Mike Bloomberg Is Hacking Your Attention

Shamelessness and conflict equal attention. Attention equals power.

Comments: 293

  1. And maybe, just maybe, he knows the donald well enough and knows what he is doing. And maybe, just maybe, this time we should overlook the fact that a candidate doesn't have to go groveling for money. And maybe, just maybe, we could look at all the great things he did for this city. And maybe, just maybe, he has the country's best interests at heart. And maybe, just maybe, that makes him a viable candidate in spite of the fact that he has money. It is not a sin to start a successful company.

  2. @Melissa The Supreme Court changed the game. I do not want have lost but taken a noble stand about what we thought this country was. I want to drive the dictator out while there is still a chance. He has taught us a tough lesson which is that the Constitution in all its glory can be gamed. We are exposed. Bloomberg seems to me to be the best person to beat Trump given the rules of this new game. I say go for the win.

  3. @Better American than Republican: The Supreme Court is showing partisan behavior. The Senate now regularly shows extremely partisan behaviors (Merrick Garland, Excluding ALL Evidence from an impeachment trial, failing to pass legislation to protect our election systems and machines, failing to balance our budget in spite of our multi-trillion dollar debt). Most parts of the Executive branch and most federal agencies are now regularly deleting data, erasing large swaths of scientific databases (that took decades to collect), colluding with the industries they are supposed to regulate and police, and dismantling the checks-and-balances that were implemented over 200 years of strong pro-public stewardship. The trump administration has been using our National Security Classification of Secrets program to delete and hide information that can be used to convict trump and his accomplices. This will cause the statute of limitations to pass, preventing these criminals from facing justice. This is the reason John Bolton's book is in limbo today - because the Facts in his book are now considered "National Security Secrets" and thus he is being stopped from revealing them. These are just the tip of this colossal criminal enterprise called the trump administration. Bloomberg knows trump. He WILL pummel trump. He CAN save America from this ongoing disaster and existential crisis. On Jan 20, 2021, I sincerely want to see 5' 4" Michael Bloomberg sworn in as our next President!

  4. @Melissa "What happens in the future when the next election-buying billionaire isn't such a good guy?" I commend your optimism that we'll have another such election if Trump wins.

  5. Bloomie is spending a modest part of his fortune for a noble cause. He deserves our thanks. With a ten percent per annum return, his $50 billion will make him $5 billion this year alone.

  6. @Paco Gee, I wish I could get a 10% return on my savings account. Just another example of how the rules don't apply to the rich.

  7. @Paco 10% return huh? Where you get that, mate? That's Goldman Sachs territory. My bank hovers at 1%+/-.

  8. MRB has my attention and I want to learn more. So far he seems like a fully engaged progressive, science based and a bit of a crusader for a better future. He could be a winner.

  9. @Breck please don't use the word progressive with Michael Bloomberg's politics. You can praise him however much you want but he is not a progressive. He is a center-right politician.

  10. @Breck yet Bernie does have a point. Will super-rich plutocrats buy elections in the future? Does this nation become the functional equivalent of a monarchy or an oligarchy? Who is next? Bill Gates? And who in the next 40 years? There have been some benevolent kings in the past, but some awful kings as well.

  11. @ThinkTank Wrong, he’s a progressive philanthropist.

  12. So? What's the difference between trump getting help from the russians or any other foreign government? If Mr. Bloomberg wants to buy me a car to get my vote, he's definitely got my attention. And what about all those people who are going to trump's fundraiser paying over half a million dollars? They're buying, and trump's selling -- selling our presidency and our republic.

  13. Sometimes I've wondered what's cheaper, convincing companies that employ college educated workers to move 200k workers to MI, PA and WI or Bloomberg's final campaign tab. In any case much better that he spend it on getting the orange monsta out than yachts, private islands and such nonsense.

  14. During the past two weeks, I've encountered Michael Bloomberg's advertisements at multiple websites. So yes, he purchased access to my attention and yes, I did click on the links and read the material. However, that money has not purchased my vote. His record in business and as mayor of New York certainly are in his favor. But a decision about casting my primary vote for him or for Amy Klobuchar or for Pete Buttegieg will not be made on the basis of the amount by which he outspends either one of them. My decisions, like yours, Mr. Warzel, are mine and cannot be hacked.

  15. @Quiet Waiting Both Bloomberg and Steyer have been running TV ads way up here in Fairbanks. (Am sure the TV stations love them, we very rarely get any national political ads). Must say, Steyer's ads catch my eye. They are short (15 seconds), focus on a single issue, and are well produced. Bloomberg's are a total bomb, much longer and windier and generally more about Him than the issues.

  16. Bloomberg might be just what we need to counter the existential threat that is Trump to this country. Bloomberg is totally unafraid of Trump, knows his weak spots, and has basically unlimited resources. He needs to acknowledge, and apologize for, his rhetoric in regard to stop and frisk and highlight his work on gun safety and the environment. Make no mistake, though, our country and Constitution are under assault and at this point, I’m grateful for someone, however flawed, who is willing to fight the good fight to save them.

  17. Presidential candidates used to trail the country along train lines to campaign, Purely analogue. Nowadays, social platforms via internet are more efficient to campaign not withstanding disinformation like trolling, targeted ads, data gathering out of FaceBook and Google accounts.

  18. No, politics has not always been like this. But politics has always changed in response to cultural norms and technological innovation. The printing press in the 16th century, telegraph and rail in 1860s, radio in the 30s and TV in the 50s all revolutionized politics and destabilized seemingly impregnable establishments. Candidates who "go high when they go low" deserve to lose, and the voters who cling to that sanctimonious tripe deserve Trump for their President. Political communication has been democratized in a way scarcely imaginable twenty years ago, and if Mike Bloomberg has figured out how to capitalize on it effectively, then perhaps he should be president. Bloomberg is a lot more conservative than I am. But at the end of the day, he's not going to sell off our public lands to oil companies, he won't call climate change a hoax, he won't gut the EPA, he won't promote fake science, he won't collude with our nation's enemies, he won't put children in cages, he won't gut food stamps, he won't dump children and needy families from the Medicaid program, and he won't hang with smarmy fundamentalists. If he's the best to beat Trump then that's good enough for me.

