But combined, these actually illustrate the sense underpinning how he’s running his campaign. Ask yourself: What happens if Bloomberg sets foot on the debate stage? The answer is clear: He gets attacked by Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders for being a billionaire, he gets attacked by Kamala Harris and Joe Biden for having been a Republican, and he gets attacked by everyone for his stop-and-frisk policing policy.
Yes, most candidates participate in the debates, but that is because they need the exposure. Bloomberg won’t. Let’s say that the debates are worth $20 million in free media. To Bloomberg, that is pocket change. He is better off having the airwaves to himself in California to define his candidacy rather than allowing Tulsi Gabbard to take potshots at him on the debate stage.
What about the wisdom of skipping Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina? It is true that Rudy Giuliani and Jerry Brown tried similar strategies and failed, but the failure of a few candidates to exercise a strategy doesn’t mean that it can’t work. In particular, none of these candidates were independently wealthy; shutting off the money spigot was a constant concern. It is not one for Bloomberg.