While the media generally is bashing Michael Bloomberg for wasting hundreds of millions of dollars on a personal campaign to run for president in the U.S., I think he might have had another plan all along.
After investing almost $700 million in his personal campaign, he just walked away, or did he?
As a very successful entrepreneur, Bloomberg is clearly a smart person who thinks very carefully before making a move like this. As a politician, he understands the process; and as a philanthropist, he is one billionaire who has signed The Giving Pledge – unlike current President Donald Trump, who cannot help but brag about his wealth.
I don’t think Bloomberg’s plan was ever revolving around becoming the president.
Is he competent? I believe so.
Could it have happened? Certainly.
But what was the real issue? The real issue in my mind was a divided second party, a party with a spectrum of politics almost as broad as the overall political spectrum in the U.S. From Bloomberg to Sanders there is a bone-chilling variety of approaches if you are a card-carrying Democrat in the US.
No, I don’t think Bloomberg could count on changing the USA by being the President. But he could change the face of politics by investing wisely in another candidate.
Bloomberg understands the power of spending money in politics, as does Trump. But for Bloomberg to try and back a winning horse, he can only donate around $3,000 to the candidate. He could, of course, donate in a few other ways and increase that to somewhere around $100,000, as far as I can tell. But Bloomberg knows that compared to the Republican war chest that is a drop in the ocean. The other challenge by donating to the party is it will be divided among all of the candidates; when, in fact, they need to field the strongest candidate to have a chance to unseat Trump.
So there is only one other option. As a billionaire, with a solid background in business, politics, and philanthropy, you throw your hat in the ring. You hire some very smart people, you enter late, make a lot of the right noise, and weed out the weaker candidates. Then at the right time, statistically, you bow out gracefully.
In the process and in this instance, Biden – a more moderate candidate, who might appeal to someone like Bloomberg who is known to move from Democrat to Republican routinely in his support – benefits from a $700-million investment that took Bloomberg from nowhere to fourth on the list during his short but impactful campaign.
In comparison, Biden’s campaign had raised less than $100 million, falling behind some of the other candidates. Now as the field narrows and a candidate is picked, Bloomberg has the option to help the party without seeing his money diluted across a broad range of candidates.
Bloomberg’s process was completely legal, completely ethical, and as a reported “numbers guy,” I think he waited for the appropriate time to make the best investment that he could in unseating Trump.
It was a brilliant move that nobody in the media appears to be talking about because the media focusses on losing not winning! Bloomberg just had a major win. Let’s see how it plays out later in the year.
This article is written by or on behalf of an outsourced columnist and does not necessarily reflect the views of Castanet.