  19. @Gary FS I appreciate your pragmatism. Well said.

  20. @Gary FS "If he's the best to beat Trump then that's good enough for me." Your argument seems to be that Bloomberg won't do the society-sapping things that the Trump administration is doing. Is that the best we can hope? "Political communication has been democratized in a way scarcely imaginable twenty years ago," You must be kidding. That WAS the Internet's promise. But who believes it now? And what exactly will Bloomberg be inclined to do with his political BROADCASTING billions. Notice that I used, in the interests of accuracy, the word 'broadcasting' rather than the word 'communication' ...

  21. @Gary FS How do you know he's not going to sell off our public lands to oil companies, call climate change a hoax, gut the EPA ... forbid the manufacture of soda, double smokers' health insurance costs, require all tvs in public offices to play the Bloomberg channel. After all, he's beholden only to himself.

  22. I had been intrigued with the idea of someone with deep pockets taking on the ad blitzing role to at least make noise that wasn't limited to what our various Dem candidates could afford. But I am sure not impressed when the Bloomberg tweets descend to trashing Trump on such a personal level. Not what I am looking for! Why do we need this kind of personal animus in public just because the Pres has no better way to communicate? I am trending towards Klobuchar now. I hope Bloomberg does not win the nomination and I hope he does support whoever does get it, as he promised to do.

  23. I really don't know what Mr. Warzel is trying to say with this column. All I know is that when I heard Bloomberg's Superbowl Ad I cheered at the end. I don't care how much money he spends so long as it achieves the desired effect of sending the gangster-president packing. No doubt that will take a lot of money, so spend it Mike! The fact is that what pundits are missing is that the MESSAGE FROM BLOOMBERG IS A GOOD ONE! He has a good record to run on. He's bringing up great issues and using Trump's own words to defeat him. So everyone else can carp all they want, I couldn't care less. I'm tired of reading articles about Bloomberg's money, as though becoming president doesn't require millions upon millions. Regardless, IF the message weren't good I wouldn't pay attention to them. In Bloomberg's case he's rising in the polls not just because he has ads on TV but because the MESSAGE of the ads is spot-on. End of story and I, for one, am not going to comment again on the issue of "money buying the race" because it insults my intelligence. If I didn't like the message, no amount of money spent on ads could impact my decision.

  24. @ManhattanWilliam You and Gary FS above both make good points. I am going all out for Bernie right now in the primaries, but if Bloomberg is nominated I will go all out for Bloomberg. Bloomberg has been very sincere in his governing and about this country, even starting gun violence prevention with his EveryTown movement. Bloomberg, like Bernie and Biden, are all running not for their egos in their 70s when the LAST thing they really want is the position of President of the U.S. I admire all three men for their patriotic efforts on behalf of the country.

  25. @ManhattanWilliam "I, for one, am not going to comment again on the issue of "money buying the race" because it insults my intelligence. If I didn't like the message, no amount of money spent on ads could impact my decision. So liking the message is all you require of a president? Many people feel Bloomberg, like any egregiously rich person, is not in touch with the needs of ordinary citizens, including those living outside Manhattan, William.

  26. @ManhattanWilliam Yes, Good acceptable message, a stable personnely and knows how to hire and manage. He can be the guy to beat Trump.

  27. I certainly have been talking about Michael Bloomberg all week. I'm so alarmed by his attempted buyout of democracy, I dusted off my neglected Facebook timeline to list why Bloomberg, a recently-Republican oligarch, should not be the Democratic nominee. Beyond well known examples such as stop and frisk, Bloomberg lavishly funded Republican candidates up until 2018, and his money went a long way toward ensuring a GOP Senate majority in 2016. I've been talking Bloomberg all week because I've seen an overnight surge in enthusiasm for him from people in my relatively affluent Democrat circles. Where I see a cheering section for plutocracy, they've largely convinced themselves in record time that Bloomberg is the ONLY candidate to beat Trump. They don't care that he gave $300,000 to the DNC, which bought him a rule change to bypass donation numbers and polling averages to make the debate stage. They shrug off everything from stop and frisk to Bloomberg's 2004 keynote at the RNC Convention to his sexual harassment complaints to his refusal to raise the minimum wage. All the unsavory facts about Bloomberg will percolate out. I'm hoping enough people catch on before we've nominated an establishment Republican billionaire to run against Trump, an anti-establishment Republican billionaire.

  28. @Ted B Where did you get your information about him funding Rebublican candidates in 2016 and 2018? He was a big supporter of Democrats including Clinton. He is not taking corporate money or the $5 bills from grass roots which has run out for all those candidates who dropped out. He is playing the game on the level that the president is playing the game. The rest of the candidates are running against someone from the old Republican party which is dead.

  29. @Ted B The polls have him right now in third or fourth place and climbing. Why is it wrong for him to be in the debates? It is all to the good that he doesn't accept donations. That money can go to down ballot candidates. Why should he be penalized for that?

  30. @Ted B Not everyone shares your perspective. I am down to; I learned a lot in 10 or 12 years and stop and frisk was a bad move. However reality suggest that we are at a By Any Means Necessary moment. The current guy and most of his appointments think it is Trump now, Trump forever a sort of a royal family - it is now their way is The Only Way; rights and support are to be given to only to white rich guys. Pick any of the possible next presidents - they will be better than this current president who believes he way above the law and has not ever thought ethics needed to be respected. We need a Dem that can fight in the ditch and act like an adult; someone to win respect in the US and across the world.

  31. I voted for Bernie happily in the primary and for Hillary grudgingly in the last election. This election is far different, Mr. Warzel. This election isn't about getting what you want, but rather, getting what you need. In this case that is beating Donald Trump. Period. It's going to take a lot of money to defeat him as it would any incumbent. It is also going to take someone who knows how to spend that money to wisely communicate his or her message. Bloomberg has demonstrated an ability to do both. He has a good chance to win if he makes the general election and I'm sore to say I don't have any confidence that any of the other candidates have what it takes. Is Bloomberg the perfect candidate for the democrats? Yes... because he can win.

