Billion-dollar Bloomie bid for White House?

posted at 11:31 am on January 23, 2016 by Ed Morrissey

Guard the Big Gulps and the guns, and store up on the table salt while you’re at it. “Galled” by the lasting power of Donald Trump with Republicans and the incompetence of Hillary Clinton in closing the sale with Democrats, former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg may enter the race as an independent. The New York Times reports today that Bloomberg will loosen up at least a billion dollars of his own money if he decides he can win in November:

Galled by Donald J. Trump’s dominance of the Republican field, and troubled by Hillary Clinton’s stumbles and the rise of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont on the Democratic side, Michael R. Bloomberg has instructed advisers to draw up plans for an independent campaign in this year’s presidential race.

Mr. Bloomberg, the billionaire former mayor of New York City, has in the past contemplated running for the White House on a third-party ticket, but always concluded he could not win. A confluence of unlikely events in the 2016 election, however, has given new impetus to his presidential aspirations.

Mr. Bloomberg, 73, has already taken concrete steps toward a possible campaign, and has indicated to friends and allies that he would be willing to spend at least $1 billion of his fortune on it, according to people briefed on his deliberations who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss his plans. He has set a deadline for making a final decision in early March, the latest point at which advisers believe Mr. Bloomberg could enter the race and still qualify to appear as an independent candidate on the ballot in all 50 states.

He has retained a consultant to help him explore getting his name on those ballots, and his aides have done a detailed study of past third-party bids. Mr. Bloomberg commissioned a poll in December to see how he might fare against Mr. Trump and Mrs. Clinton, and he intends to conduct another round of polling after the New Hampshire primary on Feb. 9 to gauge whether there is indeed an opening for him, according to two people familiar with his intentions.

Allahpundit wrote about the existing polling on a three-way race yesterday, in fact:

The million-dollar (well, billion-dollar) question: Who does Bloomberg hurt more? As it turns out, Hillary. Without him in the race, Hillary narrowly leads Trump, 44/42. Even better news for Trump fans is that Trump does better against Hillary in a three-way race than either Cruz or Rubio does. Against Cruz, Hillary leads 38/34/11; against Rubio, it’s 38/33/10. That’s partly a function of the fact that Cruz and Rubio are lesser known to Americans than Trump is, but if you’re looking for evidence that he’ll give her a tougher race by bringing in heterodox Democrats and independents than a more dogmatic right-winger will, there you go.

With the major-party nominations in such flux, it’s not uncommon to see people consider or even launch independent bids for the presidency. Most of them turn out for naught, and the few that do matter impact the races as spoilers. Ross Perot did it twice, although only his first effort in 1992 could arguably be considered as a catalyst for the outcome. Ralph Nader may have cost Al Gore the election in Florida in 2000, but again that’s an arguable point. (All Gore had to do to win was carry his home state of Tennessee, and he failed at that basic electoral necessity. Even Walter Mondale managed to win his home state while losing a 49-state landslide to Ronald Reagan.)

Bloomberg differs from all of these erstwhile candidates for a number of reasons, not all of them connected to his cash reserves. First, being mayor of New York is a position with a national profile, even more so than some governors. Most people know Bill DeBlasio is the mayor of the Big Apple, but who knows off the top of their heads who the governor of Idaho is? The population of nine million and the proximity to the central core of national media makes NYC mayors matter on a national basis. On top of that, Bloomberg has remained politically active in the gun-control movement, among other things, which allowed him to expand his political network across the nation.

Given all of that and his practically unlimited personal resources, Bloomberg would start off as a formidable candidate, even if both parties were united already behind their nominees. (Bloomberg’s wealth is estimated at $35.5 billion by Forbes; Trump’s comes in at $4.1 billion.) He’d be able to tap into the anti-establishment fervor roiling both parties, and add in his extensive executive experience in both the private and public sectors, something which none of the current top contenders offer at the moment. Assuming he spent enough to build an effective ground campaign, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Bloomberg do something no independent presidential candidate has done in decades — win Electoral College votes in a general election, starting with New York, which Democrats cannot afford to lose.

If Bloomberg entered the race, he’d change all the dynamics in ways that would hobble both parties.Voters in swing states like Florida, Ohio, and Virginia want people who can make the system work again, not another eight years of the same old battles playing out in the same old ways, which is why they want to jettison the old establishments in government and political parties.  Democrats would feel it more than Republicans, but if it comes to a battle of tycoons, Bloomberg has both the resources and the political skills to win against the Republicans, too. A Bloomberg bid would be the nightmare scenario for both Republicans and Democrats … and a huge boost to the nanny state.


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Comments

You people are dreaming if you actually believe anyone but Clinton is going to win New York, no matter who is in the race.

