A surging candidate in the 2020 Democratic primaries is somebody that hasn’t even been on the ballot yet. His name is Michael Bloomberg and he’s just like Donald Trump.
Michael Bloomberg is a 78-year-old businessman that is best known to Americans as a former Mayor of New York. He is also the CEO of financial, software, data, and media company, Bloomberg. With a net worth of $61.8 billion, Bloomberg is the ninth-richest person in the United States and, given his political experience, you’d think he stands a pretty good chance to compete with Donald Trump on his own terms. And he can. In fact, Trump himself has been taking on Bloomberg on Twitter for weeks now and, with the likes of Elizabeth Warren and Joe Biden fading in the race for The Oval Office, Bloomberg is starting to gather momentum as a centrist candidate, competing with Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar, as well as the progressive Bernie Sanders, who has become the leading contender in the primaries.
At this point, Sanders is behind Buttigieg, with one less delegate than the former South Bend mayor, who has 22. Biden (6) seems to have fallen behind, but it’s worth noting that he has a lot of support among minorities, because he served as Vice President under Barrack Obama. The first two states in the Primaries, Iowa and New Hampshire are very white states and Biden will be hoping to catch up later in the race, as voters take to the booths in more diverse parts of the country. For the same reason, you can expect Buttigieg to see a significant drop-off. Not to mention, his victory in the Iowa caucus is still under scrutiny with re-canvasing set to take place after the election results were botched when the election’s app crashed. Sanders won the popular vote in the first state of the primary and won New Hampshire and he’s a particularly popular candidate among minorities. Iowa and New Hampshire were Buttigieg’s chance to springboard his campaign, but he’s very unpopular among minorities and will inevitably drop off from here. Real Clear Politics poling data find Sanders to be leading in both Navada and California by 14 and 13.5 points, respectively, while he also has a 10 point lead nationally. Biden is leading by 6.5 and 5.3 points respectively in North Carolina and Texas, respectively. Buttigieg is either last or second last among the five polled candidates everywhere else (except for Navada, where he’s third). Klobuchar and Warren occupy the other spots in between. The numbers are clear, Bernie Sanders is running away with the race. A 10 point lead, nationally, is remarkable in what has developed into a five-horse race for now…
Step in Michael Bloomberg. Bloomberg has decided to sit out of the early primaries and will only be entering the Race on Super Tuesday, where Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, and Virginia will all hold their presidential primaries on that date. Since announcing his entry into the race, Bloomberg has rather focused on buying exposure through the media, spending $320 million on TV adverts alone so far. He’s also been spending money on other measures like hiring social media influencers to promote his campaign. In effect, he’s buying his way to the presidency and it’s working. Mainstream media has been singing his praises as a candidate with the resources to compete with Donald Trump and, as a businessman, a man that can manage the nation’s economy. To clarify Bloomberg’s political positions, bear in mind that he was a lifelong Democrat up until 2001, when he switched to the Republican Party right before he became the Mayor of New York. From 2007 to 2018 he was registered as an independent and has since been a Democrat. His policy positions, in essence, are conservative and he’s been an advocate for racist laws like “Stop and Frisk” as was seen in a recently unearthed 2015 video where he supported police departments using these practices on young black men. He’s a laissez-faire capitalist and is an advocate for privatising the healthcare system entirely and is opposed to entitlements such as social security. His policy positions are, in fact, remarkably similar to those of Donald Trump.
One of the things that served as a catalyst for Trump’s 2016 election was all of the free media that he got. In 2019, Fox News was the top-rated cable network averaging 2.5 million viewers. Ever since Trump first announce that he was running for office, five years ago, he has been the number one topic of conversation on the network and everywhere else. He’s been a media goldmine across networks, publications and other platforms of all political persuasions. He’s been a media juggernaut and it helped him gain a lot of attention and popularity. Bloomberg isn’t as brazen as Trump – not at all. But he is able to buy attention and a lot of it. Like Trump, he’s using money and power and media channels to get his name and his message out there. The positive coverage is certainly there in the mainstream media and the only outlets reporting extensively on Bloomberg’s sexual harassment allegations are independent media producers. As you can see, there’s a pattern emerging…
So will he make it into the White House? Bernie Sanders is doing the complete opposite of what Bloomberg’s doing, with the Vermont Senator not accepting any corporate donars or using his personal wealth to fund his campaign. Rather he’s accepting “small-dollar” donations, with a reported figure of $25 million raised in January 2020 alone. It came from more than 1.3 million donations from more than 648,000 people. Sanders is basically crowdfunding his campaign and his message resonates far and wide, without the influence of any single sponsor other than the American people. It’s a grassroots campaign that has the potential to eliminate the influence that money and greed have on the American political system. Sanders policies are especially popular, especially among millennials (which is now the biggest voting age group in America). However, Bloomberg has now pulled an ace out of his sleeve in an effort to discredit the most popular politician in America by dubbing Donald Trump as “Bernie’s New Bro”.
It all stems from a series of Tweets from Trump, who appeared to come to Senator Sanders’ defence in one of his tirades against Bloomberg.
Why is Trump jumping to Bernie’s defence? Is it because he’d rather run against him? Quite the contrary. He’d rather run against Bloomberg and beat him at the game of dollars and corruption, like he did with Hillary Clinton. Even Trump knows how difficult it is going to be to defeat Sanders on messaging, populism and the sheer ability to inspire people to go out and vote. So, by seemingly allying with Sanders, he knows that Democrats will be strictly opposed to voting for Sanders and handing him the nomination, because Democrats hate Trump so much. And Bloomberg’s response and attack on Sanders seems to reflect his intention to position Sanders as a Trump ally.
To which, the Sanders campaign decided to Tweet out, not with a statement, but with a picture:
Of course Michael Bloomberg and Donald Trump have rubbed shoulders more than a couple of times. They’re both new York billionaires and, besides playing golf together, they have been seen together on many occasions in the past.
Bernie Sanders, who is also from New York and is roughly the same age as them has a 40-year-old political record, running as an Independent, an unknown in a tiny state where he has not only supported the same policies that he does today and has been found to be on the right side of history every time. He doesn’t rub shoulders with billionaires but rather comes from a working class home. He has more experience, his record has been consistent and he’s uncorruptable. They’ve got nothing on him, so they are resorting to twisting the media narrative to deter voters from the most powerful political movement of the 21st century, which us defined by Sanders’ campaign slogan “Not me. Us.“
Michael Bloomberg is just a better mannered version of Donald Trump. They’re both conservative billionaires that can manipulate political apparatuses with their infinite resources. They will play every dirty trick in the book to win their place in The White House and to create an America that is even more comfortable for their billionaire kin. However, they are up against a candidate that is immovable, immune to attack and overwhelmingly popular. This will be the story of the 2020 Presidential campaign.