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Opinion & Editorial

What Money Can Buy: Michael Bloomberg’s Run

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at the Presidential Gun Safety Forum in August. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)
Michael Bloomberg joined the democratic primary on November 24, and with him came his net worth of 55 billion. While his foray into the race drew plenty of media attention, it also begs the question: for whom exactly is Bloomberg running?

Bloomberg is a moderate, but he doesn’t have a base of support as Biden or present a new face like Buttigieg. His troubled history with stop-and-frisk and being a former republican will do him no favors in winning over a democratic party leaning more and more left. His immense wealth won’t help with supporters of Warren or Sanders, who often target the mega-rich in their policies.

Why Bloomberg would appeal more to progressives than someone like Yang, who not only successfully ran businesses but also nonprofits and has a progressive policy platform, is perplexing. It’s also important to note that Bloomberg is yet another old, wealthy, white male in a sea of mostly white candidates.

On his campaign website, Bloomberg brands himself as “a new choice for Democrats.” But what exactly does he bring to the table that’s different? His money dwarfs those of the other candidates, providing him the funding and resources that his fellow competitors could only wish for, excepting the “Need to Impeach” billionaire, Tom Steyer. 

The Bloomberg campaign is already spending millions upon millions on TV ads, and despite his previously stated problems, he has gained traction as new polling comes out-especially since polling is still mainly conducted over landlines, which targets an older audience that isn’t as active on social media because TV ads are often the only way to get name recognition. Without presenting anything necessarily new or interesting, Bloomberg’s money is giving him a fighting chance.

Bloomberg is running to beat Trump. Period. It was the first thing he said when he announced his campaign. The question left for the Democratic Party is whether Bloomberg (and his billions) is the right choice to do that.


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