Moesart on January 23, 2016 at 1:11 PM

Insecure people taking Jeb! seriously :)

Schadenfreude on January 23, 2016 at 1:11 PM

William Eaton on January 23, 2016 at 1:06 PM

yep, when they mix amnesty and gungrabbing, they are going to lose Reagan democrats, and swing states become more winnable to the R’s

Senator Philip Bluster on January 23, 2016 at 1:13 PM

You’re being fugged everditz, not in good ways.

Schadenfreude on January 23, 2016 at 1:10 PM

Adorable fanboy.

everdiso on January 23, 2016 at 1:15 PM

It shows more clearly than anything that TDS sufferers still have not one single, solitary clue why conservatives support Trump, even after being told a thousand times.

Saying Bloomberg will siphon off Trump voters is like saying Hillary or Bernie will do the same.

You guys just so emphatically live in an alternate universe. You have created a Donald Trump and his cadre of supporters straight out of your own imaginations.

Dolce Far Niente on January 23, 2016 at 1:16 PM

Adorable fanboy.

everdiso on January 23, 2016 at 1:15 PM

Only fighting and destroying you and the righties to brought us to this stage in America.

All who run are scum, but you could never be this objective.

Schadenfreude on January 23, 2016 at 1:23 PM

to who brought

Schadenfreude on January 23, 2016 at 1:28 PM

It’s hilarious how Bloomberg, who wasn’t even competent enough to perform the basic enumerated responsibilities of his job because he was too busy concentrating on controlling behaviors he doesn’t like (behaviors whose policing were not among his responsibilities), sees himself in any way being suitable as President. Nothing worse than an incompetent hack with a God complex.

fitzfong on January 23, 2016 at 1:50 PM

There’s one interesting way that a third party candidate can help the Republicans — if he wins some states.

If no one gets 270 electoral college votes, the House decides and it’s one vote per state. The Republican candidate wins easily in that scenario.

Pythagoras on January 23, 2016 at 1:51 PM

Bloomberg is little more that Hillary Clinton with lots of money.

He is a successful businessman which would take some of the wind out of Trump’s sails.

On the other hand Bloomberg is a ultra liberal and would also be little more than a third Obama term. In today’s economy, I think that would be a hard sell.

I guess I’d have to go out and stockpile more cases of popcorn in my garage. This is getting expensive and it’s not even the end of January.

BMF on January 23, 2016 at 1:52 PM

It shows more clearly than anything that TDS sufferers still have not one single, solitary clue why conservatives support Trump, even after being told a thousand times.

LMFAO ….. another “severly” conservative telling us why he is voting for a NYC liberal and wondering why no real conservative is buying the BS. Let me quess, is Lindsey Grahman Plan B after Trump is exposed as a fraud.

David in ATL on January 23, 2016 at 1:58 PM

If Bernie becomes president, it will cost bloomberg more than a million bucks.

Valiant on January 23, 2016 at 2:01 PM

Pythagoras on January 23, 2016 at 1:51 PM

Maybe, but only if it’s not DT or TC. On the 2nd ballot, Ryan might vote himself in.
I wish Bloomie would stay in Bermuda and play golf every day.

Oh, and it’s Butch Otter, R ID gov. They love him because he didn’t back down from the wolf huggers.

Kissmygrits on January 23, 2016 at 2:02 PM

Trump supporters: you guys just dont get it! You don’t understand Trump and why he is so popular! You’ll never understand because you are all the establishment and you aren’t capable of grasping the awesome appeal!
Just like teens think parents just don’t understand. They do. They just think it’s stupid to be making choices based on personality cults and appeals to emotion.

Malachi45 on January 23, 2016 at 2:09 PM

Who on earth would vote for him????

chai on January 23, 2016 at 2:17 PM

Bloomberg stands as much a chance as Sanders. Let him split their votes.

GarandFan on January 23, 2016 at 2:26 PM

Maybe Tom Keene for Vice President and Vonnie Quinn to be White House spokeswoman (she’s hot!)

If Bernie becomes president, it will cost bloomberg more than a million bucks.

Valiant on January 23, 2016 at 2:01 PM

Maybe, but I have a feeling that most of Bloomy’s wealth is socked away somewhere safe.

Dr. ZhivBlago on January 23, 2016 at 2:32 PM

Run Bloomie, Run!

Tater Salad needs someone he can vote for!

LegendHasIt on January 23, 2016 at 2:36 PM

Who on earth would vote for him????

chai on January 23, 2016 at 2:17 PM

The same morons who elected him 3 times. The same morons who elected Di Blasio-Willhelm.

Shay on January 23, 2016 at 2:38 PM

I doubt he runs but this could be great news

Maybe we could win New York 35%-33%-32%

Unlikely but maybe…

Rick Perrys Parakeet on January 23, 2016 at 2:51 PM

LMFAO ….. another “severly” conservative telling us why he is voting for a NYC liberal and wondering why no real conservative is buying the BS. Let me quess, is Lindsey Grahman Plan B after Trump is exposed as a fraud.

