So, Mike Bloomberg wants to run for president.
Who can blame him? After all, it has to gall the former mayor to see his fellow mega-rich New Yorker Donald Trump in the White House.
Bloomberg wanted to run for president before Trump ever thought of it. Bloomberg’s richer. He’s actually got government experience as well as business acumen. He more urbane and polite. He’s politically correct.
“That should have been me!” he must thunder whenever he sees Trump on television. It all must make Bloomberg throw the New York Times across the kitchen every morning.
So there’s only one thing for Bloomberg to do: Run against Trump and dislodge him from the White House. In order to start the ball rolling, Bloomberg recently registered with the Democratic Party.
Actually, he re-registered as a Democrat. Because way back when, before he was our Republican mayor, Bloomberg was a Democrat.
But in a smart calculation when he was teeing up his mayoral run in 2001, Bloomberg, then a political unknown, realized that he’d never make it through a crowded Democratic primary field. What to do?
Simple: He changed his party registration to Republican and ran under that banner. The GOP was only too happy to welcome to the party a guy with a couple billion dollars in his wallet.
But the story doesn’t end there. You’ll recall that Bloomberg eschewed the GOP in 2007 and registered as an independent. The message: I’m beholden to nobody.
So Democrat to Republican to independent and now back to Democrat. Now there’s a guy with strongly held beliefs.
OK. That was a cheap shot. Because there are things that Bloomberg feels very deeply about. His gun-control crusade is real, for example. How that will play in a national election is another matter.
And Bloomberg’s stance against smoking is genuine. And, yes, the former mayor was right to prohibit cigarette smoking in bars and restaurants. It’s made for a better environment for all of us. And, contrary to those who screamed bloody murder, banning the butts did not cause saloons and eateries to go out of business.
So give credit where credit is due. But in classic fashion, Bloomberg over-reached when he tried to ban big sugary drinks. New Yorkers didn’t like it much when the mayor targeted salt either. Back off, Big Brother.
Bloomberg has a lot going for him as a potential candidate. He has wide name recognition and an ocean of money. He’s been through the rough-and-tumble of New York City politics, one of the best electoral training grounds you’ll find.
But what is Bloomberg’s constituency? New Yorkers were growing weary of his act at the end, especially after Bloomberg finagled himself a third term in office. This even after New Yorkers had twice voted that elected officials should be held to two terms.
Well, Mike knows best. That was always the thing with Bloomberg, right? The hubris. That touch of noblesse oblige. After a while it was just tiresome.
And let’s not forget: Bloomberg was likely headed to defeat in 2001 before 9/11 restored the shine to Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s halo and Rudy was able to transfer that mojo to Bloomberg. And Bloomberg won re-election in 2009 by the skin of his teeth. He hasn’t exactly been an electoral powerhouse.
In order to beat Trump, whoever runs is going to have to get right down in the muck with him. It’s going to be a high-volume street fight. That’s just not Bloomy’s game. He’d rather be the adult in the room.
And ask yourself this: Does Bloomberg fit in with a Democratic Party that’s increasingly charging leftwards? One that’s protesting in the streets? How well does the former Wall Street titan vibe with socialism?
But, hey. Former Trump attorney Michael Cohen has also re-registered as a Democrat. Maybe he wants to run for president too.