If Michael Bloomberg sees himself stepping into the presidential race to present Republicans with an alternative to Donald Trump, he is oh so mistaken.
I like Bloomberg. He’s a manager. He made a fortune running a business with his name. He did a fine job as mayor of New York City. He would probably be a good president.
As a centrist, Bloomberg would appeal to some of the old business wing of the Republican party. People who care more about the nation working well than they do about God-and-gun issues.
But that wing is very small and fragile anymore. Causes have trumped capability as a qualification for the highest office in the land.
As a Midwesterner, I can tell you it wouldn’t take much of an ad campaign to portray Bloomberg as somewhere to the left of Bernie Sanders.
Trump nicely parried Ted Cruz’s “New York values,” attack. (Right out of Jeff Roe’s playbook, for those of us familiar with the Kansas-City based consultant.) But Bloomberg would be stuck with the label. He’s right out of Wall Street, and he actually ran the city.
He’s pushed for gun safety, which will be translated to mean “an opponent of the Second Amendment.”
He tried to ban super-sized soft drinks because they cause obesity and jack up everyone’s health care costs. Or, as the ads will say, “he wants to limit your freedom to eat and drink as you please.”
He sensibly wants to normalize the status of undocumented immigrants who have followed U.S. laws. “Amnesty for lawbreakers!”
Oh, and Bloomberg gets along with President Barack Obama. That alone is a dream of a mailer.
As a centrist independent candidate in a race between Trump and leftist Democrat Sanders, Bloomberg might offer a viable alternative. But in a race with Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee, Bloomberg might just pull enough Democratic votes to swing the race to Trump or another Republican.
Bloomberg has good advisers. One hopes they will tell him that.