Michael Bloomberg announced that he was running for president of the United States on November 24, 2019. He is a former three-term New York City mayor.
Bloomberg was previously considered a possible 2016 presidential candidate.
In 2019, Bloomberg had an estimated net worth of $52 billion. In the late 1980s, Bloomberg developed computer terminals with real-time financial information and several media outlets.
After graduating with an MBA from Harvard, Michael Bloomberg began working on Wall Street with the investment firm Salomon Brothers in 1966. He made partner with the firm in 1972 and became the head of equity trading and sales in 1976. In 1979, he transferred to the company's information systems division and was in charge of implementing computer technology in the firm's practice. In 1981, the company restructured and Bloomberg left with a severance package. He used the money to start Bloomberg LP, a service "that gave investors real-time access to Treasury bond prices." Bloomberg LP operates news services around the world, including Bloomberg Professional Services and Bloomberg Businessweek.
Michael Bloomberg ran for Mayor of New York City three times as a Republican. He briefly switched to become independent in 2007 but ran as a Republican for his final mayoral race in 2009. When he left office in 2013, his legacy as mayor was contested. The BBC reported that Bloomberg had "tried to turn the city into a laboratory for civic renewal and reform." They went on to say, "New York has changed in other ways, too, whether it is in the proliferation of bike lanes, the introduction of a bike sharing scheme, or the redevelopment of large swathes of the city. Some 40,000 new buildings have been constructed since he took office. A third of the city has been "re-zoned," easing the path for developers."
NPR noted that Bloomberg was also seen as "tone-deaf to people who were struggling." NPR noted, "At the same time that Bloomberg was celebrated for bike paths, smoking bans and glittering skyscrapers, hundreds of thousands of young minorities were experiencing a very different city at the hands of New York's police. Under the "stop and frisk" policy, they could be stopped and searched without a warrant."
In assessing his time as mayor, The New York Times emphasized that Bloomberg "ran New York City efficiently and, ultimately, extremely well." The paper noted, "His lust for data and streamlining left various systems and operations undeniably improved."
After his time as mayor, Bloomberg returned to working as the head of Bloomberg LP and began Bloomberg Philanthropies, an organization that put all of his philanthropic work together. The group focuses its giving in the areas of environment, public health, education, arts, government innovation and special "founders projects." According to The Chronicle of Philanthropy, for Bloomberg "data and measuring results are key."
Much of the philanthropic work is focused on advancing the use of data and technology in cities and city government. Bloomberg Philanthropies runs Global Cities, Inc., which aims "to connect global cities through an information-sharing network that provides meaningful forums for exchanging best practices on current issues impacting cities." In 2015, the organization began a "What Works Cities" initiative. The program offered $42 million in grant money to help 100 American cities develop stronger strategies for developing and using data. According to CNN, the program sent in outside groups to assess the city's use of data, requiring that the city "[open] up everything from foreclosure rates and public transit performance to contract award amounts and employee headcount."
An election for president of the United States will be held on November 3, 2020. Bloomberg announced that he was running for president on November 24, 2019.
On January 23, 2016, The New York Times reported that Bloomberg was considering a possible independent presidential run and reportedly would have been willing to spend $1 billion of his own money on a campaign. However, on March 7, 2016, he announced that he would not be a candidate. In an editorial for the media company that bears his name, the former New York City mayor wrote:
|“||Over the last several months, many Americans have urged me to run for president as an independent, and some who don’t like the current candidates have said it is my patriotic duty to do so. I appreciate their appeals, and I have given the question serious consideration. The deadline to answer it is now, because of ballot access requirements.||”|
This was not the first time Bloomberg had considered an independent presidential campaign. In 2008, he was reportedly a possible centrist candidate with the potential to bring Democrats and Republicans together, but he ruled out a run after "Super Tuesday," when nearly two dozen states held caucuses or primaries. He announced his decision not to run in 2008 in an op-ed in the New York Times.
Bloomberg left the Republican Party in 2007 when he was considering an independent 2008 presidential campaign; however, he ran for mayor as a Republican in 2009. New York City held a mayoral general election on November 3, 2009. A primary election took place on September 15. Michael Bloomberg (R) was elected to a third term, defeating William C. Thompson Jr. (D), Billy Talen (G), Stephen Christopher, Francisca Villar, Dan Fein, Jimmy McMillan, Joseph Dobrian (L) and numerous write-in candidates.