  32. @Steven Thackston "Is Bloomberg the perfect candidate for the democrats? Yes... because he can win." Was Trump the perfect candidate for republicans? Yes ... because, in your value system, he won. Yet the idiocy and corruption we have witnessed since Trump won isn't just disgusting. It's dispiriting and terrifying to many. Bloomberg has the choice to spend his billions in ways that might truly improve the world and the latform to set, authentically, a good example But he's chosen to spend them on broadcasting. Wouldn't you, Mr. Thackston, prefer that he spend it on communicating? There's a massive difference between the meanings of these words. We have way too much broadcasting, although I believe the NYT and the Guardian are working strenuously to make their broadcasting as faciiitative of communication as possible. and I thank them for that. But most of us haven't yet learned the vast difference between broadcasting and communicating, and I can't imagine either Trump or Bloomberg have yet much of an idea of that, nor any billionaire, frankly. Can you, Mr. Thackston ... honestly?

  33. @Steven Thackston He is probably the candidate who is the least likely to beat Trump. He will rise in the primaries based on ads. But he will create no passion or enthusiasm or energy in the Democratic base. Every Democratic voter who votes will be an anti-Trump voter. Most won't vote because they will see it as a pointless contest between two billionaires. Most Democrats are already demoralized. How are Democratic women going to feel when they know they have to vote for a misogynist. How will people of color feel when they know they have to vote for a racist whatever they do? The moral dilemma will keep a lot of Democrats away from the polls. People want their vote to mean something. This is why Trump will beat Bloomberg, because for his voters the vote *does* mean something, even if what they care about is completely false.

  34. @Steven Thackston I can't trust the Mega rich. I feel they could not have accumulated that much money honestly.

  35. I wonder if Bloomberg is aware that he can say anything he wants about Trump on Facebook, and they will leave it up, regardless of whether or not it's true.

  36. I think those of us who are not people of color should all check in with our friends of color. If we don't have any friends of color, then figure out another way to hear their voices. If after that you still think there's a reason to be open to Bloomberg, please explain it to me. (Finally, If you are a person of color, I beg you to have more patience than some of the people you may know deserve.)

  37. @Lydia Are many people of color voting for Trump?

  38. Just so you know, Bloomberg has 22% support among Black voters and that number is growing.

  39. This is a great article for debate. Let’s face it, the mainstream media is completely left leaning. They make money by starting the campaign buzz early in the race and talking it to death. They create their own narrative and bizarrely (CNN) manage debates and enforce an internal bias and agenda through imbalances in coverage and scrutiny depending on the particular candidate. Status quo politicians benefit as they get in early and occupy massive amounts of coverage time for several months. This locks out non-politicIans. Incredibly, Trump never held office and somehow he played the free coverage game better than everyone and CNN gave him invaluable momentum. Now he governs just like his bombastic campaign style. So why is it so terrible that someone who believes in themself to skip all that noise, bias, clownish cable news, terrible editorial boards and bet on themselves with their own money. It’s not like the current process is covering itself in glory.

  40. @RobF Bloomberg is carpet bombing many places with ads. He's not skipping all the noise at all. Ads are one-directional communication. Bloomberg is skipping the part where other people get to ask him questions and he has to answer on the spot. He did the usual popular night talk shows where the host drooled over his money and asked him softball questions - much like they did with Hillary. He's not holding town halls where regular voters can ask him questions either. I don't even think he has any accounts where he can receive voter questions or feedback.

  41. @Viv I think Bloomberg is working just as hard as other candidates when it comes to rallies and meeting voters. He entered late because he is in many ways a reluctant candidate. Really, we're complaining because he is spending his own money to defeat Trump? Having used a lot of money to help Dems retake the House in 2018? Enough of this pontification!

  42. @Viv Check out his appearances on Colbert. There was no drooling.

  43. I agree with the pro-Bloomberg statements below although one should really look at the Stop and Frisk issue before being sold on this candidate. It's hugely problematic. My one goal for the election is to terminate Trump. Whichever democrat gives us the best chance--Klobuchar seems to be the right mix of background and values and genuineness plus she is from the midwest--is the one to elect. The Mayor of South Bend says the right things but I just don't sense the substance behind the words. Bernie would be a disaster and his following is not growing.

  44. It remains to be seen just how effective Bloomberg's saturation of social media is. According to a recent study, only 7% of social media users often discuss politics. It seems that social media posting is much more heavily reported on by the media than is warranted. That said, Bloomberg is giving new meaning to the "money equals free speech" claim, only proving that speech isn't so free. This is an interpretation - first made in Buckley vs. Valeo - that turns the "One man; one vote" principle on its head. Ever since, and subsequently reaffirmed by Citizens United, our democracy has been owned and operated by a handful of uber-wealthy interests. Until we reverse this nonsensical interpretation of the Founders intent, we'll continue as an oligarchy, not a democracy. Many are willing to give Bloomberg a pass in their hope that he can beat Trump. But that's simply trading long term problems for a dubious short term benefit. Maybe it's already too late. Maybe our democracy has already died and we're just waiting for the pulse to stop. Or maybe with this most recent naked perversion of democracy, Americans will finally see that they've lost any say in things. Sometimes we need to see the raw horror before we accept the facts.

  45. @Kingfish52 Any bets on whether US democracy or the planet will go first? Right now I'd rather have an oligarch who cares about climate change.

  46. Really. So what? The object must be to defeat Trump. Period. maybe we can get back to normal politics in 4-8 years but this is a crisis. Who else but Bloomberg knows how to play this president's game?

  47. @Old Cowgirl I agree Bloomberg - no saint himself - could be the savior, even if he has to get down into the gutter with Trump and the GOP to get elected. But I hope we can do better than merely return to "normal politics". That's what got us into this mess! Trump is the logical culmination of a 40 year GOP conspiracy to establish minority rule in a country whose demographics more and more favor the left. No this is not a theory. We are living it.

  48. @Old Cowgirl Who else but Bloomberg? Plenty of folks.

  49. @Old Cowgirl What other games does he know how to play? 1. Suppression of minorities: Just make a "xerox" of a typical black or hispanic and "hand it out to the cops". 2. Preserving the status quo: "eliminating red linning (making it hard for minorities to get loans) caused the financial crisis of 2008" The games that Bloomberg knows are the same ones that Israel uses to keep the Palestinians under control. American Citizens aren't Palestinians just yet!

