After hundreds of millions of dollars, a handful of delegates, and a series of ads that will forever be the material of nightmares to young children, Michael Bloomberg has decided that this is not his time to run for the presidency. The lackluster debate performance coupled with a track record on women and minorities that makes grown Democrats blush; and all it took to push him over the candidate precipice was a thorough drubbing on Super Tuesday.
This is a resignation that should surprise no one. An unimpressive delegate haul must surely have been the final straw on an otherwise overloaded camel, and it came not a moment too soon for a resurgent Joe Biden. While the dropping out of Pete Buttigieg and Amy Klobuchar certainly gave Biden a much-needed boost ahead of the March 3 primaries, the former VP’s funds do not reflect his electoral success.
On the Bandwagon
Not only will Uncle Joe be able to capitalize on all those donations that are no longer headed to his former rivals, but he will also have the endorsement of a man who is not shy to throw money at causes … no matter how lost they may be.
Bloomberg said of the new Democrat frontrunner:
“I’ve had the chance to work with Joe on those issues over the years, and Joe has fought for working people his whole life. Today I am glad to endorse him – and I will work to make him the next President of the United States.”
Does this mean campaigning, providing funds, or working behind the scenes? For Joe’s sake, let’s hope Mr. Bloomberg is not offering to be his debate workout partner.
From a Mile Away
The Bloomberg campaign was a textbook example of how not to become President of the United States. Starting late means you have very little in the way of natural activist support; all those keen on being part of a movement to elect the next president – or bring down the current one – had already hitched their horses to whichever wagon felt most comfortable. Bloomberg was left with hiring staff to run supposedly grassroots campaign teams across the country, which can never have as much impact as local people getting their friends and family excited about a candidate.
His second mistake was missing the early primaries and caucuses. Not only does it show a laissez-faire attitude towards a system that (flawed though it may be) allows actual voters to be involved in deciding who will represent them in November, but also creates a major image problem. Every time the candidate pictures are posted on a news network or website, there’s a big fat zero hovering right underneath his face.
Mr. Bloomberg made the mistake of thinking he could replicate Donald Trump’s primary success of 2016. He figured that if it worked for one billionaire, it could work for another, but he forgot the most important aspect: the vision. President Trump had a very clear image, and message, of what he wanted America to be under his leadership: Great, again. A simple message is a clarion call to the disaffected, to the people who want real change, not the hokey platitudes of Barack Obama. Bernie has this message, Trump has it, but Bloomberg does not.
This was not Bloomberg’s time to shine. Until he can create something other than cheesy ads, something real and inspiring to talk to the hearts of voters all over the country, not just the coastal elites, it never will be.
Read more from Mark Angelides.