Amid Yesterday’s Drama, Mike Bloomberg Visits Washington
Author: Greg Valliere
January 17, 2020
IT WAS A DRAMATIC DAY: The beginning of the impeachment trial amid signs of new evidence that refutes the White House Ukraine narrative; passage of the NAFTA replacement treaty; more nasty sniping between Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. So there was little publicity as Mike Bloomberg quietly visited Washington.
VIRTUALLY NO NEWS OUTLET (EXCEPT POLITICO) COVERED Bloomberg’s visit with Hispanic groups, moderates, and undecided Democrats — all of whom reported that Bloomberg, at the least, convinced them to refrain from jumping to any other Democrats. “He was very impressive,” an attendee told us last night.
BLOOMBERG HELD CLOSED-DOOR MEETINGS with the Hispanic caucus, reiterating his apology for “stop and frisk” police tactics in New York. He also met with the Asian Pacific Caucus, the pro-business New Democrats and the centrist Blue Dog coalition. In his well-received meeting with the Hispanic caucus, Bloomberg occasionally spoke in Spanish, Politico reported.
BLOOMBERG HAS THREE MAJOR ASSETS: First, the Democrats have no clear favorite; Joe Biden seemed lackluster and inarticulate in Tuesday’s Iowa debate, and neither Sanders nor Warren have helped themselves as their feud persists. Second, the moderate Bloomberg may have the best chance of beating Trump. Third, of course, is that Bloomberg is worth more than $50 billion and is prepared to spend far more than $1 billion.
BLOOMBERG’S SOLID RECORD in business and as New York City Mayor is a big factor in his narrative, but it’s his money that stands out. He contributed $80 million in 2018 campaigns, and some of the recipients were in the meetings yesterday. They’re grateful, and several may endorse him before the March 3 Super Tuesday primaries.
CAN BLOOMBERG WIN THE NOMINATION? That’s a tough call; this brawl may persist until the July 13-16 convention in Milwaukee. An argument against Bloomberg is that he needs Biden to implode and that hasn’t happened yet. The party’s leftists resent Wall Street billionaires. And Bloomberg isn’t exactly charismatic.
BUT THERE’S A BUZZ AROUND HIM: Virtually everyone who met with Bloomberg yesterday came away impressed. His desire to defeat Trump seems passionate; he has pledged to spend lavishly even if he’s not the nominee. And, yes, there’s all that money. He’s hiring political pros, attracted to a fat paycheck, and his ads are everywhere — and they’re excellent.
IT’S TOO EARLY TO MAKE A DEFINITIVE CALL on whether Bloomberg could win the presidency, but his meetings in Washington yesterday raised eyebrows. At the least, he has a chance of making a move in this weak field of Democrats.
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