Mayor of New York City. General Election, 2009
|Democratic||William C. Thompson Jr.||41.4%||118,651|
|Source: Board of Elections in the City of New York - General Election Results|
New York City held a mayoral general election on November 8, 2005. A primary election took place on September 13. Michael Bloomberg (R) was elected mayor for a second time. He defeated Fernando Ferrer (D), Thomas V. Ognibene, Anthony Gronowicz (G), Jimmy McMillan, Audrey Silk (L), Martin Koppel, Seth A. Blum and numerous write-in candidates.
Mayor of New York City, General Election, 2005
|Conservative||Thomas V. Ognibene||1.1%||14,630|
|Other||Seth A. Blum||0.1%||1,176|
|Source: Board of Elections in the City of New York - General Election Results|
Bloomberg, a longtime Democrat, switched to the Republican Party to run for mayor in 2001. New York City held a mayoral general election on November 6, 2001. The primary election was held on September 25. Michael Bloomberg (R) was elected to his first term, defeating Mark Green (D), Julia Willebrand (G), Terrance M. Gray, Alan G. Hevesi, Kenneth B. Golding, Bernard H. Goetz, Kenny Kramer (L), Thomas K. Leighton and all write-in candidates. A Democratic Party run-off primary election took place on October 22, 2001. Mark Green defeated Fernando Ferrer for the Democratic nomination.
Mayor of New York City, General Election, 2001
|Conservative||Terrance M. Gray||0.2%||3,577|
|Other||Alan G. Hevesi||0.7%||10,331|
|Other||Kenneth B. Golding||0%||474|
|Other||Bernard H. Goetz||0.1%||1,049|
|Other||Thomas K. Leighton||0.2%||2,563|
|Source: Board of Elections in the City of New York - General Election Results|
Would you commit to the full withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of your first term, or would you require certain conditions be met before doing so?
- This war must come to an end. But it is crucial that we end it in a wise, thoughtful and deliberative way. As mayor of New York, I led the city’s recovery from the 9/11 attacks, which originated in Afghanistan, and I am determined to prevent terrorists from striking America again. As president, I will encourage negotiations between the Taliban and the Afghan government, in coordination with other nations in the region whose support will be critical if any peace deal is to survive. Following a responsible drawdown of the U.S. troop presence, we should leave a residual force in the country for intelligence-gathering and counterterrorism purposes, to prevent Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for Al Qaeda and ISIS. America also has a moral obligation to stand by those who fought alongside U.S. forces and to continue to provide crucial development and security assistance to the Afghan government. After expending so many lives there, we should not broker a peace only to lose it from neglect.
Under what circumstances, if any, would you support the United States joining the Comprehensive and Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTPP), formerly the Trans-Pacific Partnership?
- The Obama administration was right to pursue the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and President Trump was wrong to walk away from the deal. The pact as negotiated certainly had flaws, but under U.S. leadership these problems could have been fixed. By withdrawing from an agreement with 11 countries – nations that account for more than 40% of U.S. exports – the current administration has undermined America’s competitiveness, diminished its broader influence in the region and squandered an opportunity to lead the world toward a new global standard for trade rules.
As president, I will commit to bring the U.S. into a new and improved TPP that, among other things, would do more to protect American intellectual property, enforce tougher labor and environmental standards in the other member countries, and provide clear benefits for American workers. The ultimate goal of any trade deal is to improve the U.S. economy and the incomes of Americans. President Trump’s tariff war with China has instead cost American farmers and workers billions, without altering unfair Chinese trade practices. As a condition of joining, I’d insist on strong new measures to protect workers from the costs of economic disruption, whether caused by trade, automation or other kinds of innovation. These would include not just a bigger and more effective Trade Adjustment Assistance (TAA) program, but a range of new development initiatives to support affected workers and their communities, encompassing investment incentives, place-based wage subsidies, help with training and retraining, and more.
A U.S.-led TPP would force China to raise its own standards to avoid being left out and put at a disadvantage. This shift would do more to protect American workers and farmers than bluster and tariffs.
How, if at all, should China’s treatment of the Uighurs and the situation in Hong Kong affect broader U.S. policy toward China?
- The U.S. can and must continue to work with China on global problems where cooperation between the world’s two most powerful nations is crucial – the most urgent being climate change. But the way in which protesters in Hong Kong have looked to the U.S. for support as they demand greater accountability from their leaders is a reminder that our values matter. While we shouldn’t seek out a new Cold War with China, we should always defend those values at home and abroad, instead of trading them for a photo op.
I support legislation that would impose sanctions on Chinese officials for human rights violations in both Hong Kong and Xinjiang. China is not a democracy, does not have democratic institutions and too frequently abuses the rights of its citizens. If the country wants to be accepted as a global leader, it needs to treat all its people, especially those in areas such as Hong Kong and Xinjiang that have been promised a degree of autonomy, with greater dignity and respect.
