
According to CNN,
The billionaire recently told the Financial Times he found “the level of discourse and discussion distressingly banal and an outrage and an insult to the voters,” and that he was “looking at all the options.”
With two nominating contests gone and outsider candidates like Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump — the two winners in New Hampshire — looking like legitimate contenders, the likelihood of a Bloomberg bid could be growing.
Asked about the prospect by CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, Wasserman Schultz sought to ease the wealthy media mogul’s concerns, saying that Bloomberg’s priorities are “well cared-for in the Democratic nominees’ priorities and the Democratic Party’s agenda.”
Obviously, one of Bloomberg’s priorities is not “well cared-for.” He is obviously an ambitious man and he wants to become President. He isn’t considering running because the field is so bad. He is considering running while he thinks Bernie Sanders presents him with an opportunity.
But why does he think he can win a national election?
The popularity of Bernie Sanders does not possibly bode well for a Wall Street billionaire, not even a Left-wing autocrat. There is no indication that there are hordes of Democrats waiting to rally around Michael Bloomberg for President.
Some might claim that Donald Trump proves that a billionaire can use his money to get elected. Trump proves nothing of the kind.
First of all, Donald Trump hasn’t even secured the nomination yet.
Second of all, Donald Trump has put together a coalition by telling people what they want to hear. Whether he’s being truthful or not (I’m not passing judgment one way or the other), he has gone through major changes to be appealing to his supporters. He knows his money is not going to be sufficient to gain the Presidency. He has to win over voters.
Even if Bloomberg can manage to get the Democratic election, how is he going to win the presidency? A politician who restricted soda size and is a major proponent of gun control is not going to attract a winning coalition.
But while Bloomberg isn’t rich enough to buy the presidency, he is wealthy enough to get really bad advice.
What do I mean? I mean that Michael Bloomberg is falling into the same trap as Jeb Bush and his wealthy donors. David Frum wrote an article for The Atlantic about the Trump ascendancy that, despite some problems, is quite good (yes, I was shocked). This paragraph explains what’s going on with Bloomberg:
As a class, big Republican donors could not see any of this, or would not. So neither did the politicians who depend upon them. Against all evidence, both groups interpreted the Tea Party as a mass movement in favor of the agenda of the Wall Street Journal editorial page. One of the more dangerous pleasures of great wealth is that you never have to hear anyone tell you that you are completely wrong.
The idea that people would want Michael Bloomberg for President seems incredible to us. To Michael Bloomberg it is incredible that a majority of us don’t recognize that we need his guidance and protection. He naturally hires the best consultants. And he naturally determines who the smartest consultants are by choosing the ones who believe he would be a popular candidate and a superior President.
If Michael Bloomberg will not see reality, neither will the consultants who depend on him.
Michael Bloomberg thinks he should run for the same reason Jeb Bush thought he should run.