Tag Archives: Michael Bloomberg

Takeaway from Democratic debate? Let’s take a look

I am unwilling and unable to declare a definitive “winner” in the ninth Democratic Party presidential primary debate.

However, I am pretty sure the hands-down “loser” turned out to be the new guy on the stage, the zillionaire who has stood aside during the first four primary/caucus states.

Yep, Michael Bloomberg took incoming in a volume many of us have never seen quite like this. Right out of the chute the rockets and mortar shells started falling all around the former New York City mayor.

All five of the other Democrats on the joint appearance stage launched attacks on him for:

  • His treatment of women.
  •  The non-disclosure agreements that the women signed after leaving employment in the city he once governed.
  •  His former endorsement of “stop and frisk.”
  •  His immense wealth.
  •  The manner in which he governed the nation’s largest city.

For all I know, the other primary foes were ready to blast him for the color of ties he wears.

It wasn’t pretty to watch.

To be sure, Bloomberg didn’t handle it well. He bristled openly. He shrugged. He rolled his eyes.

Sure, he fired back, mentioning that Bernie Sanders — the self-described “democratic socialist” — is a “millionaire who owns three houses.”

I guess my major takeaway is that the possible real “winner” in this exchange was Donald John Trump, the current POTUS against whom these individuals want to run.

Oh, good! Just think that we’ll have more of these coming up as the Democrats keep on chuggin’ down the road toward their convention, which is likely to produce yet another dramatic saga if no one shows up with enough delegates to secure a nomination the first ballot.

Just wondering: Would a Bloomberg nominee release his taxes?

Let’s play a game of “what if?” for just a moment.

What if somehow Michael Bloomberg manages to win the Democratic Party presidential nomination? What if he gets the call to run against Donald John Trump, the self-proclaimed “very stable genius” and the current president of the United States?

Trump at first promised to release his taxes per the custom set beginning with the 1976 election. Then he has backed away. He is fighting efforts to obtain those records.

What if Bloomberg gets the nomination and then releases everything, per what previous nominees of both major parties have done … until Trump came along?

Bloomberg is reportedly the world’s ninth richest person. Trump reportedly is worth, well, a whole lot less than Bloomberg.

Why hasn’t Trump done what he promised to do initially and then reneged on the promise? I have a number of theories.

One is that he ain’t nearly as wealthy as he claims to be. Another is that he doesn’t give hardly anything to charity. Still another is that he has business dealings in Russia that far exceed what he’s admitted to already. A fourth might be that he has paid damn little in taxes. May I try a fifth notion? It could be that he has done a whole bunch of shady deals that could be revealed in a full public scrutiny of his taxes.

Bloomberg is far from a sure thing in the still-developing Democratic primary contest. He’s getting beaten up by his primary rivals, not to mention Trump, who’s already hung a disparaging nickname on the former New York City mayor.

If he gets the party nomination, my hope is that he releases his taxes, as other nominees have done. It won’t shame Trump into doing the right thing. However, it would stand in stark relief against the game of fiscal hide-and-seek that Trump is playing.

Voters then can make their own judgment on who appears to be keeping some important information from public view.

Mike and Hillary vs. Donald and Mike? This must be a joke

I realize fully I am likely getting way ahead of myself, but some media are reporting it, so I will offer a brief comment.

It is being talked about that Michael Bloomberg is considering fellow New Yorker Hillary Rodham Clinton as a potential running mate if Bloomberg manages to snag the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination.

Oh … brother. Say it ain’t so.

I’ll restate what I consider to be the obvious. I voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016 to become the 45th president of the United States. I cast my vote without an ounce of regret. She remains highly qualified to be our head of state.

However, she also is a colossal punching bag for Donald Trump and his Republican smear/slime/slander machine. To that end, Hillary Clinton likely would overshadow a nominee named Michael Bloomberg. Does the next presidential nominee want to be eclipsed by a VP running mate who will become the focus of idiotic chants such as, oh, let’s see: “Lock her up!”?