I also believe that the best way for the U.S. to handle the rise of China is to strengthen our alliances in Asia and make the domestic investments necessary to ensure our businesses and workers have the tools they need to out-innovate and out-compete the Chinese. The stronger we are at home, the stronger and more appealing our message will be abroad.
Would you rejoin the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA)? What changes to the existing agreement, if any, would you require before agreeing to rejoin the accord?
- The United States will not allow Iran to develop or acquire nuclear weapons. I was initially against the Iran deal, but it was a mistake for President Trump to unilaterally walk away from it. While the agreement was not perfect — it did not address Iran’s ballistic-missile program, and it gave the regime political cover to step up its aggression in the region — the U.S. had an obligation to keep its word once the agreement was in place. The U.S. withdrawal has allowed Iran to abandon its own obligations under the deal, and has left the world with few tools to stop it.
The first thing to do is reestablish the coalition that realized the danger of Iran marching toward a nuclear weapon. Collective pressure will be needed to change Iran’s behavior. This should be the starting point for the use of diplomacy. We should also be prepared to employ the leverage that sanctions have provided.
Next, Iran must come back into compliance with the JCPOA requirements. That will require addressing the advances it is likely to make between now and next year—advances that could shrink its breakout time. After rejoining, in order for any new arrangement to be sustainable, we must also be ready to address other inadequacies in the deal, which include the need to extend fast-approaching sunset clauses, curtail Iran’s ballistic missiles, end its destabilizing regional activities and institute more intrusive monitoring.
Would you sign an agreement with North Korea that entailed partial sanctions relief in exchange for some dismantling of its nuclear weapons program but not full denuclearization?
- Yes. The North may already possess as many as 20 nuclear weapons and could have 100 within five to 10 years. Total denuclearization should remain our ultimate goal. But we must also be realistic. Freezing North Korea’s stockpile and preventing Kim Jong-Un from developing the capacity to target the U.S. with a nuclear weapon must be our top priorities. I would therefore pursue an interim agreement to verifiably halt the North’s production of nuclear weapons and improvements to its missile program, in exchange for some sanctions relief, which will be calibrated carefully against Pyongyang’s actual commitments. The scope of U.S. sanctions on North Korea should be tied to the country’s behavior – on human rights, on cyber-crime and, most importantly, on its expanding nuclear and ballistic missile programs. If that behavior changes, I will adjust U.S. policies accordingly.
Unlike President Trump, I would conduct negotiations in coordination with Japan and South Korea, our Asian allies, as well as China and Russia, and handle them through quiet, sustained and firm diplomacy – not seat-of-the-pants summits designed for the cameras. And I would maintain U.S. military readiness to defend our allies and the U.S. homeland against the North Korean threat until and unless a truly comprehensive peace deal is reached.
What, if any, steps would you take to counter Russian aggression against Ukraine?
- I favor U.S. efforts to provide defensive military weapons to Ukraine, which sits on the frontline of Russia’s efforts to undermine the post-WWII order in Europe. President Trump’s behavior toward Ukraine’s president has been unacceptable. The United States and its European allies need to bolster Ukraine’s independence through economic and security assistance, while continuing to encourage Kiev to make the necessary reforms to tackle corruption and strengthen the rule of law. A free and stable Ukraine should be a bridge between Europe and Russia.
President Trump has undermined American security by embracing President Vladimir Putin of Russia — a leader whose government meddled in U.S. elections and has been working as a dangerous and destabilizing force around the world. As president, I will work with Congress, our allies and the world community to stand against Russia’s aggression. At the same time, the U.S. should remain open to working with Russia on issues of mutual interest — including arms control and nuclear proliferation. The Russian people are not synonymous with their leader.
Given the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi and Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the civil war in Yemen, what changes, if any, would you make to U.S. policy toward Saudi Arabia?
- The U.S.-Saudi relationship remains critical both to stability in the Middle East and to global energy markets. The U.S. should work with the Saudis to counter Iran’s hegemonic behavior in the region, manage reasonable oil prices and reinvigorate the Israeli-Palestinian peace process. But we should not give Riyadh a blank check as President Trump has done. I would make it clear in public and private that the Saudi government must work to end the human rights crisis in Yemen and improve its own human rights record, including the way it treats women. The extra-judicial killing of any journalist, let alone a permanent U.S. resident employed by a major American news organization, is abhorrent and runs counter to core American values. The assault on Khashoggi was an assault on our democratic principles and we have to stand up so the rest of the world sees that no financial or strategic relationship justifies such an action.
Do you support a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and, if so, how would you go about trying to achieve it?
