Bloomberg Announces his Candidacy
By Jane Cameron
On November 24th Michael Bloomberg reshaped the presidential race by announcing he would be entering to become the next Democratic nominee. His late entry, although unconventional, could pose a threat to candidates currently leading the race. Additionally, his unlimited funds provide him with the ability to gain name recognition rapidly.
Michael Bloomberg is an entrepreneur, coming from the business world like Trump. However, unlike President Trump, he also possesses an extensive career in politics as well. After creating a financial information business that produces technology that bankers and traders use to access market data, Bloomberg became a billionaire. Following his success he was elected Mayor of New York in 2001 and the prosperity he brought to the city led him to be re-elected twice.
Bloomberg laid out the reasoning behind his late entry by proclaiming his strong belief that President Trump “represents an existential threat to our country and our values.” He believes the current Democratic candidates do not have the potential to defeat the sitting president, which is crucial to the future of the nation. He declared "I'm running for President to defeat Donald Trump and rebuild America. We cannot afford four more years of President Trump's reckless and unethical actions”. He believes his political proposals will be more favorable to a wider array of the public and the current candidates do not have the capacity to garner enough support from the more conservative side to essentially defeat Trump in the election.
When Bloomberg was elected as the Mayor of New York in 2001, he ran as a Republican and has since changed his political affiliation. Since 2001 he has been a Republican, an Independent, and in 2016 became a supporter of the Democratic party when he endorsed Hillary Clinton over Trump at the Democratic Convention. The fact that his party registration has changed over time reflects the fact that he is part of the moderate wing of 2020 candidates. This could pose a challenge for him in trying to win over strong liberals. However, he holds many liberal views, just more centrist than some of his opponents. During this current race he has publicly criticized Elizabeth Warren’s and Bernie Sanders’ proposal to impose a new tax on the country’s largest private fortunes, a view that could help him win over more fiscally conservative Democrats as well as Republicans. Maintaining his liberal position, Bloomberg did call for the wealthy to have higher taxes. Moreover, the platform he is running on includes gun control, climate change, economic development and public health issues. With his appeal to both political parties he holds the potential to win over many Republican voters who do not wish to vote for Trump. Biden and Buttigieg were formerly the most moderate candidates and were viewed as the most likely alternative for conservatives. But now with Bloomberg in the race, he may threaten their lead in the polls by taking away this population of voters.
While Bloomberg brings an impressive resume and the potential to win over certain voters other candidates formerly had locked down, his late entry into the race still does pose an obstacle to him acquiring the Democratic nomination. In order to qualify for the Democratioc primary debates a candidate must confirm a certain number of campaign donors. If he wishes to make it to the January debates, he will have to qualify within a few weeks. He has already missed the deadline to qualify for the December debate. Furthermore, it was announced that Bloomberg would be spending his own fortune and would not be accepting campaign contributions. These factors lead to a low probability of him participating in any debates, which are a prominent way of promoting oneself and expressing policy initiatives in a presidential race.
But Bloomberg’s unusual approach to the race does not stop there. He is foregoing attempting to win the earliest primary and caucus states, such as Iowa and New Hampshire. Instead, he will be placing a heavy emphasis on winning states that offer a high amount of delegates, such as California and Texas. These strategies mean the public will not know Bloomberg’s position in the race until much later on.
Bloomberg believes his extensive resources will aid him in making up for lost time. Democratic political strategist Howard Wolfson declared, “Mike is going to spend whatever is necessary to defeat Donald Trump because he believes the stakes couldn’t be higher.'' To begin his campaign he has already spent $37 million dollars funding different television advertising that will air in the two weeks since announcing his candidacy. This amount greatly surpasses the funds of any other candidate and gives Bloomberg the opportunity to gain name recognition and popularity rapidly.
Over the next few weeks, the American public will see the changes in the different Democratic candidates’ support from the public. And the country could potentially watch Bloomberg change the course of the presidential race. Regardless of whether Bloomberg becomes the leading candidate in the Democratic race, he will undoubtedly shake up its current state.
Jane Cameron is a freshman majoring in journalism and mass communication, from Fairfield County, Connecticut.
Note: The GW College Democrats News & Blog Committee’s mission is to highlight, empower, and facilitate the political expression of its members. As such, the views expressed in this article are based on the opinions of its author, and do not necessarily represent the views of the whole of GW College Democrats, its executive board, or its senior deputy board.