  50. What worries me is not a Bloomberg presidency per se. I will vote for him if he is the nominee, no question. But this just adds more layer of insane money, making it difficult for well-qualified candidates of modest means. And while we may like Bloomberg's policies, I fear a trend in the future of other billionaire's taking a cue from his campaign. Most of them are not so "progressive". Charles Koch? Mark Zuckerberg? Jeff Bezos? They have more economic clout than Bloomberg and could easily buy themselves into office in the same way. That fact scares me. I think Amy Klobuchar hit the nail on the head in the debates. We need publicly funded elections. Let the candidates manage a set amount on an equal footing and see who comes out on top. The current system is terrible and is potentially going to get far worse.

  51. @Bill Thank you for bringing up the issue of precedence. I've been in Amy's camp since she announced and am staying there, making modest donations as I can.

  52. @Bill Publicly funded campaigns would absolutely be a sea change for the better. Short publicly funded campaigns work in Europe and have allowed competing factions to share power. I just don’t see how we get there when the politicians, the large donors, the corporations and the government unions live off the current system. I think this is the core political problem in this country.

  53. Too late, the Supreme Court is now stacked for some time to come

  54. Yes, many of you want to defeat Trump. I got it. But do we have to destroy our democracy with Bloomberg to accomplish that goal?

  55. @david gallardo If the option for you is to watch helplessly as Trump and the GOP dismantle your democracy, which is already happening, then taking a chance on Bloomberg makes sense.

  56. @david gallardo I dont think Bloomberg will 'destroy democracy'. The supreme court already did that with citizens united and repealing the voting rights act. look it up.

  57. Politics is about money. At least Bloomberg has a great message. He is the democratic candidate that Trump fears the most (he doesn't fear Bernie at all).

  58. Whatever Bloomberg is doing on the internet, behind it all is a rock-solid corpus of beliefs and policies, and an exemplary record of governance and support for candidates and policies. If he and his advisers have concluded that in this weird and diseased political and social climate, he needs to fight gangrene with gangrene, so be it. He has the aura of a natural leader, of someone who has come in to clean up the neighborhood. No one else in sight fits that description.

  59. Extraordinary times require an extraordinary response. In 2020.this response is going to cost a lot of money. Just in the last 24 hours Trump has attacked a private citizen, the fore person in the Roger Stone trial. Message: if you are on a jury for any of the President's friends and felons, vote to acquit or look over you shoulder for the next couple of years. Just in the last 24 hours Trump has threatened the entire population of New York with retaliation for investigations into his various schemes. Message: Drop the investigations or the airport lines get it. Money in politics is the reality. Sanders' grass roots fundraising ability $121M (so far) is both very impressive and still may not be enough in the general election. Democratic unilateral disarmament is not an option. I'm OK with Bloomberg throwing his money into the race against Trump. I'm also glad Sanders can raise money -- he'll need it against the Trump machine that will define him as a crazy socialist. If Sanders can't overcome Bloomberg's money in the Democratic primary, he has no chance against Trump. The same is true of every Democratic candidate. Let's find out now.

  60. @LT This...If Sanders can't overcome Bloomberg's money in the Democratic primary, he has no chance against Trump.

  61. Go Bloomberg Go! Proven track record in NYC, richer than DJT (!!), and a rocking' businessman. I'll vote for you in a heartbeat.

  62. Mr. Warzel misses the point: Bloomberg is moving out fast because his policies are sound and sensible, his record is excellent, and his dynamism is impressive. He's shown himself to be a likable, committed public servant. So many of us want to see effective gun control. Check, Improvement of schools and educational programs. Check. Broad access to affordable health care. Check. A massive, urgently needed upgrade of our infrastructure, Check. The list goes on. Add to it decency, commitment and integrity. Bloomberg's money is irrelevant. He's doing well because he espouses the policies we need, and because he's experienced and effective. I'm a fan of Bernie Sanders, but I'll vote for Bloomberg if he is the Democratic nominee. Go Bernie! Go Mike! Go Dems!

  63. Mr. Warzel's use of the word "transactional" hit the nail on the head. At bottom the Democratic Party was always transactional. The only real question they ever asked voters was, 'what will your vote cost me?'. Now they've gone further, they're asking, 'what will you pay (Mr. Bloomberg) for control of the whole party?'. What does this mean? Democrats always assumed the voters were for sale, but nobody ever thought the party itself might be for sale--now we know it is. For Democrats it was always just a money deal, all that talk about 'the people', or 'democracy' was always just a way to cover up the truth. Compared to the Democrats, Republicans are starting to look like selfless patriotic idealists.

  64. No sir - JFK for example, was not ‘transactional’ when he went on national TV and proclaimed that “race has no place in American law or life.” He took massive risk when he made that statement, threatening the comfort of so many by offering the few a chance to equitably compete for their share of the American dream. Some argue the Democratic Party lost the south as a result of that speech, but it was worth it in the long run for all parties. He was a very rich scion, who could have loitered in luxury, but instead he did what was right for the greater good of the country and humanity. It wasn’t ‘transactional’ but it was on the right side of the angels, and history. Don’t forget that there are great American examples of courage without personal reward.

  65. @Ronald B. Duke The party was definitely 'for sale' in 2016, when the Clintons paid down DNC debt in exchange for a literal monopoly candidacy buttressed by pre-declared Super delegates. Bernie was just supposed to be a foil for Herself's ascendence, but he had the chutzpah to actually build a credible campaign and big donor base.

  66. @Arblot I didn’t know Camelot was still a thing. If JFK was on the side of the angels they are peculiar angels. I don’t need to enumerate his missteps. I like him, but he was extraordinarily human with many faults.

  67. Ok, so what do you want? Stop complaining about Bloomberg spending money. That is how the game is played now. Trump got millions in free ads by the news networks covering his campaign. What some liberals do is complain and whine, while the other side plays a master class in political gamesmanship. I have no issues with Bloomberg spending his own money. In a way to me it shows how much he cares. I support this man and I think he will be capital letter awesome.

