There seems to be a creeping pathos among the political commentariat these days as one poll after another indicates that no matter how many rotten eggs you throw at Donald Trump he somehow continues to turn them into delicious omelets which he serves up to the faithful. Over the course of the summer this was viewed as a primarily (pun intended) Republican problem. Democrat supporters were content to leave it to the GOP as to how they should clean up their own house and evict the unwelcome guest. But now even the most die-hard are forced to acknowledge that not only might Trump be the nominee, but he could actually beat Hillary Clinton. Michael Wolff, writing for USA Today, has clearly arrived at this juncture ahead of many of his peers and he’s got a suggestion for the DNC… dump Hillary and replace her with somebody who could fight The Donald on his own turf.
For the Democrats, this ought to signal a new sort of existential political imperative: If they don’t transform themselves, Donald Trump could actually become president. Even if that chance seems less than likely, it is a possibility that, one can only hope, has set off alarms…
If Trump successfully makes the race about worldly accomplishment, management prowess, personal authenticity, business smarts, lack of political pretense and rejection of the political class, then the Democrats have a more logical Trump slayer: Michael Bloomberg.
Right-winger and Fox News owner Rupert Murdoch, who has extraordinary political antennae and a curious antipathy to Donald Trump, trumpets Bloomberg — even presumably as a Democrat and even with his assortment of left-leaning positions — in yet another example of the year’s remarkable, if not bizarre, political fluidity.
It might take a true New York plutocrat to beat a populist one.
But wait, I can hear you saying. Bloomberg is a Republican, isn’t he? The Democrats won’t support him.
Not so fast there, slick. Bloomberg was a registered Democrat for his entire adult life until he ran for Mayor of the Big Apple in 2001 when he switched parties because there wasn’t an opening on his traditional team. By the time he got ready to run for this third term he jettisoned the GOP and ran as an independent. The guy treats political parties the same way most of us deal with our socks.(Sound familiar?)
Would the Democrats take him back after all this time, though? Let’s look at some of his positions on the issues of the day:
Granted, he’s got a history of being a “tough on crime” guy who supports the police and scraps with the current mayor about lax policing. He’s also a free trader and likes balanced budgets, so he’s not a perfect fit. But let’s just admit that Trump isn’t a perfect fit for conservatives either if you look at his history on the issues. And taking the argument from Wolff’s perspective, the Democrats shouldn’t be looking for a standard liberal to beat The Donald anyway… they need someone who can tap into some of those armies of unexpected, non-traditional voters that Trump is bringing out of the woodwork. So rather than seeing how properly he matches up with Elizabeth Warren, the DNC should be considering how well he matches up against this new threat.
One of Trump’s biggest calling cards is success and vast wealth, often citing how he’s built up his brand to be worth ten billion or so. That’s chump change to Bloomberg. At last count he’s worth more than $35B and is the 13th richest person in the world. He’s also not a “loser” (as Trump loves to say) in the electoral ring and he clearly has that inner desire for power. When he runs he wins. And he’s started rumors about a presidential bid a couple of times already.
Maybe Wolff isn’t so crazy after all. Bloomberg is, at least on paper, the Anti-Trump. And he’s not shy about raising his voice, either. Of course, many Democrats would be despondent about the race coming down to two “rich old white guys” again, but if the alternative is President Trump maybe they should think about it. If nothing else it would make for one hell of a general election battle.