Tuesday, January 26, 2016

January 26, 2016--Waiting For Bloomberg

All of a sudden there's a flurry of interest in Michael Bloomberg. About the evidence that he is exploring the possibility of running for the presidency as a third-party candidate.

Self-financed, of course. He's worth $37.2 billion. A real billionaire in comparison to Donald TRUMP. Like everything else, TRUMP exaggerates his wealth, but Forbes reports he's worth only maybe $4.0 billion with most of it tied up in real estate.

Though real money, he is a piker by Bloomberg standards. But that's half the political point.

With a real New Yorker running, it would dilute the charge that TRUMP is about New York values (actually, he is). Not noted is the fact that Bloomberg was born and raised in Boston, which I suppose is better than having been born and raised in Canada.

If opposition candidates want to rail against a possible American oligarchy, which we sort of already have, Bloomberg will take most of the heat, clearing that lane for TRUMP. And what with The Mike's Jewishness, another lane would also be cleared since probably half of TRUMP's untutored critics think that if he's from New York he must be Jewish. Or, almost as disqualifying, is a nonbeliever.

To blunt that and appeal to evangelicals, this past Sunday The Donald very publicly went to church in Iowa to show that he's really a Christian. This reminded coreligionists that, as a semi-teetotaler, it is in church where he drinks "the only wine" he imbibes. Also, that it is during Communion that he takes "my little cracker." In TRUMP World it doesn't matter that evangelicals don't participate in the Eucharist. It's all about the show.

As usual when it comes to religious matters, TRUMP has church practices all mixed up. But Teflon-candidate that he is, it probably doesn't matter.

But he did leave two $50 dollar bills in the collection basket.

No wonder TRUMP is relishing the thought that Bloomberg might get into the race. This because if he did, enough Hillary supporters would likely migrate to the former New York mayor and thus make it less likely that, if nominated, she would be elected. And since Bloomberg as a third-party candidate would have almost no chance of winning . . .  Fill in the blank.

But there are many moving pieces as Bloomberg ponders how various combinations and permutations would play out. It would depend on who's in and who's out.

I've been hearing from liberal friends who are excited about the Bloomberg possibilities. For the most part they are lukewarm Hillary supporters. Progressives, not socialists, who feel that neither Hillary nor Sanders, for that matter, would make good or effective presidents.

Here's what I wrote back to one--

I think he'd run only if Bernie looks like he's going to get the nomination. The last thing a billionaire wants is a socialist as Prez! But I don't think Bloomberg would run if Hillary looks as if she's winning (I am using the conditional tense since if B is to run he'd have to decide to do so by early March). She has already proven herself as a pal to Wall Street. 

If it's Hillary v. TRUMP and Bloomy gets in that would assure T's election since Bloomberg would likely take more voters from Hillary than T. I don't think Bloomberg prefers TRUMP to Hillary. Quite the opposite. So I see him maybe running only if Sanders and TRUMP are on route to the nominations. If Bernie manages to win big in Iowa and NH it might for Hillary be the beginning of 2008 all over again. Though Hillary's firewall is southern blacks and middle-age white women. That's why she's cynically been wrapping herself so tightly in the mantle of Barack Obama. And of course there are Demi Lovato and Chelsea.

In fact, having lived in NYC during the Bloomberg years, I'm not so fond of him. He cared primarily about Manhattan and the real estate community's interests. I guess he'd be better than most of the current candidates, but he is still more a friend to Wall Street than I'd be comfortable with. If TRUMP would be "a traitor to his class" (which I think is possible) he could be interesting and unpredictable. Just like his campaign thus far. 

Maybe we need a real jolt. Would Bernie provide one? As much as I'd like to thing so, as a socialist, would Congress allow him to govern as a socialist? There's no way Congress, for ex, would go along with Medicare-for-all. That's may be a great idea but a congressional non-starter. Ditto for his taxation proposals.

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