  68. Yes, politics is a 'long, well-funded attempt at hacking people attention'. But in the 21st Century, the tools to do that have become nuclear - orders of magnitude more effective than in previous decades, both in terms of sophistication, reach and effectiveness. They reach in and hijack our very imagination, instantly. So what to do? It seems to me that Pandora's Box is fully open, and we can never go back to those halcyon days when politicking was a stump speech and opinion pieces. So you go for it, Mike! Do whatever you need to get rid of the toxic evil in the White House.

  69. I wouldn't know a social media influencer from the man in the moon, have no social media accounts and spend little time online, however my understanding is that republicans have a huge advantage over democrats in money and social media expertise. Thus, I applaud Mr Bloomberg for directly taking on Trump and the republican machine. It truly is a sad commentary on our nation, that social media influence is so easily disseminated and propaganda so easily digested. Facts, reasoning and critical analysis are apparently too old-fashioned in the US>

  70. Okay, let's cut to the chase. Who wants to buy my vote? Show me the money, cut me a check. If billionaires are willing to pay for a vanity presidency, I want my cut of the action. This is the inevitable result of the financialization of everything.

  71. @Larry Roth I agree with your concluding statement although I would have said "monetization." I haven't seen a single Bloomberg ad, and my vote is not for sale. All I want is decency and the rule of law. The dems appear to be completely feckless, and the repubs appear to have sold their grandmother's souls. I have modest expectations for Mike Bloomberg, but I sense that he can meet them.

  72. @Larry Roth Larry, The Supreme Court is largely responsible for this re citizens united. its not bloomberg's fault.

  73. @East Coast Not his fault? So what? He's taking advantage of it.

  74. Unlike the President, Bloomberg has been honorable about his charitable contributions. He didn't fleece desperate people signing up for a bogus Trump University program promising real estate riches. Instead Bloomberg has been enormously charitable about causes that matter: gun control, climate change and health issues. For all the criticism of "stop-and- and frisk" for which he is criticized, as if he invented the policy (not the case) as New York City's Mayor, this is the same person who has spent huge sums of his personal wealth to get guns off the street in areas where too many children cannot walk outside to play for fear of being shot. Clearly, his commitments are serious and, moreover, extend way behind just himself, again unlike Trump. So I have no objection to his spending his own personal fortune, hard-earned to run for President and I look forward to an adult like Bloomberg in the White House.

  75. Bloomberg is not a random billionaire "buying" a nomination. He has a 12-year track record as a chief executive of a huge, diverse, controversy-filled, universally visible city. It is there, warts and all, to be debated and examined - as is happening, and rightly so. No candidate in the field can point to a superior level of substantial governing experience. As for his money: the Republicans gave us Citizens United. As long as their victory remains un-reversed, money talks, and we Democrats might as well be happy that someone on our team can use the Republicans' invention against them. Plus for us: he can spend like a Republican without owing anything to patrons. It's a question for another day whether the field should remain open to infusions of unlimited wealth. I think it shouldn't. But it's the field we are playing on in 2020.

  76. @Seraficus "As for his money: the Republicans gave us Citizens United. As long as their victory remains un-reversed, money talks" Um, Citizens United was a 2010 case. Bloomberg WAS a Republican then. Ergo, Bloomberg was part and parcel of the Citizens United decision granting special powers to the rich.

  77. @Seraficus Let's just tell it like it is, money is everything. If Bloomberg doesn't win let's hope he still spends his money getting rid of the guy in the White House.

  78. @Seraficus YES. YES. And YES. Thank you.

  79. I think Warzel misses the bigger points. Bloomberg did not decide to enter the race until he concluded that Biden, the Dem's best hope, is not likely to get the nomination. His competition is not the other Dems, but Trump, who's mastered the internet and social media in a way no Democrat previously had. As for spending money, there, too Trump is the enemy, whose fundraising acumen is only increasing.

  80. If it comes as news that money dominates American society in both business and politics you haven't been paying attention. And it is rare that the American public is better off when massive amounts of cash are directed to a cause that benefits more than just the wealthy. Bloomberg is not without his faults but the reelection of Donald Trump is a frightening prospect for our country.

  81. I agree with almost everything Mr. Warzel says. But defeating Donald Trump is so important for our country that I am willing to put up with a great deal, even underhanded campaign tactics that I would ordinarily abhor. If Michael Bloomberg is the man to beat Trump than he is my man.

  82. Just a few thoughts: - I think asking questions about how campaigns are funded and conducted is important. And I think it's important for voters to be aware of how money and the exploitation of our media environment is critical to voters' decision-making. So, this piece from Mr. Warzel is a good one. - I don't know how I'm going to vote in my Democratic primary. And to date, I have made contributions to support other Democratic Party presidential candidates. Nonetheless, having followed Mr. Bloomberg's activities as a businessman, mayor and philanthropist, I think he could well become a better than average president with respect to the social, environmental and foreign policy issues that I care about. - I certainly don't mind hearing Bloomberg's direct and frank characterizations regarding just how terrible Trump is performing as a leader of our nation.

  83. On the plus side he'll get oligarch support, which probably counts for a lot more than is apparent. Similarly he'll get media support for all the cash moving around. And no one else is making a dent. One could do worse than Bloomberg, if I recall he's good on environment and is competent and most importantly is sane and stable. There's a scenario where Bloomberg draws the blood and beats up the elementary school bully, but someone else takes top spot and then gives Bloomberg a job?

  84. Bloomberg never 'hacks' but acts, and does not like to see our country being racked apart by irresponsible and devious political strategical plots that enervate, excite or exasperate the equilibrium necessary to implement the progress of our nation and citizenry, presently laced with allegations of foreign interference. We are being brainwashed, and our attention diverted by Ads and other shameless devices, but while this is true to a certain extent, the Opinion writer omits to mention that many voters are too busy trying to live, and keep their wits in the midst of vast confusion, to take a deep breath. 'It is better to remain calm; try to remember that all epochs have had to suffer assaults on commonsense and common decency; art and letters, honor and wit, courage and order, good manners and free speech, privacy and scholarship; even if sworn enemies of these abstractions seem unduly numerous in contemporary society', wrote Anthony Powell, when addressing basic core values. Bloomberg is a seasoned warrior and a worthy challenger to this presidency, able to keep his powerful attention on matters of state that impact on All the People of the United States of America. There is something good and honorable to say about this latecomer, willing to spend his fortune in the race to save our country. A capitalist who has profited without stiffing others, he has the right stature for this voter's attention, without the use of the internet. Above all, 'Mike is for Real'.