- Israel is the closest and most reliable U.S. ally in the Middle East, as it has been for more than half a century. Our diplomatic, military and intelligence agencies work closely with their Israeli counterparts to promote the security of both countries. I believe that America’s ability to defend its interests in the Middle East depends on Israel. Guaranteeing the survival of a democratic, Jewish state in the Holy Land has been a solemn obligation of the United States for 70 years. Our commitment to Israel’s security, prosperity and democracy is based on shared values, not just common interests — and I will ensure that commitment remains unshakeable.
At the same time, any enduring peace must have as its foundation two states for two peoples — one Jewish and one Palestinian. Reaching such a resolution to the conflict with the Palestinians is the best way for Israel to remain a prosperous, secure and stable Jewish democracy. The issue of Israeli settlements on the West Bank will have to be part of any eventual peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. Until they reach that agreement, both sides should avoid unilateral preemptive actions that make peace less likely. But my bedrock commitment would be that any two-state solution ensures Israel’s security.
I believe that the U.S. must continue to stand for a durable resolution to the conflict that provides justice, democracy and opportunity to the Palestinians. But the U.S. cannot want peace more than the parties themselves. The Palestinian people deserve leadership that prioritizes basic services, sanitation and economic opportunity. Terrorist attacks against Israel emanating from Gaza are appalling and not in the interests of the majority of Gazans, who are enduring a humanitarian crisis. In the meantime, I support continued international assistance to help the Palestinian Authority improve technology, infrastructure, education and entrepreneurship for law-abiding citizens.
What, if any, additional steps should the United States take to remove Nicolás Maduro from power in Venezuela?
- Once the most prosperous and developed democracy in Latin America, with the world’s largest proven oil reserves, Venezuela is a case study in how despotism can lead a country to ruin — and destabilize an entire region in the process. Venezuelans have experienced a 56% loss in GDP and a greater than 1 million percent rise in annual inflation. They face extreme shortages of food and medicine and have been deprived of basic human rights. More than 4 million people have fled the country, creating Latin America’s largest humanitarian crisis.
I believe that the U.S. must remain steadfast in supporting the restoration of Venezuela’s democracy under interim president and opposition leader Juan Guaido. This is the consensus of a majority of our North American, Latin American and European allies. I also believe that we should put forward a vision of what a free and democratic Venezuela would look like and what kind of support it can expect from the U.S. once the government of Nicolas Maduro falls. In the meantime, the U.S. should expand assistance to the Latin American countries that are doing their best to cope with the flow of Venezuelan refugees.
By 2050, Africa will account for 25 percent of the world’s population according to projections by the United Nations. What are the implications of this demographic change for the United States, and how should we adjust our policies to anticipate them?
- A stable and prosperous world depends on a stable and prosperous Africa. I believe that the U.S. must do much more to secure the future of a continent that is home to 1.3 billion people and some of the world’s fastest-growing economies, and with which Americans share deep and complex bonds of history, culture, and common ancestry. Through my foundation, I’ve championed the promise and development of Africa. I have supported job training, public health, women’s empowerment, and development across the continent. I have also fought to protect Africa’s future by highlighting the profoundly disruptive impact of climate change. As president, I would be a true partner with African nations on the most pressing challenges: climate, security, migration, and economic growth.
How would you discourage the proliferation of coal-fired power plants in developing countries?
- As my first act as president, I will rejoin the Paris Agreement. Then I will lead talks with the top 20 carbon-polluting countries to converge on a goal of cutting emissions in half by 2030 – a goal we can only reach by halting construction of all new coal plants worldwide.
At home, I have already committed $500 million to the Beyond Carbon effort, which has helped close half of U.S. coal-fired power plants and aims to see the rest shut down by 2030. I will bring the same determination to this global effort. I will restrict U.S. financing for coal projects abroad and will work closely with China, the OECD and multilateral development banks to eliminate fossil fuel projects from their overseas financing portfolios as well. My administration will use trade and security agreements to promote the spread of clean energy technologies, and will encourage the G-20 and the Financial Stability Board to develop a task force that would bring financial institutions together with multilateral and national development banks to finance clean energy projects in developing countries. It will also provide technical assistance to countries participating in China’s Belt and Road initiative to ensure that they have clean alternatives to coal-fired power. And I will end fossil fuel subsidies in the U.S. and work to ensure other countries reduce and eventually eliminate theirs as well.
What has been the greatest foreign policy accomplishment of the United States since World War II? What has been the biggest mistake?
