Just like that, Bloomberg becomes a factor

What in the world is happening to the Democratic Party’s presidential primary race?

Joe Biden has gone from proverbial hero to zero in the span of one calendar week. Pete Buttigieg has become one of arguably three co-leaders in the Democratic race for president. The “democratic socialist” who lost to Hillary in 2016’s race for the nomination, Bernie Sanders, is in the lead these days. Amy Klobuchar, fresh off her stellar performance in the nationally televised Iowa joint appearance, also is in the hunt.

And then we have Michael Bloomberg, the zillionaire who is skipping the early primaries in preparation for the March 3 Super Tuesday lineup of mega-state primaries, which include Texas and California. He has spent a couple hundred million of his own dollars (which will hardly make a tiny dent in his personal fortune) on TV ads and is now emerging as a legitimate factor in this primary contest.

What’s more — and this is my favorite part — he is getting under Donald John Trump’s skin. He is annoying the living daylights out of the current U.S. president. So much so that Trump is now tweeting his snark aimed directly at Bloomberg.

Sitting out here in Trump Country — that would be the Dallas/Fort Worth suburbs of North Texas — we are being fed a steady diet of Bloomberg TV ads. I think my favorite ad is the one featuring former President Obama touting how “Mike Bloomberg is a leader” who “gets things done.” The ads don’t constitute an endorsement by Obama of Bloomberg; they happen to be part of the public domain and Bloomberg’s campaign has appropriated the video of the 44th president saying those nice things about the former New York mayor. However, you have to believe the ads are infuriating the former Democratic frontrunner, former Vice President Biden, who is seeking to trade on his status as Obama’s wing man for the eight years preceding Donald Trump’s election as president.

Is Bloomberg going to emerge as the man to beat for the Democratic nomination? If the alternative is Bernie Sanders, I damn sure hope so. The party is courting disaster if it nominates the socialist-leaning Sanders as its standard bearer.

How many other twists and turns along this trail await us?

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