  85. The last line captures it all: "After all, what is politics if not a long, well-funded attempt at hacking people’s attention?" It has been this way since the founding of our country and, with the Citizens United ruling by the Supreme Court, it will continue well into the future. Or until Congress passes a law to change it, but I'm not holding my breath. There is so much money in politics these days, it's downright sinful. Bernie Sanders accuses others of accepting corporate donations, but just because he is able to generate millions of dollars to wage a presidential election, why should others be hamstrung as long as they play by the existing rules? I have mixed emotions about Bloomberg and the way he is "gaming" the system, but at the end of the day, it is up to the electorate to decide on his worth as a candidate. If nothing else, though, he is spending his own money and he has vowed to help other Dems, even if he is not the eventual nominee. How much is that worth?

  86. @Morals Matter Elected politicians in both parties excel at fundraising They will never vote to diminish its impact. They are the winners at that game. I understand the attraction of someone immune to those corrupting pressures. But self funding billionaires are not tempered by parties and average people. They are also immune to more positive pressures. I prefer the Roman Republic, with its flaws, to Caesars. I don’t pretend to know how get out of this place.

  87. Being the astute businessman that he is, Bloomberg has adapted to the situation and the environment as it exists today. He understands what it will really take to beat Trump. None of the other Democrats stand a chance. Being a Democrat myself and having a lot of Republican friends, Bloomberg is the only person running against Trump that my Republican friends would ever consider voting for. That tells me all I need to know. I want to win. Bloomberg is the guy to do it.

  88. @Jim V Hear hear! Bernie's argument that he is going to turn out a whole bunch of voters who never voted doesn't hold water for me. You have to appeal to centrists and Republicans disenchanted by Trump

  89. "bloomy is the only person running against [the loser] that my Republican friends would ever consider voting for." There's the problem. Republicans aren't your friends. They GAVE you the loser in the first place. Why trust them to vote for bloomy after he buys the primary? They've SHOWN you who they are. BELIEVE THEM!

  90. @Jim V That also tell me all I need to know. You should always vote Republican and stop pretending. You deserve Trump.

  91. If he does nothing else but continuously hound Trump with Tweets and the like along the lines of the examples you gave, then that’s a good thing.

  92. Here is a hypothetical scenario for presidential elections in an alternate universe: • A presidential candidate could win the presidential election by having close associates and confidants use social technology platforms to ensure they win the election at any cost, without any immediate connection to the individual running as the presidential candidate. Once they win, should those associates and confidants come under legal scrutiny, the individual will use all available resources of the presidential office to ensure any legal ramifications against those are limited or removed should they be convicted or tried for crimes. • A presidential candidate could win the presidential election by having campaign staff use social technology platforms within the current permissible terms and conditions of the companies, and presidential election campaigning guidelines and regulations. With very deep pockets to mostly finance their campaign with little or no campaign donations, the likelihood this presidential candidate is able to massively influence a huge part of the voting population and soon to be voters is possible. Now here is the Trillions of Dollars question: Ethically and morally is there any difference between the two styles of campaigns? Both elections appear to have been bought outright... What a strange alternate universe this is... Glad it is only hypothetical and can not possibly happen... The presidential elections is, and was, never meant to be bought in November.

  93. Here’s a difference: one will destroy the environment and the planet; the other will save it

  94. @Bryan P. Auza what's your point? Bloomberg has a moral center. the evil criminals in and around the WH are going to spend just as much money? are you afraid of Bloomberg?

  95. He’s neither a democratic socialist nor a national socialist - that makes him a viable candidate right there. Money from his own account vs special interest super pacs and lobbyists pulling the strings could be a good thing too. His wealth should not be a focus. His policies and intellect are what matters. Let’s see what happens...

  96. Bloomberg isn't just the only entirely self-funded candidate in the race, he's also the only one who can coolly get under Trump's thin skin. Asked if Americans really need two billionaires running for president, Bloomberg quipped ... "Who's the other one?" I like Mike.

  97. @Hugh Briss I like him too--and I have heard none of this as I don’t have a TV and the only FB I see when I look in on grandchildren once-in-a-while is want ads for household goods. We certainly can’t change the way elections are financed unless we get the corrupt demigod out of there SOON!

  98. I voted for him today. His strategy is brilliant. It’s sad, but pragmatic. I was praying two years ago that Bloomberg would get into the race, because, as do many Americans, I feel the most important qualifying factor is getting Trump out of office. We have seen what America will vote for. Give them a real billionaire who earned his fortune with no qualms about getting muddy and he might well do it. Cynical, yes, but aren’t we all at this point? (Also, I think he is a good man who will make a very effective president).

  99. @Sarah I agree - As far as I can see, Bloomberg has a moral center which impels him to do this as much as anything.

  100. @Sarah Exactly. I did, too. Today.

  101. The DNC shuld be running ads like Bloomberg's. They should should be getting the Democratic message out now and not waiting for the convention and nominee. That 'infrastructure' shuld already have been built.

  102. Sometimes, as in now, you cut the human element of campaigning altogether. I met Biil DeBlasio outside my co-op in 2016 and he did not impress, yet shook my hand 4 times and pronounced that he "Liked my spirit" That spirit was 2 Grey Goose Cosmos waiting for Bernie to appear on Colbert's Brand New Show. I today neither follow Bernie or Colbert. Colbert licked and swallowed Hillary! Bloomberg can do this, if he uses his head and brings Booker in as VP. Then and only then. . . a fiscal hero and a genuine run into a burning building and save folks hero. . . will We triumph. And yes we will.

  103. @Linda Great comment! Bloomberg and Booker, both mayors of ungovernable cities who made some progress in keeping the vitality of their cities alive during hard times. Booker can take care of traveling to every corner of America to spread the inspiration of a future vision for our country to the people of the USA as VP. Bloomberg has the skills to re-build the government organization of the USA and cure the damage done by Trump and his Republican party to the representative democracy we voters thought would only get better as it grew older and wiser.