- Several presidents could lay claim to the greatest U.S. foreign policy accomplishment since World War II – John F. Kennedy resolving the Cuban Missile Crisis and providing the impetus for the Non-Proliferation Treaty; Richard Nixon launching his opening to China and détente with the Soviet Union; Jimmy Carter brokering the Israel-Egypt Peace Treaty; and George H.W. Bush managing the end of the Cold War and the peaceful reunification of Germany.
But my choice would be Harry Truman. The 33rd president oversaw the democratic rebirth of Germany and Japan; the establishment of the United Nations; the Marshall Plan; the creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) treaty; and the policy of containment of the Soviet Union. Together, these formed the pillars of an international system led by the United States that for 70 years helped maintain peace and build prosperity for much of the world, and avoided war between the major powers.
In hindsight, the biggest U.S. foreign policy mistake since World War II was the 2003 invasion of Iraq. That catastrophe led to the deaths of 4,400 Americans and the wounding and continued suffering of 32,000 more; caused the deaths of roughly 200,000 Iraqi civilians; destabilized much of the Middle East; contributed to the rise of a hegemonic Iran; produced Al Qaeda in Iraq and then ISIS; cost U.S. taxpayers an estimated $2.4 trillion; and made us lose sight of our mission in Afghanistan. Perhaps most damaging of all, the war distracted Washington from the vital work of modernizing our economy, rebuilding our infrastructure, investing in clean energy, upgrading our education system and equipping American workers to compete with the rest of the world. America’s ability to maintain leadership abroad depends on our strength at home—a lesson we ignore at our peril.
Technocrat multibillionaire Michael Bloomberg is the Republican now trying to buy the Democratic presidential nomination and use establishment media elites to throttle Bernie Sanders. And the other evening he took a serious beating at the Democratic presidential debate in Nevada. Bloomberg was knocked right out of his shoes. He never recovered. He must have been thinking, "I just spent $400 million for this? I should've been a farmer." It was Sen. Elizabeth Warren who delivered the punch. One big right hand and all that remained were Bloomberg's empty little loafers on the floor. "I'd like to talk about who we're running against: a billionaire who calls women 'fat broads' and 'horse-faced lesbians,'" said Warren. "And no, I'm not talking about Donald Trump. I'm talking about Michael Bloomberg." There was no recovering from it. He tried to shrug off his old comments as "jokes." The audience groaned. The WrestleMania theatrics of the Democratic debate were entertaining. But it distracts from a fundamental and inconvenient truth facing the pro-Bloomberg Democratic establishment and its media allies. They've spent the last three years stoking voters in a frenzy to hate that orange Republican whom they describe as an autocrat who threatens the Constitution. But who does the Democratic establishment choose as champion? Another autocrat who says the Constitution is outdated. There are so many Bloomberg quotes out there beyond "horse-faced lesbians" that should be of concern. Bloomberg thinks that taxing the poor is the best means to bend them to his will. He looks down his nose at the little people, at farmers and factory workers, and has said that the Constitution is just too "old-fashioned" for his tastes. His slogan is "Mike Will Get It Done." But what will he do with federal power? He doesn't say. This isn't about inspiring voters. This is the wedding song of Big Corporate and Big Government, the song Hillary Clinton once sang to Wall Street. And Bloomberg is Wall Street. Whether Bloomberg would make an effective president or not isn't the issue here. You need to win elections first. And I see a serious flaw in establishment Democrat strategy. I could be wrong. But I'm not wrong about Bloomberg's lack of appeal, as Sanders keeps exciting the base. The young see Sanders as authentic and Bloomberg as bloodless. Can Bloomberg fill stadiums of people who love him? If he pays them enough. The common wisdom is that the Democratic debate was such a wild bar fight that the winner was President Trump. But Trump didn't win. Sanders won. He's the front-runner. His voters are the passionate base of the Democratic Party now. If this trend continues, the only way Democratic Party bosses can stop Sanders is to rig the Democratic National Convention against him and use their trusty superdelegates to deny Sanders the nomination. But what would the bosses win if they stabbed Sanders this way in two successive elections? Not the presidency. Bloomberg forgets he's in a Democratic primary. Democrats are woke warriors, a party that rolls left along that Intersectionality Highway in their quest for power, and New York Times columnists -- including Thomas Friedman, whose wife's museum is the beneficiary of Bloomberg's grand philanthropy -- weren't up on the debate stage to defend him. And Bloomberg couldn't defend himself. His wisecracks about "fat broads" won't be tolerated among the woke left that threatens his ambitions. So how does the establishment media save him now? Voters were looking for strength, quick wits and courage from Bloomberg, but didn't find it in Nevada. Bloomberg can dip into his pocket change tomorrow and find a quick half-billion dollars to spend on political commercials, and perhaps by sheer force of his wealth, he might drive his dismal debate