There’s no way Corey really believes Mike Bloomberg is the Democrats’ best bet, is there? Either he’s trolling or he has some sort of connection to Bloomberg’s circle and think there might be work for him in the administration or as a lobbyist if Bloomy ousted POTUS in 2020. It’s never too early to start preparing for life after Trumpmania.
.@CLewandowski_: “If I were a Democrat strategist…and somebody said to me, ‘who do you want to be the Democratic nominee for President of the United States’ there’s only one name I would choose, and I think the person could have a very competitive race…Michael Bloomberg.” pic.twitter.com/INykKFVAUQ
— CSPAN (@cspan) August 15, 2018
In his defense, Bloomberg *is* a formidable candidate on paper. As Lewandowski says, he can finance his own campaign. He has high name recognition. He has a track record of success in New York, both in the public and private sector. And because he’s ostentatiously centrist and independent, he might get a look from swing voters that someone like a Bernie Sanders may not.
But he’s also a charisma black hole and, when push comes to shove, a man with no actual constituency. Who are the voters out there who are “Ready for Mike”? Both parties’ bases are in the grip of populism; Bloomberg, the tycoon and petty nanny-stater, is as far as one can get on the political map from populism. He’s too far left to make most right-wingers happy and too far right to please most lefties. He’d be 79 on Inauguration Day too, at a moment when many Democrats are demanding fresh faces in the party’s leadership.
Let me quote myself:
This is a guy, remember, who’s synonymous with Wall Street, who ruled New York as a Republican, and who championed policies like stop-and-frisk. What constituency would he have among Democrats? He’s too upper-crust to bring in working-class voters, too pro-business to please lefty populists, too unwoke to satisfy progressives. Basically, he’s everything left-wingers disliked about Hillary but more so. He’d run from the center too, attacking the leftist candidates in the primaries and possibly weakening the eventual nominee. If, somehow, he miraculously emerged with the nomination, he’d be at risk of progressives staying home or even rallying to a third-party candidate in the general election.
Another key deficiency with Bloomberg is that he’s not really a “fighter,” the trait most prized by activists on either side. He’s a manager. He’d run on executive competence, which in years past would appeal to voters but seems less important in a Trumpy age than being willing and able to give your opponent atomic wedgies. His idea of “fighting” is simply to cut Democrats a giant check.
In fairness to Corey, none of that directly answers his point. He’s not claiming that Bloomberg is the most progressive guy in the race or that he has any hope of getting out of a Democratic primary. All he’s saying is that if the general electorate were presented with a binary “Trump or the Democrat?” choice, Bloomy would be the Democrat who’d give them the most pause. I still don’t think that’s true — Biden would be, and Trump allegedly agrees — and neither do left-wingers, who share Ted Cruz’s belief that “bold colors, not pale pastels” are the key to winning hearts and minds. Give the public a strong dose of Bernie-style socialism, they think, rather than Bloomberg-style globalist mush and they’ll respond. Lewandowski is appealing to fundamentals, though: Take a well-known, well-funded, competent candidate and match him against an unpopular president, knowing that the election is likely to be viewed by most voters as a referendum on incumbent, and — yeah, you could do worse than Bloomberg.