  104. @Linda Amy would be my pick for VP.

  105. @Linda or bloomberg-gillum an unbeatable ticket or Bloomberg-klobuchar

  106. I would have agreed with a lot of the thoughts in this article four years ago, but not anymore. I am supporting whomever is capable of winning, and I think Bloomberg is our best chance. And good for Bloomberg to give it right back to Trump on social media. It’s about time we had someone who could hit it back just as hard. Does that make me “one of them”, not going high when they go low? I honestly don’t care. I can live with it. It’s time to overthrow a king again. Our democracy is at stake.

  107. @Cay - The problem is that Bloomberg is offering nothing of substance. He isn't going to do anything to shake up the system that produced Trump, nor is he going to do anything to help average Americans. Hillary ran on the "I'm not Trump!" message and lost miserably because of it. Without a rallying cry message he will lose in the general.

  108. @Cay But Bloomberg will almost certainly not adopt Trump's tactics of ceaseless bullying of the weak and those who criticize him, chronically lying, and refusing to apologize or acknowledge responsibility for anything. Bloomberg is going low by some standards (e.g. mentioning Trump's "obesity") but the bottom is a long way down.

  109. @Felix The old revolution vs status quo argument. I personally like Bloomberg's policies. Please go to his website and read them. They're grounded in reality yet ambitious. The promise of a socialist revolution will not win the electoral college.

  110. I don’t understand your point. Bernie and Liz and Pete and Amy and Joe aren’t even going to prick Trump’s finger. Mike has the money and the gumption to take Trump to the cleaners. Isn’t that what Democrats want?

  111. @David G. All conjecture, which everyone who supports bloomberg seems to like to repeat in order to make it so. But it takes ignoring for instance, polls that show that bernie would be trump. No, not prik a finger, but cut it off completely.

  112. @David G. If we toss aside honorable people for a billionaire sitting back, waiting, spending a tiny fraction of his fortune, and never breaking a sweat, who will want to run in the future?

  113. @Buster Dee Bloomberg is as honorable as anyone else in the race. Why should a few early, unrepresentative primary states decide who the candidate is? Bloomberg isn't the reason why candidates have been tossed aside. The public (through poll responses) is. It's entirely legitimate for someone to see how the race was playing out before deciding to get in.

  114. Let’s hope his efforts get him the nomination. He is truly our only chance of ousting Trump.

  115. @Maggiesmom No, he's not truly our only chance. There are a number of them who are actually working hard to gain voters by talking to them and touring the country and not just throwing their money around.

  116. @Maggiesmom “Our only chance” smacks of the Donald’s “only I can fix this”. I worry that you might be correct, but I also worry that we are setting an extremely worrying precedent.

  117. @Nathan Bloomberg is crisscrossing the country working just as hard as the others. Come on, give the man his due. He didn't have to run, he waited until it became clear Biden (and others) didn't have what it takes to beat Trump.

  118. It's called fighting fire with fire. I don't like the fact that Bloomberg is really a Republican, but if he can beat Trump perhaps your Democracy still has a chance. If Sanders gets the nomination, I don't think he can win. It's that simple.

  119. @LauraF , all polling signals Sanders as perhaps the strongest against Trump. He does better with minorities and independents than every other candidate. A poll out of Texas today had him within 2 of Trump in a head-to-head matchup. Bloomberg can spend his money in the general (the Republicans have a billionaire warchest of their own), but buying the democratic primary is plutocracy at its finest.

  120. @LauraF So now we have two candidates, one a Democrat who calls himself a Republican, and one a Republican who wants to call himself a democrat. Chameleons in season.

  121. Spending down his fortune to save the republic. And that's after being the best mayor of NYC since Peter Stuyvesant. Which is after building a global business that everyone in IT would love to work for. If there were only more people just like him. Citizens. Patriots. People who give back when they don't have to.

  122. @NYC Father he was actually way better than Stuyvesant.

  123. @NYC Father Best mayor if you weren't a person of color.

  124. The author, like most columnists, spends far too much time online. No Charlie, most Americans are not part of the punditocracy, twitterati, and commentariat. They look at things differently, and that is what the Democrats don't get, as they engage in the one thing they are adept at, a circular firing squad, thus likely ensuring Trump's reelection in the process. Best I can tell, at least with Bloomberg it is clear that Trump is the foe, not another Democrat.

  125. @Steve Fankuchen - He's been blanketing the airwaves with TV ads too. Bernie Sanders has also done nothing but attack Trump. Listen to his speeches and try to find one where he attacks one of his fellow Dems.

  126. Perhaps if Warzel off his gadgets and traveled across our country several times at ground level, whether by thumb, car, or train, and actually talked to whoever crossed his path, he might start to get a clue. Talk to whoever picks you up hitching, Charlie, talk to whoever is seated with you in the train's dining car, talk to the motel owner in Caspar, Wyoming, talk to the waitress in the diner in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, talk to the Navajo shoppers in the Walmart in Gallup, New Mexico, talk to the oil worker pumping gas next to you in West Texas. Then come back and write a column. Again, with Bloomberg it is clear that Trump is the foe, not another Democrat. How refreshing. How hopeful. How productive!!!!

  127. Some people think he's the only viable candidate who could beat Trump. I'm not yet convinced but I'm not counting him out.

  128. I spend a decent amount of time in the Fox News comments sections to try to get a feel for what dyed-in-the-wool Trump voters are thinking, and I can tell you this: they are nervous about Bloomberg. Where they mock and belittle other Democratic candidates, they bemoan Bloomberg’s surge in the polls and entry into the debates as unfair. There’s a palpable sense that he can beat Trump. Perhaps more importantly though, I’ve seen some Trump fans conceding to liking Bloomberg a bit. This is encouraging as it means some people might be persuaded to leave the Trump camp. That’s good enough for me. I’m sold on Bloomberg.

  129. @Kurtis a lot of trump voters also have said they like Bernie and would vote for him--he is winning in the polls against trump. So is that also good enough for you? It is for me.

  130. @Nathan Yes, Bernie would get some Trump voters, but he would badly lose never-Trump moderate Republicans (suburbs)... and there are far more of those than Bernie crossovers.

