By Sal Bommarito
New Yorkers are buzzing about the possibility of Michael Bloomberg entering the presidential race. According to one media outlet, “He is said to be alarmed at the Democratic poll-leader Hillary Clinton’s alleged shift to the left and Republican frontrunner Donald Trump’s aggressive rhetoric on immigration.” But, I suspect we’re going to be disappointed.
Bloomberg cannot realistically win the election as an Independent. He needs the support of one of the two major parties to effectively run a campaign and win the Electoral College. Moreover, at this late stage, it would be next to impossible to build a nationwide organization to solicit the requisite votes to win.
Bloomberg would have to overcome some major hurdles to become president. He was originally a Democrat who became a Republican and then an Independent while he was Mayor of New York City. So, he hasn’t built a huge amount of loyalty from any political party. Another issue is that he’s a billionaire. Having two billionaires in the presidential race might be too much for the American electorate to bear.
Most think it would be impossible for Bloomberg to enter the race as a Republican because he’s an avid gun control advocate who has spent millions on the issue. Moreover, he supports a woman’s right to choose. No way, in this climate, will the GOP back a person who is liberal on such controversial social issues.
So, the only realistic option Bloomberg has is to run as a Democrat, and he seems reluctant to run against Hillary in the primaries, unless, of course, she’s forced to resign because of continuing scandal investigations.
The good news is that Bloomberg has no money concerns, and doesn’t need to solicit outside financial support. Also, he’s recognized as one of the most successful people in America. His business acumen as a strategic thinker and as a manager of people is second to none. Politically, he was a huge success leading New York City during some very difficult times after 9/11.
Unlike Ross Perot, who was determined to be a spoiler in the 1992 presidential election, Bloomberg doesn’t strike me as the kind of person who would run just to prevent another candidate from winning. If he decides to get into the contest, it will be because he wants to win.
The most delicious possibility would be a match up between Trump and Bloomberg. It would be a carnival atmosphere in the Big Apple. Billionaire versus billionaire.
I suspect Bloomberg would win this contest, but I seriously doubt he will actually jump into the fray. This is a September 2015 quote from Bloomberg appearing in the National Review: “I am 100 percent convinced that you cannot in this country win an election unless you are the nominee of one of the two major parties. The second thing I am convinced of is that I could not get through the primary process with either party.”