performance from voters' minds. The Democratic establishment banked on the Trump impeachment destroying his popularity. They banked on Biden to save them. The impeachment backfired, as did the Russia collusion fantasy, and Trump's numbers keep climbing. And Biden? The longer he talks, the older he looks, and you start noticing odd things about him, the way his mouth works and that ear hair that wasn't trimmed. Sanders is no corporatist. He's a leftist and I disagree with most all his policies. In the debate, Bloomberg used the "C" word against Sanders, "Communist," a clip that will be used in Trump ads. Though I believe Sanders is wrong on policy, his politics are effective because he's tapped into something. Democrat Andrew Yang understood it early, and though Yang dropped out of the race, it speaks to the Bloomberg flaw in Democratic strategy. America and the world are preparing for great change that will make the social upheaval caused by the Industrial Revolution seem quaint and small, like children playing with old tin soldiers. We'll see more automation, robots, AI, driverless cars and trucks, and the new lords, the great technocrats, will push the skilled and the unskilled into economic exile. It will be massive. People feel it now, already, especially young people. Just ask them. And if they're not afraid, exactly, of the Technocratic Lords, they're worried about their place in that world. Human beings vote their anxiety, as the time of the Technocrats advances upon them. And so, who does the Democratic establishment and establishment media handmaidens prop up as their champion to save them from Sanders? The Lord High Technocrat himself. The autocrat. Bloomberg. (c) 2020 TRIBUNE CONTENT AGENCY, LLC.Source: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/
Wednesday night in Las Vegas, Mayor Mike Bloomberg learned what it is like to be thrown up against a wall and frisked. At the opening of the Democratic debate, his first, Mayor Mike was greeted by his nearest neighbor on stage, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, with this warm welcome: "We're running against ... a billionaire who calls women 'fat broads' and 'horse-faced lesbians.' And, no, I'm not talking about Donald Trump. I'm talking about Mayor Bloomberg." Bloomberg was not only charged with misogyny and sexism but racism for his stop-and-frisk policy, which the NYPD pursued during his three terms as mayor. By Bloomberg's own admission, stop and frisk singled out black men between 16 and 25. Undiscussed were the positive results of the policy. Gun homicides in New York fell to levels below those attained by his predecessor, Rudy Giuliani. And if those most often frisked were black and Hispanic men, the lives saved and the woundings prevented were also mostly those of people of color. Yet, a question that remains after this debate was one that was puzzling even before the debate. Why did he do it? Why did Bloomberg, who is not on the Nevada or South Carolina ballot, decide to join the debates before these contests? Today, the mayor's campaign is probably buying tens of millions of dollars in ads to undo the damage done to him under the remorseless fire on his character, campaign and record from his rivals Wednesday night. These attacks were predictable and predicted. Why did he submit to this? Who counseled Bloomberg to climb into the ring? By investing $350 million in ads in primary states since November and crafting scheduled appearances while avoiding adversarial talk shows and candidate debates, Bloomberg had propelled himself from nowhere into the top tier of candidates in every state on Super Tuesday. Why did he abandon a winning strategy to walk out, unprepared, onto a stage full of enraged and exasperated rivals who think he is buying and stealing a nomination for which they have fought for a year? Why did he volunteer to enter a forum where he had to know his rivals would become a flash mob before he answered his first question? This was campaign malpractice of historic dimensions. It is going to take hundreds of millions of dollars in new ads to undo the damage done to Bloomberg's reputation among the millions of voters who got their first impression of the mayor from the debate. Where does the race stand before Saturday's caucuses in Nevada? Sen. Bernie Sanders, his energy restored after his heart attack a few months back, his lines honed by a year's repetition, was at the top of his game Wednesday night, fending off attacks and fighting back with a passion and ferocity that Bloomberg never exhibited. With his popular vote victories in Iowa and New Hampshire, five national polls showing him taking the lead from Joe Biden, and contributions pouring in from his huge army of small donors, Sanders is the favorite to win in Nevada and man to stop. But after Super Tuesday, March 3, he may be unstoppable. A new Washington Post poll Wednesday shows Sanders with a huge lead among young voters and in a statistical tie with Joe Biden among African Americans. And he is flush with cash. March 4 could see Sanders with an almost insurmountable lead that could have him enter the Milwaukee convention with a majority of delegates or a plurality so huge as to make it politically impossible for his adversaries to gang up on him and take the nomination away. For who would be the beneficiary of such a robbery on the convention floor? The same Bloomberg his rivals described Wednesday night as a misogynist, sexist and racist. Bloomberg's campaign is sounding the alarm that Sanders could soon amass an insurmountable delegate lead if the Democratic field stays split, and is urging the other candidates to drop out. