But I don’t think Bloomberg’s candidacy was a mistake or unwise. He’s worth more than $50 billion — so it’s not clear the $400 million he spent on television commercials or the other money he poured into his campaign matters much to him. He got to go on stage in the debates and attack Sanders and Warren. We don’t know if that boosted Biden, but it likely didn’t hurt him. With Biden now in a much stronger position than when Bloomberg entered the race, you could argue that Bloomberg provided what he and other more center-left figures wanted — to steer the race towards a more moderate nominee. The more extreme back-up plan — nominate Bloomberg — ended up not being needed. My guess is that Bloomberg would have preferred to be the candidate instead of Biden but knew that was a fairly unlikely outcome, since he is a one-time Republican who entered the race in late November.

So Bloomberg, who has flirted with running for president since 2008, can now go back to his previous political role: pumping his billions into a variety of liberal causes. He hired people in numerous states for his presidential campaign, and his employees were reportedly told that they would have jobs through November. It’s not clear if Bloomberg will end up retaining these staffers for some kind of operation to boost Biden against Sanders and Warren in the primary, have his team start focusing now on the general election against Trump or simply wind down his apparatus. But I expect him to stay out of the primary and focus on Trump.