David in ATL on January 23, 2016 at 1:58 PM

See, another TDS example. You are free to google my comments on HotAir and see just how “liberal” I am.

Why are you so unwilling to accept the fact that other conservatives- many of whom are probably far to the right of you– have rational reasons to vote for someone you don’t care for?

I, the insane cultist fake conservative howler monkey, am happy to allow you to vote for whatever candidate toots your horn and accept that you have your reasons, but YOU are absolutely incapable of the same.

I am not voting for Trump because he has what you and Cruz say are “New York values”, but in spite of them. He has significant flaws, which I acknowledge, but I and many others feel pale in comparison to the job he is capable of doing for this country.

It’s your own failure that prevents you from acknowledging my pursuit of rationality in my choice of candidate. I may be wrong, but by God I’m not here insulting and demeaning you and sniggering about how I’m the true conservative and you’re NOT. Am I?

Dolce Far Niente on January 23, 2016 at 2:56 PM

Independent? Ooh I like it! You just do that nanny boy.

Oxymoron on January 23, 2016 at 3:09 PM

He’ll never make it.

It’s his pipsqueak voice. He could get away with it in New York but not nationally.

Plus he’s got too much baggage. Known baggage. Gun control Baggage, nanny state baggage and micro manager baggage.

We’d laugh him off the stage. He’s changed parties more than most people change their Doctor.

It would so obvious he’s an opportunist.

jake1246 on January 23, 2016 at 3:40 PM

Republicans think NewYorkValues is the same if not better than the rest of the US, so Bloomberg could take a bunch of Trumps votes.

portlandon on January 23, 2016 at 4:01 PM

Republicans think NewYorkValues is the same if not better than the rest of the US, so Bloomberg could take a bunch of Trumps votes.
portlandon on January 23, 2016 at 4:01 PM

I’m trying to understand the logic of that statement.
A little help please?

LegendHasIt on January 23, 2016 at 4:05 PM

portlandon on January 23, 2016 at 4:01 PM

One who is saying the things people want to hear…

The other saying all the things people don’t want to hear…

No choice at all.

Barred on January 23, 2016 at 4:56 PM

Bloomberg only got into office pretending to be a Republican with Rudy’s endorsement. He is the reason Bill de Blasio is the mayor now. New Yorkers hated him, and I had his number from day 1.

I remember a campaign staffer approaching me in Bryant Park with a clipboard and telling me how Bloomberg was so well read, often quoted Plato’s Republic, wanted to reform education. I said, “He sounds like a fascist.”

Let him get into the race. Draft Romney and Ryan, too. Trump has solid enough support that he’d win running against 12 losers in the general election, too. You’d never have to invoke the Twelfth Amendment.

ezspirit on January 23, 2016 at 6:15 PM

Bloomberg is probably the most establishment “independent” you could find. He is the “uniparty” candidate.

He’s almost as unlikeable as Hillary. Unashamedly NE elitist. Wall street insider. Certifiably insane on the diet of citizens. Reliably clueless on guns. Bears facial resemblance to Carly. Was only elected mayor on the coattails of Giuliani.

Probably won’t make a difference to the outcome because he’s such an unattractive package who would perform lower than Jeb. But by all means, let’s give it a try.

virgo on January 23, 2016 at 9:00 PM

I would imagine that this is a fallback for the ¡Jeb!/Rubio etc. donors if neither of them or Hillary makes it through.

Also, if for some reason Bloomberg was leading in the polls on the GOP side right now, none of those getting all worked about being “conservative” now would be attacking him.

Redstone on January 23, 2016 at 12:16 PM

Amen to that.

NJ Red on January 23, 2016 at 10:08 PM

Christie is done.

He failed in his Gov. duties :(

Rubio betrayed the FL people and deserves to be a lowly shyster or lobbyist.

Schadenfreude on January 23, 2016 at 12:32 PM

Christie has vetoed tons of liberal NJ politicians’ bills…one after the other…that being said, I would not vote for him for President ever. What I’m worried about is we in NJ are going to get another Corzine when Christie’s term is up. He’s good in NJ, not Washington.
But NJ is going to elect a tax raising, global warming, union guy and I’m getting screwed right before my retirement. That makes Christie as governor look good to me. It is also going to make me have to leave my state in a few years. There’s no winning here.

NJ Red on January 23, 2016 at 10:27 PM

I dont think bloomberg would steal votes from anyone, personally. his support exists primarily in his own mind. he’s a worse speaker than trump hilary or bernie. and thats saying a lot.

johngalt on January 24, 2016 at 9:13 AM

For the life of me I can’t understand why any Republican would vote for a carnival barker like Trump. Trading the current narcissist (Obama) for another makes no sense. Cruz is unelectable. He comes across as a whiny, unlikeable person. The only conservative that makes sense is Rubio. How he is seen as establishment is beyond me. He fought the party in Florida for his Senate seat. He is smart, capable and electable.

jake22 on January 25, 2016 at 1:33 AM