By Colleen O'Connor
Why is a man worth over $50 billion running for President?
Boredom? More power than a demigod? Ego? Or a hidden agenda?
Maybe some of each, but there is an even better explanation and one that the Democrats should cheer.
No need for mountains of paperwork, accountants and lawyers to keep track of the thousands of names, email accounts, job descriptions and zip codes of large and small donors—as other candidates must do.
Bloomberg can just write multi-million-dollar checks to the official Mike Bloomberg 2020 campaign—from himself.
How easy is that? From me to me—signed Michael Bloomberg.
Also, by skipping both Iowa and New Hampshire’s early state primaries, Bloomberg has begun the process of stripping those non-representative flyover states of their early “anointment” power among Democratic presidential candidates.
Why winning Iowa or New Hampshire elevates a candidate to “winner status” has been a sore point for a majority of Democrats for decades. So three cheers for that possibly ending.
Even better, as Bloomberg has shown, he can drop millions on a cause at hyper-speed. And, as his ads have already shown—his attacks target Trump—not other Democrats.
Hence, the secret agenda. No limits on his self-donations. No odious paperwork. No need for Iowa and New Hampshire to decide the nominee before the biggest, richest, most diverse states like California and Texas even get a say.
And no need to prep for debates — just spend his own money on his own campaign, under his own direction and his own timeline.
Imagine unlimited funds for polling, precinct organizing, get-out-the-vote efforts in critical battleground states, and legal challenges on voter suppression.
Bloomberg may not be the candidate for everyone, but he is surely the envy of every candidate.
Add to that, a secondary focus on vulnerable GOP Senators—who are seriously worried that the Democrats’ money is already killing them.
Not to worry about the House. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has already tied that down.
But in the Senate, Republicans currently have a majority of just three seats and must defend 22 next year. Democrats only have to protect 12.
Enough Bloomberg money might also be able to topple not just Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell—who has only an 18% approval rating among Kentuckians—but perhaps Trump himself
So you see the massive potential for Bloomberg’s open checkbook—and possible hidden agenda. He moves the landscape just by entering the race.
Bloomberg probably knows he cannot win, but is certain he can have a profound impact—even before the general election—if as appears to be the case no Democratic candidate secures enough delegates to prevent a brokered convention.
Imagine Bloomberg’s leverage then. Just a handful of delegates could determine the nominee of the party and possibly the next occupant of the White House.
Bloomberg may or may not want the strictures of being the Oval Office occupant, but he can certainly influence who is.
That and much, much more.
Colleen O’Connor is a native San Diegan and a retired college professor.
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