The Drudge Report has reported that Bloomberg is considering a Mike/Hillary ticket. So has MSNBC. Who else is going to join the bandwagon?

This would be a monumentally bad idea for whomever the Democrats nominate for the presidency. It’s not that Hillary is a bad candidate. It is only that she presents the kind of insurmountable distraction that is going to pull voters’ attention away from the issues that ought to matter as we consider for whom to vote as our next president.

Furthermore, I do not want to hand the current president any additional ammo he can use to slither his way to re-election.

Give him a break on ‘stop and frisk’

I want to cut Michael Bloomberg some slack on the grief he is getting over a policy he once endorsed but over which he has since expressed regret.

Yep, that would be “stop and frisk,” a law enforcement policy that Bloomberg favored when he was New York mayor.

He’s now running for president of the United States as a Democrat. He served as NYC mayor as a Republican. Between then and now he declared himself to be an independent.

Whatever, the stop and frisk policy he once endorsed empowered the cops to, um, stop individuals and then search them for, oh, weapons and drugs and other assorted illegal possessions. It was a badly implemented policy, targeting racial minorities and arresting them at rates that far exceeded anything considered reasonable or rational.

Bloomberg has said he’s sorry about the policy. He has owned his mistake. He says he would do things much differently now were he able and has pledged, if elected as president, to lead the charge to end racial injustice in this country.

That is good enough for me.

But not for some Bloomberg critics, who refuse to accept his expressions of regret at face value. They want more, although precisely what they demand is unclear to me.

And, of course, we can look forward — more than likely — to Donald Trump climbing on the bash Bloomberg bandwagon over this policy … never mind that Trump endorsed it, too, but has never said a single word of regret over the manner in which the policy was carried out.

Stop and frisk: let’s hold on

I am still not sure whether Bloomberg is the guy whom Democrats should endorse in the still-developing party presidential primary battle. The issue of stop and frisk, though, is a non-starter.

The man made a mistake. He owns the mistake. He vows to do better. That should be the end of it.

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?

How will the Bloomberg strategy play in Texas?

BLOGGER’S NOTE: This essay was first published on KETR-FM radio’s website, ketr.org.

The Super Tuesday Democratic Party primary presidential race is just a shade less than a month away.

On March 3, Texans will get to vote for who should be the next Democratic nominee for the presidency. The Texas ballot is going to include a name that’s been missing from ballots that will precede this huge political event.

Michael Bloomberg is the man of the hour. Or at least he wants to be the man of the hour – or the man of the primary – at the end of that quite important election.

I am trying to assess whether Bloomberg’s strategy of staying out of the early primary states while concentrating initially on the Super Tuesday.

Democrats are going to select a significant majority of their convention delegates that day. Bloomberg wants to gather up most of them. Will his Super Tuesday strategy pay off?

My wife and I watch a good bit of TV during the day in our Princeton home and we see and hear millions of dollars’ worth of ads touting the candidacy of Bloomberg, the former three-term New York City mayor. The latest round of ads includes a spot that features former President Barack Obama saying nice things about the leadership qualities that Bloomberg has exhibited while running the nation’s largest city.

Oh, wait! Joe Biden, the former president’s “brother from another mother,” also is running for the presidency this year. Obama hasn’t endorsed Bloomberg. He also hasn’t endorsed his good friend and former political partner (Biden served as vice president for eight years during the Obama administration). The former president is staying out of the nomination fight. He’ll likely endorse whomever his party nominates this summer.

Bloomberg is opening 11 more campaign offices in Texas. He is hiring hundreds of political workers. He is setting up what they call a “ground game” here. What I’m trying to grasp as Bloomberg’s date with Super Tuesday draws closer is how his platform will play here.

