There are many maddening areas of public life, including “Pay to Play,” which rules American politics. To win a seat in the U.S. Congress, it takes about $3M every two years. We could opt to change the rules, but we’re nowhere near bringing this legislative change to the fore. In politics, as in so many areas of life, money talks.
This week, Mike Bloomberg’s money is speaking loudest. He entered the race to become the Democratic Party’s nominee on Monday and he did so with a $34M ad buy. Politico calls it the largest single ad buy in political advertising history.
As a centrist with deep ties to Wall Street, Bloomberg is expected to struggle among the party’s energized progressive base. He became a Democrat only last year. Yet his tremendous resources and moderate profile could be appealing in a primary contest that has become, above all, a quest to find the person best-positioned to deny Trump a second term next November.
He did not say how much he would be willing to spend overall on his presidential ambitions, but senior adviser Howard Wolfson did: “Whatever it takes to defeat Donald Trump.”
Forbes ranked Bloomberg as the 11th-richest person in the world last year with a net worth of roughly $50 billion. Trump, by contrast, was ranked 259th with a net worth of just over $3 billion.
Initially registered as a Democrat, Bloomberg, a Massachusetts native, filed paperwork to change his voter registration to Republican in 2000 before his first run for New York City mayor, according to a spokesman. In June 2007, he unenrolled from the GOP, having no formal party affiliation until he registered again as a Democrat this October.
Bloomberg is not raising money from individuals or PACS and he won’t take a salary, should he become POTUS. When I heard this, the first thing I thought was this means he won’t be sending pointlessly rude emails day after day. This fact alone puts him ahead of the pack.
I received one such fundraising email last night from Julian Castro. Castro wants me to be upset at Big Mike. “We already have a historically huge and diverse Democratic primary field. Consistently, every poll that comes out says that Democrats are extremely happy with their existing options in the Democratic presidential field. And yet – Billionaires feel entitled to jump in at the last minute and throw their obscene wealth around to try and rig the nomination in their favor.”
I like Castro a lot, but polls mean jack shit and the Democratic field is far from strong. Bloomberg’s entry into the race provides hope that someone is powerful enough to move the Donnies out of D.C.