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Amy Klobuchar and Vice President Biden are being told that if they do not get out of the race and clear the lane for the mayor, they will get a socialist as their nominee, and the party will deserve the fate November will bring -- a second term for Trump. Bloomberg's strategist Kevin Sheekey was pointedly warned by staffers on Thursday: "If Biden, Buttigieg, and Klobuchar remain in the race despite having no path to appreciably collecting delegates on Super Tuesday [and beyond], they will propel Sanders to a seemingly insurmountable delegate lead by siphoning votes away from [Bloomberg]." As the other candidates cannot beat Sanders, Bloomberg's campaign is saying, they should step aside and clear the field for Mayor Mike. This would call for a spirit of self-sacrifice and measure of esteem for the mayor not evident on that stage Wednesday night. Source: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/
LAS VEGAS — In this desert city built on hopes, dreams and neon lights, former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg made a wild gamble to emerge from the protective bubble of his $400 million ad campaign and face five rivals for the Democratic nomination head-on in a nationally televised debate. The high-stakes debut ended up as a bust – all under the glare of the intense media spotlight. Bloomberg, who decided to skip the early voting primary and caucus states in favor of delegate-rich Super Tuesday, wasn’t ready for prime time. He seemed detached, unprepared, and out of touch with working-class voters. The media and financial mogul was surging before Wednesday night, but limped away from the stage having accomplished the opposite of what he set out to do. The much-ballyhooed billionaire, touted as the savior who could rescue the Democratic Party from itself – or rather, from its insurgent socialist wing -- and take the fight to Donald Trump with an endless supply of cash, took a beating from the other candidates and the debate moderators. And the end of the night it must have seemed apparent to him that he’d brought a wallet to a knife fight. Bernie Sanders, the man Bloomberg set out to stop, emerged from the night virtually unscathed. The pummeling started just seconds into the debate when Sen. Elizabeth Warren interrupted Sanders’ own attack on Bloomberg, going straight for the jugular. “I’d like to talk about who we’re running against: a billionaire who calls women fat broads and horse-faced lesbians. And no, I’m not talking about Donald Trump. I’m talking about Mayor Bloomberg,” Warren said to gasps from the audience. “Look, I’ll support whoever the Democratic nominee is,” she said. “But understand this: Democrats take a huge risk if we just substitute one arrogant billionaire for another.” In the general election, Democrats hope to capitalize on one of President Trump’s biggest weaknesses – suburban women swing voters who helped hand control of the House of Representatives to Nancy Pelosi in 2018. But allegations about Bloomberg’s crass, sexist statements over the years have piled up in recent weeks, giving his fellow Democratic contenders plenty of ready ammunition against him. Moderator Hallie Jackson asked him about allegations that his company created a hostile workplace for women, and noted that his defense when confronted was “That’s the way I grew up.” She also cited a lawsuit in which one former female employee alleged that he said, “I would do you in a second.” Flummoxed for some reason by this line of questioning – what did he expect? -- Bloomberg’s answer was eerily similarly to Trump’s when confronted by instances of appalling treatment of women in his past: He touted all the leadership positions women have in his company. “In my foundation, the person that runs it is a woman, 70% of the people are women,” he said. “In my company, lots and lots of women have big responsibilities.” Jackson turned back to Warren to see if the answer satisfied her, and the Massachusetts senator delivered another haymaker. “I hope you heard what his defense was: ‘I’ve been nice to some women,’” Warren said to loud applause and cheers from the crowd. She didn’t let up on the issue, instead pressing Bloomberg on whether he would release former female employees from nondisclosure agreements he had required them to sign. Trying to shake off the question, Bloomberg stammered, “That’s up to them. … They signed those agreements, and we’ll live with it.” He had asserted that “we have very few nondisclosure agreements. None of them accused me of doing anything – except, maybe they didn’t like a joke I told,” a defense that elicited boos from some in the audience. The former New York City mayor also brought Trump to mind by equivocating about the release of his taxes, which every other Democrat on the stage had done -- and the president still has not done to this day. When Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar pressed Bloomberg on the issue, he boasted of his vast fortunes and how they complicated the task. “Fortunately, I make a lot of money, and we do business all around the world, and we are preparing it. The number of pages would probably be in the thousands – I can’t go to TurboTax,” he quipped. Klobuchar was having none of it. Pointing to her husband in the hall, she deftly tipped her cap to middle-class voters by saying that her family probably could use TurboTax, suggesting that being rich enough to afford an army of accountants – Trump’s rationale – was no excuse at all. “It is a major