By mid-morning on Saturday my phone was blowing up with the text messages and voicemails, some claiming credit for predicting it, others incredulous at the news.
Some just forwarded the screengrab of the DRUDGE REPORT: “Exclusive: Bloomberg Considers Hillary Running Mate.”
Drudge went so far as to claim sources placed so close to the former NYC mayor he stated Bloomberg was admitting he was willing to move his residence to Florida or Colorado to escape the electoral college dilemma of the president and veep being from the same state.
The New York Post reporting breathlessly on the same story literally broke the internet with the amount of celebrity retweet/reactions it garnered. Actor James Woods parroting a well-timed (if not grossly overused) meme of “Death Wish...” (A not so subtle reminder that people die mysteriously around the Clintons—especially when standing between them and the ascension to power).
Curiously by mid-evening—after literally being the viral story of the weekend—stories appeared in Politico, the Associated Press, and elsewhere claiming the days’ events had “overblown” the case. Note: none of the stories outright disputed the basic facts.
My theory holds the entire sequence was a trial balloon to garner reaction before the Nevada debate and caucus to insert Bloomberg’s campaign into the equation. He is still not on the ballot for two more contests. Odds are also shaping up for increasing momentum to be garnered by Sanders ahead of Super Tuesday, where his lead in California and now Texas have expanded big time.
Reminder: Bernie has won the most votes (by close to 10,000 votes) but somehow still finds himself being robbed of delegates. In fact, he trails Pete Buttigieg who has yet to corner an outright win to date. That trend will be demolished with big Sanders’ wins in the next three primary contests.
If the bad punch lines Bloomberg continues to ham-handedly deliver (like the ones in Texas this week parroting “Texan” expressions that no one‘s heard of) it's pretty obvious he’ll need more than his own (lack of) personality to assist his rise.
And while he has the resources to literally spend billions of dollars, if he emerges on Super Tuesday winless, and Sanders has big nights in California and Texas (along with a long list of states he easily won in 2016), Bloomberg’s finished.
As the news “broke” on Saturday the narrative seemed to indicate the Bloomberg campaign intimated that the ticket had scored extremely high in the internal polling they had taken on the suggestion.
None of the stories that I saw indicated results of such polling and I question the idea to begin with.
But I dare Bloomberg to follow through with this fatalistic and elitist idea. For a few reasons:
- Nothing admits desperation of a failing campaign like locking in a running mate long before it's necessary. None of the campaigns in my life who have done so have ever gone on to win the White House.
- Doing so extends Bloomberg’s belief that the grassroots movements of Trump and Sanders, while at the opposite ends of the spectrum, still aren’t truly populist in nature. Such under-estimation proved all pollsters wrong in 2016.
- It most likely drives the final wedge between leftists and diminishes turnout in the general election. Sanders’ supporters have made it clear that they will not accept an “old guard” nominee—especially if it appears (as it already does after only two states) that forces are trying to thwart Sanders by any means other than by his actually losing the bid via popular votes. Additionally, traditional leftists in the “moderate” lane will be unable to hold their nose and vote for the socialist. This divide is deepened by the appearance of “Hillary as savior.”
- Though Trump’s support is hotter than it was at this point in the 2016 cycle, the amount of fun the president would have at branding Bloomberg/Hillary would increase fervor among the base.
To date, Bloomberg has spent more money just trying to get into the presidential race than Trump did for the entire cycle and the eventual win in 2020.
Rightfully Sanders has jetted (in first-class no less) to the top of the polling of not only the next three important primary dates but to a “beyond the margin of error” lead in the national polling amongst Democratic voters.
The Hillary trial balloon is a dumb idea that traditional party leaders are desperately yearning for because of the steadiness of Sanders’ support, and the now no-longer-able-to-hide-it factor that the Democratic base is fully behind socialism.
And while the Democratic Party may be on such a misguided pursuit, America is not.
Democrats are just unable to lie about it to their own voters any longer.
Trump wins. He wins Big!