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.