issue, because the president of the United States has been hiding his tax returns, even when courts order him to come forward with those tax returns,” she said. “I don’t care how much money anybody has.” Late in the debate, moderator Chuck Todd asked Bloomberg about Bernie Sanders’ disdain for billionaires, pointedly pressing him if he should “exist” at all. Sanders didn’t flinch in arguing Bloomberg’s vast wealth – he’s worth an estimated $60 billion — is flat-out unjustifiable. “Mike Bloomberg owns more wealth than the bottom 125 million Americans,” Sanders said. “That’s wrong. That’s immoral.” Bloomberg, who opposes the wealth tax that Sanders and Warren support as a way to pay for “Medicare for All” and a vast array of other government programs, lost an opportunity to make common cause with his workers when he flatly replied that yes, he deserves all the money he makes: “I worked very hard for it. And I’m giving it away.” Toward the end of the debate Bloomberg did manage to land a telling blow at Sanders when he suggested that America was doing pretty well when the country’s “best-known socialist happens to be a millionaire with three houses.” By that time, the Democratic showdown had become a vicious free-for-all, with most of the candidates roughing each other up with sharp jabs and highly personal shots. Warren, after falling to a fourth-place finish in New Hampshire, was the most aggressive on the stage, landing the most punches as she worked to re-energize her campaign and supporters ahead of Saturday’s Nevada caucuses. Sanders went on the attack against Bloomberg over the stop-and-frisk policing policies that targeted young black men when he was mayor. “In order to beat Donald Trump, we’re going to need the largest voter turnout in the history of the United States,” Sanders said. “Mr. Bloomberg had policies in New York City of stop-and-frisk, which went after African American and Latino people in an outrageous way. That is not a way you’re going to grow voter turnout.” Bloomberg tried to counter by arguing that Trump would beat Sanders by tarring him with the socialist label and by scaring voters wary that he would take away their private health insurance and replace it with a government-run single-payer plan. “You don’t start out by saying I’ve got 160 million people I’m going to take away the insurance plan they love,” Bloomberg argued. The former mayor also repeated his apology for the stop-and-frisk policy. “If I go back and look at my time in office, the one thing I am really worried about, embarrassed about, is how it turned out with stop-and-frisk,” he said. Joe Biden accused Bloomberg of being untruthful about the timing of his decision to curb the policy, which he said impacted 5 million young black men. That policy wasn’t eased, the former vice president asserted, until the Obama administration sent in federal monitors to rein it in. “Let’s get the facts straight. Let’s get the order straight,” Biden said. “And it’s not whether he apologized or not. It’s the policy. The policy was abhorrent. And it was a … violation of every right people have.” Warren also joined in the pile-on over stop-and-frisk. “It targeted communities of color. It targeted black and brown men from the beginning,” she said. “And if you want to issue a real apology, then the apology has to start with the intent of the plan as it was put together and the willful ignorance, day by day by day, of admitting what was happening even as people protested in your own street.” Warren was on the hunt for new momentum after her poor showings in first two voting states, where she finished third and fourth, respectively. She and others had Bloomberg in their crosshairs after an internal campaign memo leaked that argued for nearly all of the candidates to step aside and allow him to go toe-to-toe with Sanders and then, presumably, Trump. Sanders, the memo said, will be nearly unstoppable on his way to the Democratic nomination unless the other moderate candidates drop out. Even before the debate, Warren promised it would showcase a “live demonstration of how we each take on an egomaniac billionaire.” Hours afterward, her campaign announced it had collected a total of $1 million just that night, a much-needed financial shot in the arm but one that may be too little too late for her to claw her way back in the polls and successfully compete in the delegate-rich Super Tuesday fight early next month. Bloomberg’s campaign tried to put the best spin on his first performance, arguing afterward that with all the other candidates gunning for him, he “weathered the storm” and defined the battle lines between himself and Sanders. “He drew the contrast between two of them and their visions to make it clear this is basically a two-person race,” Bloomberg spokesman Howard Wolfson told reporters in the debate spin room. Allison Stephens, a Warren supporter and DNC committeewoman, said it was Warren who “really shined” by putting a spotlight on Bloomberg’s treatment of women. “She was able to bring that record out and really expose it and that speaks to women like me,” she told RealClearPolitics. Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner, a top Sanders surrogate, said all of the candidates “called Bloomberg out for what he is – a very wealthy guy who tried to buy his way onto the stage.” “His record cannot stand up to the scrutiny of what it takes to build a broad-based coalition,” she told RCP. “Line up his record, and line up President Trump’s record, and there are a lot of similarities there,” she said. Source: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/