He talks about gun control. He speaks in support of a woman’s “right to choose” whether to remain pregnant. Bloomberg wants to amend the Affordable Care Act, not toss it aside. From what I’ve witnessed in Texas is that (a) Texans don’t want to mess with the Second Amendment, (b) Texans are mostly “pro-life” on the issue of abortion and (c) Texans don’t think much of the ACA.

Michael Bloomberg, though, needs to demonstrate that he’s a real Democrat, as opposed to some sort of faux Democrat who changes his party affiliation to suit the political mood of the moment. I mean, he once was a Republican; then he became an independent; now he’s a Democrat.

What’s more, Hizzoner also once declared his intention to stay out of the 2020 presidential campaign. Now he’s all in.

But … is he? All in?

Bloomberg set to spend several fortunes on POTUS race? Wow!

There is something profoundly off-putting to learn that former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is ready to spend a billion of his own dollars on his campaign to become president of the United States.

I’m not sure what Bloomberg is worth. I hear it’s anywhere from $20 billion to $50 billion. When he commits to spending as much as $1 billion of his own stash to become president, I realize it’s a mere drop of spittle in the man’s personal fortune. Good grief. He can piddle away that amount of money and never even miss it!

Is this what we can expect? Donald Trump’s election in 2016 marked a historical turning point in that regard … regardless of the countless other matters that have drawn so much public scrutiny.

Here we are again as we enter another election year.

Bloomberg is forgoing the early primaries. He is spending mountains of money on TV ads. They’ve been airing in Texas incessantly, focusing primarily on health care issues. Indeed, a Dallas Morning News story in today’s paper talked about how the still-large Democratic Party primary field is going to focus greatly on Texas as the POTUS train chugs its way toward Super Tuesday in March.

Does this portend a fight for Texas’s 38 Electoral College votes in the fall campaign once Democrats find a nominee? Well, time will tell.

I happen to one American voter who is likely to be turned off by the idea of a major party nominee purchasing a nomination with cash drawn from his bottomless pockets.

Perhaps there’s the issue, too, of the waffling that Bloomberg exhibited prior to getting into this contest. He made a fairly big show of telling the world that he would not run for president. Then he’s in, saying he was dissatisfied with the quality of the Democratic field fighting among itself to see who would run against Trump. Talk about presumptuous!

No one asked my opinion, but I happen to be one of those Democratic-leaning voters who is satisfied with the field that is running for the party nomination. One of them will emerge as the nominee and it is my hope the party selects someone with the right stuff to take on Donald Trump.

Moreover, my sentiment prefers that the nominee be battle-tested in a primary system that pits the nominee against the other candidates head to head.

Bloomberg is acting like someone who believes he should remain “above the fray.”

Uh, Mr. Mayor? That doesn’t necessarily play well with at least one primary voter. That would be me.

Bloomberg trying to buy Democratic presidential nomination

Michael Bloomberg has put a price on the Democratic Party presidential nomination he is seeking to buy.

Whatever it is, he can afford it. As the former New York mayor throws millions of bucks at TV ads, though, he is annoying the daylights out of this voter … that would be me.

I am troubled by the idea of this megazillionaire forgoing the early primary states to blanket the airwaves with TV ads that proclaim that he can parlay his business acumen into the presidency of the United States.

We had another rich guy do the same thing, in 2016. Donald Trump sold millions of Americans a bill of goods about his business success. We’ve all since learned that Trump’s success was, well, a bit of a mirage. He’s still rich, or says he is rich. He lives large with those glitzy resorts where he retreats from his duties as president.

But back to Bloomberg.

I recall the 1968 presidential primary campaign. Sen. Eugene McCarthy surprised President Johnson with a strong second-place finish in New Hampshire. Then came Sen. Robert F. Kennedy into the battle. RFK and Clean Gene fought state to state in primary battles. Kennedy won most of those fights; he lost the Oregon primary in May, then ventured to California, where he won that state’s primary.

On the Fifth of June, a gunman rewrote history. Sen. Kennedy died the next day.

