Michael Bloomberg can buy popularity, but can he buy the presidency?

The response from Democratic operatives and officials around the country is laughter. And when they’re not laughing, they’re just confused. One compared imagining the way Bloomberg would be greeted in a primary field to the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan.

But, as has happened throughout Bloomberg’s political career, his money—already topping $100 million this cycle, making him by far the biggest Democratic donor in 2018 (though still under the $109 million he spent in just the five boroughs on his own campaign for a third term)—has bought a lot of silence.

“I don’t want to say anything negative about him, because I want him to come and spend a lot of fucking money here for the next four weeks,” said one top Democrat in a key state.

“I give him a lot of credit for what he’s done on guns. He’s personally put a lot of money into it (and has been doing so for a while now). So I’m not going to slam the guy publicly, even if my honest assessment is that he has little chance of winning,” texted a Democratic congressman, who added, “Seeing him campaigning in Iowa will be funny and fascinating.”