Former New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, 77, has once again made headlines as he officially joined the race for the Democratic nomination this past Sunday. This move was highly anticipated since he had already filed paperwork in Alabama on Nov. 8th and in Arkansas on Nov. 12th to join their nomination contests.
As The Knight News previously reported, Bloomberg announced several months ago that he would not run for the Demcoratic nomination under the belief that a successful run would not be feasible. However, now it seems like Bloomberg might renege on that position.
According to many reports, it appears that Bloomberg is worried Vice President Joe Biden will not succeed in winning the nomination. He is also convinced that the other nominees will fail to defeat incumbent President Trump because they are too progressive for moderate voters to swallow.
Bloomberg’s original filing of paperwork in Alabama seems to indicate a distinct underlying electoral strategy of aiming for states who vote in the primaries on Super Tuesday. The New York Times reports that he chose not to join the ballots of four early-primary/caucus states: Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina.
Bloomberg’s initial moves to enter the race were met with mixed reactions. According to The New York Times, former Vice President Joe Biden, the candidate likely to be most challenged by Bloomberg’s entry, said, “Michael’s a solid guy, and let’s see where it goes. I have no, no problem with him getting in the race”.
President Trump purportedly feeling unthreatened by Bloomberg said, “There’s nobody I’d rather run against than little Michael”.
Many politicians were critical of another billionaire entering the race. According to The Hill, Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass) tweeted “Welcome to the race @MikeBloomberg!”, followed by a link to her website page: “Calculator for the Billionaires”. The calculator essentially determines the amount of taxes a billionaire would pay under her tax plan. Turns out, Bloomberg would pay a whopping $3.079 billion under Warren’s plan.
With similar sentiment, according to the New York Times Bernie Sanders (D-Vermont) said “tonight we say to Michael Bloomberg and other billionaires: Sorry, you ain’t going to buy this election” during an event in Iowa. He also rebuked Bloomberg’s decision to avoid the four ‘early-voting’ states.
The New York Times reported that the current New York City Mayor and former 2020 Democratic candidate Bill de Blasio also believes that “there’s no way in the world we should nominate a billionaire who epitomizes the status quo”. He claimed that Bloomberg is not progressive enough for the increasingly evolving and progressive Democratic party.
Bloomberg is often referred to as a moderate candidate and has divergent stances on various key issues. According to the BBC, Bloomberg takes a more progressive stance on climate change, immigration, gun control, and citizen health, but simultaneously is also pro-business and has “defended stop-and-frisk”.
According to Senior History major Hannah Berman, “It should be interesting to see the stance he takes as he rejoins the Democratic party”.
“I’m also wondering if Bloomberg will maintain loyalty to the Democratic Party and its ideals. We’ve seen him flip-flop before for his political advantage, so who’s to say he won’t do that on a smaller scale here?” Berman continued. “But, obviously, he can’t run [as a] Republican because the incumbent president is Republican”.
Bloomberg is known to be a party “flip-flop” because he is constantly changing his party identification. According to the BBC, Bloomberg, once a Democrat, ran as a Republican for New York City Mayor in 2001, and only recently reinstated his Democratic party identification in Oct. of 2018. In between, reports Ballotpedia, Bloomberg considered running for the presidency as an independent in both 2008 and 2016.