Meanwhile, Vice President Hubert Humphrey had skipped the primary fights. He spent his time gathering up delegates more or less off the grid.

There’s a certain similarity to what we’re seeing today, except that VP Humphrey wasn’t pouring millions of his own dollars into the fight, chiefly because he didn’t have the money stashed away. Bloomberg is seeking to self-finance his campaign.

This whole exercise turns me off. I want him to face his opponents on a stage, answering questions about his change of heart. You’ll recall how he declared with what we now assume was a faux sincerity that he wouldn’t run for president in 2020. Now he’s in. What gives?

I prefer presidential candidates to get scuffed up along the way. All the rest of ’em this year have suffered their share of nicks, cuts and bruises. Michael Bloomberg’s vast wealth shouldn’t exempt him from the same kind of treatment.

Count me as one who is ‘satisfied’ with Democratic field

No one has asked for my opinion on this matter, but I’m going to offer it anyway.

You may count me as one American voter who is satisfied with the quality of the Democratic field competing for the chance to run against Donald J. Trump in the 2020 presidential election.

So, with that I should declare that Michael Bloomberg’s relatively late entry into the contest strikes me as more than just a tad presumptuous on the part of the former three-term New York City mayor.

He once was a Republican. Then he became an independent. Now he wants to run as a Democrat. Make up your mind, Mr. Mayor! Who are you and what, precisely, do you believe? Yes, I have stated my preference for a moderate candidate to emerge from the large field, but this guy is nearly impossible to peg.

Bloomberg, who once said he wouldn’t run for president, says he fears the current field lacks the heft needed to knock off the Republican president. I beg to differ.

The Democratic herd of candidates is full of talent, full of ideas, full of executive government experience and full of integrity needed to compete against the carnival barker masquerading as our president.

I am struck by the notion that Bloomberg plans to skip the early primary and caucus states and hit the trail in time for the big super Tuesday event later in the spring.

He’s worth about 50 billion bucks — give or take a billion or three — and is saying (a) he won’t take any political contributions from anyone and (b) won’t accept the chump-change presidential salary if he’s elected in 2020; the office pays a measly $400,000 annually, but hey, the office provides the best public transportation possible, not to mention 24/7 security.

I get that Bloomberg is a smart guy. Well-educated and all of that. He did a good job running the nation’s largest city. He’s richer than God and can add some considerable gravitas to the campaign.

However, I want to arc back to my initial point: Does the Democratic Party field need this guy to give it the oomph Bloomberg thinks it needs to kick Donald Trump out of the Oval Office? I do not believe that’s the case.

Stay out of the 2020 race, Mr. Mayor

Michael Bloomberg once was thought to be considering a run for the presidency in 2020.

Then he said “no,” he wouldn’t be a candidate for the White House.

Oh, but wait! Now he’s back in, sort of.

The former New York City mayor has announced his intention to file for the Alabama Democratic primary. It seems that Bloomberg is unhappy with the slate of Democrats battling for their party’s nomination and the right to do battle with Donald J. Trump.

My request of the ex-mayor is this: Don’t do it!

I want a candidate with a set of principles and a commitment to governing. I am not interested in considering someone who is dissatisfied with the candidates who already have made that leap of faith and are asking Americans to join them in that leap.

It’s not that Bloomberg is a fringe player. He’s a mega-rich guy. He has been a registered Republican, a registered Democrat and a registered independent. I don’t know what he considers himself at this moment. That he is going to file in the Alabama Democratic primary tells me he is now a Democrat … for the time being.

I get that the Democratic field so far hasn’t excited a lot of folks. I have problems with every singe one of them still in the fight. None of the problems I have with the Democratic contenders, though, matches the profound loathing I feel for the Republican who is running for re-election as president.

My queasiness with Bloomberg, though, is based on his in-out-maybe-back-in posture. Is he committed to governing or is just interested in making some sort of media splash?

Stay out of the race, Mr. Mayor.