Michael Bloomberg doesn’t have time to mess around in Iowa, New Hampshire or any of the other early voting states. He’s fishing in the big pond, banking on some of the largest delegate pools available on Super Tuesday. And he’s starting with the biggest jackpot of all… California. Rather than hanging out in Hollywood where most of the major fundraising takes place, the former Big Apple mayor headed to the much smaller city of Stockton to pick up the endorsement of their young, “revolutionary” mayor, Michael Tubbs. (Sacramento Bee)
Democratic presidential candidate and former mayor of New York Michael Bloomberg took his campaign to Stockton Wednesday morning as part of his first trip to California.
While there, he picked up an endorsement from Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs and released several new proposals to fight poverty. During a private event at Trail Coffee Roasters in Downtown Stockton, Bloomberg promised to launch a ‘war on poverty.”
“As president, my job will be to move all of America ahead and that includes committing our country to new and innovative ways to combat poverty,” he said. “There has to be a war on poverty. A successful one, an innovative one, and one that engages local leaders like Mayor Tubbs.”
Going to Stockton was an unconventional, but cagey move on Bloomberg’s part. Any Democrat can show up in Los Angeles and collect money, but cash isn’t what Bloomberg needs. He’s got plenty in the bank, but he’s getting a late start in this race and badly needs to build some grassroots support, particularly with black and Latino voters.
That makes Stockton a solid choice. You may recall that Mayor Michael Tubbs made national headlines last year when he started a guaranteed basic income pilot program. Unlike most Democrats who talk about “free stuff” for the masses, Tubbs is literally giving away free cash to people, including those who are “unable or unwilling to work.” The early results of the program were rather dubious in terms of its efficacy, but it still made him popular in economically disadvantaged areas.
Tubbs instituted a second program that offers free money as an incentive for people to not commit violent crimes. Sadly, the crime rate remains stubbornly stagnant.
All of this adds up to an endorsement that Bloomberg might be able to parlay into an advantage in California. And he was clearly playing to Tubbs’ base when he announced that he would be firing up a “war on poverty” as President. That’s going to sell very well among minority voters, an area where Joe Biden is currently lapping the field.
But Bloomberg will still be open to a lot of criticism on the left coast. One of the (many) reasons Kamala Harris’ campaign imploded, including in her home state, was her “tough on crime” record as District Attorney. How long will it be before voters are being reminded of Bloomberg’s broken windows, stop and frisk law enforcement history as Mayor of New York City?
He was very effective as mayor in terms of law enforcement, shepherding in the lowest crime rate New York had seen in generations. But he’s also been widely criticized on the left for his supposedly “racist” policies. (He recently went out and apologized for keeping the crime rates so low.) If Bloomberg suddenly starts gaining traction in California and is seen as a threat to run the board on Super Tuesday, you can expect to start hearing the phrase “stop and frisk” on the lips of Biden, Warren and Sanders when they visit the Golden State. Nobody wants to let California’s massive pool of delegates slip away if they can help it.