Former Vice President Joe Biden is stumbling badly, beset as he is by numerous gaffes on the campaign trail, embroiled in a scandal concerning his son Hunter’s business deals in Ukraine and China, and seeing Elizabeth Warren beginning to pass him in the polls.
Unfortunately for the Democrats, most pundits suggest, the alternatives are unelectable radicals such as Warren and Bernie Sanders whose agendas include taking away people’s private health insurance, private cars, and air travel.
CNBC is reporting that none other than Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, is considered flip-flopping on his announcement that he will not run for president should Biden stumble himself out of the race for the Democratic presidential nomination.
Bloomberg is a relative moderate compared to most of the slate of Democratic candidates. During the first part of his time as New York mayor, he was a Republican. Then he switched to independent.
Finally, Bloomberg became a Democrat a short time before the 2018 midterm election during which his SuperPAC contributed money and support to Democratic candidates for the House, many of whom won their elections against Republican incumbents.
One of the ads that the Bloomberg SuperPAC cut in support of Lizzie Fletcher, then a candidate for the United States House seat in the 7th District of Texas, ridiculed then-incumbent John Culberson’s support for NASA probes to Europa, a moon of Jupiter, Scientists believe that Europa may harbor alien life in a warm water ocean below the moon’s icy surface, Forbes raised the alarm during the 2018 campaign.
“This attack on John Culberson, the Chair of the House appropriations subcommittee for science, is so childishly produced that any educated person might think it doesn’t warrant a response. “
Unfortunately, childish though the ad may have been, it proved to be effective, especially when buttressed by a pro-Fletcher editorial in the Houston Chronicle. One reason for the ad’s effectiveness was the fact that the 2018 election took place a year after Tropical Storm Harvey inundated the city of Houston and environs with a biblical amount of water, turning a thriving city into a lake. No one who lived through the flood was unscathed by it.
So, the canard that Culberson, who was chair of the appropriations committee that funds NASA, was neglecting the floodwaters of Houston for the waters of Europa turned out to be surprisingly effective. Culberson, whose campaign lacked an effective response to the attack, found himself involuntarily-retired to the private sector.
Fletcher, by the way, has never mentioned the Europa probe again, not having been serious about canceling the mission for flood control.
The ad and Bloomberg’s tendency to switch parties at the drop of a hat suggests a kind of opportunism, according to political observers, that is more derived for the 77-year-old billionaire’s benefit that it is for that of people who might vote for him.
His politics are somewhere between that of two other billionaires running for president in 2020, President Trump and Tom Steyer, who made his stash investing in coal power before becoming a radial environmentalist.
Bloomberg’s tenure as mayor of New York was considered successful since he retained most of Rudy Giuliani’s reforms. The only controversy that attended his tenure was an attempt to ban “big gulp” sugary soft drinks, on the theory that consuming too much sugar is bad for one’s health.
Despite the nanny state quality of the proposal, Bloomberg is remembered fondly next to the madcap misrule of the current mayor, Bill DeBlasio, who’s recent abortive run for president attracted tons of ridicule and no votes.
In Bloomberg serious about jumping into the Democratic race? Hot Air suggests not. For one thing, Biden is not likely to get out before Iowa and New Hampshire, and only if he does unexpectedly poorly.
Also, Bloomberg would have scant time to get on the ballot in all 50 states, with the attended campaign infrastructure. He might think he has enough money to do so but he should ask Steyer, who has spent a lot of money to be in the low single digits in the polls, what that might be like.
Hot Air has an interesting theory, though.
“Personally, I’m not putting a lot of stock in this report. The most likely explanation for this story is that Bloomberg is doing what he always seems to do. He likes to have people talking about him running for president because it keeps his name in the headlines and it’s good for business.”
Or, as Oscar Wilde once said, “The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about.”