Democrats could use some cheering up now that their conventional politicians are locked in fierce ideological battle. The moderate Democratic majority fears that an aggressive left could saddle them with a zombie candidate sure to lose to President Donald Trump. That person could also cost them control of the House by hurting down-ballot Democrats in hard-won swing districts.
Oh, happy day, then, that former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg is tapping his vast fortune to make defeating Trump central to his mission. Bloomberg is vying for the Democratic nomination, and his candidacy is gaining strength. But he’s now focused on getting under Trump’s skin.
Watching Bloomberg troll Trump should be a mood lifter for Democrats, independents and many Republicans desperate to end Trump’s reign of incompetence and all-around nastiness. Where do we start?
How about Bloomberg’s brilliant decision to buy an ad during “Fox & Friends,” Trump’s premier safe space? Trump blew his top. He went on a not-entirely-coherent tirade, something about Bloomberg playing the other Democrats for “clowns” and how, in the end, he will “consider himself to be the biggest clown of them all.”
After Trump bought a one-minute ad to air during the Super Bowl, Bloomberg purchased his own $10 million minute. It will undoubtedly call the president corrupt, a danger to national security, an environmental Neanderthal, a killer of the people’s health care, a failure in business, mentally unstable or some combination of the above.
That move unleashed another attack tweet from Trump, which Bloomberg met with mockery: “Glad to see you’re watching our ads.”
Of course, Bloomberg has bought airtime in West Palm Beach, Florida. That way, Trump won’t miss his ads while at Mar-a-Lago.
Dropping $1 billion on the 2020 campaign would hardly make a dent in Bloomberg’s net worth of around $60 billion. The founder of a financial services empire, Bloomberg has recruited thousands of highly professional staffers focused on data. And they’re everywhere. Bloomberg has 80 staffers in North Carolina and 60 in Arizona alone.
Bloomberg is not blessed with the arresting speaking style of Trump or Bernie Sanders. Then again, he got himself elected mayor three times in a city of waving arms and yelling. And he did so running first as a Republican, then as an independent and finally as a Democrat. You can call that wide appeal.
Bloomberg is now framing economic inequality as one of the great challenges of our age. He’s been a tiger on global warming, having served as United Nations special envoy for climate action. And he’s for giving all Americans the option of signing up for government-run health coverage. Good progressive stuff.
While other candidates are focused on a sliver of very liberal voters in Iowa and New Hampshire, Bloomberg is going to Rust Belt Ohio and soybean Minnesota. He’s been campaigning in Texas with Judge Judy at his side, thus reaching the regular folks who watch daytime television. He’s advertising in Pennsylvania, Utah, Oklahoma and Idaho.
A late entry into the campaign, Bloomberg is placing his bets on the Super Tuesday vote on March 3. That’s when 40 percent of the convention delegates will be chosen. But he plans to keep spending whoever the Democrats nominate.
Do I like the idea of a rich person inserting so much money into an election? I do not. I am grateful, however, that unlike another prominent rich New Yorker, Bloomberg is on the side of good. And he has single-handedly canceled Trump’s money advantage.
To borrow from my Republican friends in 2016, this will be a Flight 93 election. It is absolutely essential for the survival of the republic we love that Trump be shown the gangplank from the ship of state.
Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at email@example.com. To find out more about Froma Harrop and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators webpage at www.creators.com.