Reports have been circulating that former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, apparently concerned about the ability of any of the current Democratic challengers to unseat Donald Trump, may enter the race for the party’s nomination.
Bloomberg, who at various times has listed himself as a Republican, Democrat or independent, sees himself as an alternative to Joe Biden for moderates in the party who are seeking a candidate. He could become a serious player immediately by virtue of his vast wealth, something he’s been willing to spend to advance his political goals in the past.
Bloomberg served three terms as mayor of New York, where he got the reputation of being a fiscal conservative and social liberal. Among other things, he turned a budget deficit into a surplus, set up a new tech center, crusaded against guns and gun violence on the streets, and promoted public-private partnerships to tackle civic and education problems.
But he wasn’t all that popular politically, forced to spend large sums of money against lackluster opposition to win relatively modest victories in his three races. His lack of dominance at the polls can be traced in part to the fact he was a Republican running in a heavily Democratic city.
Bloomberg’s expansion of the stop-and-frisk program while he was mayor won’t go over well with the progressive element of the national Democratic Party, where some people are already painting him as just another rich white guy. If he gets the party’s nomination, it will only come after an expensive, divisive campaign.
One more thing: Despite the national platform the position gives the holder, no mayor of New York has ever been elected president.