No matter what you think of Mike Bloomberg, you have to admit that his entrance into the presidential race is a very interesting one. In a few short months, we will know the answer to this question: can you buy an election?
Since Mini Mike, as Trump so eloquently calls him, became a more serious factor in the Democratic primaries, he has been the target of several attacks from both the right and left. Just like everyone on planet earth, he has said some things that could be considered hurtful or offensive to some people. Part of what comes with being rich and famous is that those things often get recorded. We all remember Trump’s famous quote about grabbing something in the Access Hollywood tape. Bloomberg doesn’t have one like that (yet), but there are still some quotes that will be used against him.
A clip from 2016 surfaced where Bloomberg effectively said that you could teach anyone to be a farmer. “You dig a hole, you put a seed in, you put dirt on top, add water, up comes the corn. You could learn that.”
A quote like this is evidence of that elitist attitude that is incredibly off putting to much of the country, especially those not on the coasts. To anyone who is a farmer or has been around farmers, this is an asinine thing to say, and is just plain wrong. It’s not my thing to clutch my pearls and get offended, so I won’t. It’s hard to take anyone seriously when they’re that far detached from the people they want to govern. Donald Trump and Mike Bloomberg come from very similar backgrounds and environments, but there’s a huge difference on how they communicate.
Mike Bloomberg is also facing some #metoo and sexism related criticism about his past behavior around women, as well as criticism for his comments on the “stop and frisk” policy he used as a crime deterrent as mayor of New York City.
I’m very interested to see if and how this will affect Bloomberg’s chances. As we’ve seen with Trump, it’s often how you respond that matters, and I don’t think Bloomberg has the same skill level as Trump. Not even close. For example, Trump’s famous Rosie O’Donnell comment seems to most people like a quick, off the cuff joke, but it was very effective in redirecting attention. Just watch:
This went from a full on attack on Trump’s past treatment of women, and he completely flipped it.
Does Bloomberg have the skill and tact to overcome his image problems? Time will tell. I have my doubts.
If money weren’t a factor, Bloomberg would be pretty easy for opponents to take down. However, we don’t live in that world. Money talks, and it talks especially loud when you have as much money as Mike Bloomberg. Hell, if he paid me enough I’d help him. I have a price too 😉
Get ready for an absolute Bloomberg barrage, both on news programs and commercials. For this reason, I could very well see Bloomberg winning the nomination, despite his weaknesses. As long as he is willing to continue spending, he has to be taken seriously. However, I don’t think he would stand a chance against Trump in a general.
Since I began writing this, the latest democratic debate has taken place. This debate was the first one where Bloomberg was a participant. As was expected, Bloomberg was the target of more attacks than any other candidate. Time will tell whether or not any of them stick. Also, to answer the question that everyone wants to know, Bloomberg did not stand on a box.
Journalism at its finest.