In other words, Bloomberg is about to transform from a weak, slow-footed presidential candidate into a pure financial force.
If you think about it in that context, Bloomberg’s campaign doesn’t look like such a disaster either. Instead of a giant “product flop,” as HuffPo put it, the effort looks like a beta test for a highly professional paid media and field operation that can now be turned to the task of defeating Trump and electing Democrats to Capitol Hill. Its early results haven’t even been all that bad, really. I mean, Bloomberg was an ex-Rebublican with glaring liabilities on gender (ahem, “Kill it“) and race (stop and frisk) in a party dominated by women and black voters, who also happens to have all the natural charisma of a skink. There is no rational world in which he made sense as the Democratic nominee. Nonetheless, he briefly surged to real contender status on the strength of his ad blitz, and still managed to pull between 13 and 15 percent in several Super Tuesday states, often outperforming Warren herself. Ultimately, his campaign showed that money can’t buy a truly hopeless candidate a presidential nomination. But it can buy something.
The upside of having Bloomberg as the Democratic party’s Obi Wan is that it would mean nearly limitless resources for candidates in key races. The $600 million he spent on this race will not even put a dent in his fortune. He could plausibly double, triple, or quintuple that spending for the general election and end up richer by the end of the year if the financial markets bounce back enough. And there’s no reason to think he’d spare expenses. We’re talking about an aging plutocrat who now wants to fix his wounded pride by taking down the president of the United States.