  131. @Kurtis have you noticed that the Trumpians, Fox News and company etc. seem to be trying to promote Sanders? Portraying him as a better candidate than any of the others and not mentioning Bloomberg at all. I think it's a way to get the attention off Bloomberg. I don't normally watch Fox News but lately I have on YouTube because I want to see what they are doing.

  132. the author shows the disturbing tendency of many liberal, albeit democratic pundits to pontificate. Answer a simple question. How much money do the republicans have to throw at the election? Some people say its about a billion dollars. Almost everyone agrees its the largest warchest seen to date in politics. No one candidate is perfect; everyone wants to jump on Bloomberg because of a few of his past policies, having wanted a third term as mayor of New York and the accusation he's using his money to buy the election. Now compare him to who he's running against. The most corrupt president in the history of the United States and someone who is possibly a Russian asset, who has obstructed justice and avoided the repercussions of his many nefarious acts and statements. Imagine Trump is re elected. I'd say the odds are high there just might not be another election in America's future. Dont forget the lesson of 2016- 17 ordinary Republican politicians were destroyed by Trump. Does anyone realistically think Sanders, or Pete or any of them have a real chance against him. Wake up. We ought to be thankful Bloomberg is running because he's our only chance to preserve the democratic institutions in this country and maybe the country itself.

  133. @Gary Sclar We are talking about him buying the primary here, not the general. The fact that Bloomberg can just bombard the electorate like this because he's a billionaire is absurd. This is plutocracy at it's finest.

  134. I haven't seen a single Bloomberg ad or meme, but unfortunately, yes, Bloomberg is "hacking my attention" with all these headlines out of nowhere, only because Biden didn't perform as expected in the first two tests. Lots of people seem to be missing the point of individual donations. The donations of individual people reflect their support, and collectively through that support, we can gauge where we stand as a nation, what our priorities are, and what we want as Americans. (We already know what one person can do with their money.) By thumbing his nose at individual donors and up to this point staying away from pesky make-or-break debates while flooding the nation with polished images, and also being a sort who is going to protect the financial interests of the wealthy elites that run our government, he is poised to slip right in, and people, without questioning anything with think only if enough other people think he's the only one with money to take on Trump, then I guess he's our only hope. Bloomberg is relevant only because these are desperate times--he might stave off a dictatorship (assuming Trump cedes the throne should he lose) but it means it's just going to put off another 4, 8, 12 years or more taking care of things that will truly help this country recover and maybe someday flourish.

  135. @Rhonda Bloomberg has a record in public office. Did he use it to enrich himself? How did he separate his business from his mayoral duties? At least he hasn’t run a fake university and fraudulent charity that I’m aware of.

  136. Except with climate change and gun control. He’s exceptionally good on those issues. And we can recover from pretty much everything eventually, except global warming and anti-science

  137. @Rhonda Bloomberg hasn't "thumbed his nose at individual donors" any more than he has "stayed away from pesky debates." The DNC rules have so far kept him out of the debates because he hasn't met the DNC's polling requirements to qualify. So he launched his own campaign, his way, and put his money on the table. Citizens United is not Bloomberg's making; it's the result of our corrupt political system. Trump ascended to the presidency partly on money he and his corrupt enterprises grifted from the federal government, Trump "university" students, sleazeball financiers like Sheldon Adelson, and free publicity from the media eager to cash in on the trumpian trainwreck. At least Bloomberg is playing with money he made. And he has trump running scared in a way that the feckless dems cannot even understand. Mini-Mike will kick trump's racist bankrupt golden toilet seat back to Atlantic City where he has amply proven his omnipotence and where his progeny can learn to deal cards and throw dice.

  138. I haven't personally seen much evidence of the Bloomberg campaign but I would like to see him in the debates. Given the apparent weaknesses of all the other candidates Bloomberg has a serious chance of winning. The Trump tactics that work so well on the right can't possibly work very well on the left because of the cultural differences. The way social media has been constructed it favors the right which is one reason, perhaps the main reason, why this country seems to be rapidly headed toward dictatorship and fascism. Maybe it will be Bloomberg as the Democratic candidate with the task of saving democracy as none of the other candidates are exactly hitting it out of the park.

  139. Social media favors the right? I'd like to see that statement supported & explained, thanks.

  140. Living in a red area of PA sometimes referred to as Pennsyltucky, I must say that I'm grateful for Mike Bloomberg. Trump, Pence, and Devos have been visiting my area- it seems like every other week! Mike Bloomberg has inundated my facebook feed. His TV and radio ads are the only counterpoint to Trump administration visits right now. The race has begun here, and the rest of the Democrats are months behind. I look around and see that my Trump supporting neighbors are eager to vote. They are as confident as Democrats are anxious right now. I want to be idealistic, but I have to be realistic.

  141. Bloomberg is already driving Trump up a wall with unrequited rage. But Bloomberg needs to start accepting donations. We judge candidates by the amount of money they raise. Bloomberg should start a campaign asking people for $5 - no more, no less. That way he can get millions of contributors and $5 should just about cover the cost of processing the payments. I'd suggest a flat dollar (wouldn't that be sweet), but it would cost twice that to simply process checks or e-payments. By the way, Bloomberg lucked out in his strategy. He essentially waited to see if an easily elected candidate was quickly the front runner. When no one showed up. he stepped in.

  142. @Kathleen Bloomberg has had a good amount of luck. I am only hoping his streak continues for another 10 months or so.

  143. @Kathleen I have a different suggestion. His campaign can ask supporters to donate to other Democrats of their choice, in congressional races, for instance, in lieu of donating to him. If all his supporters did this it could generate a lot of small donations in important Congressional races. Or even state races. Like in NPR pledge drives where someone donates matching funds. Only here the small donors are matching the dollars he puts in to turn the country blue.

  144. The brutal reality that political journalism is only now just beginning to confront is that conventional politics is dead. It died in 2016 when Donald Trump, thanks to the estimated $5 billion in free air time and column space he was generously given by the cable networks and news media, was completely able to bypass the conventional political system and communicate directly with his public without editing and filtering. With this advantage in airtime, no conventional politician can defeat Trump. The only way to beat a candidate with billions of dollars of free airtime is with billions of dollars of airtime. Recognizing this new fact of political life, Bloomberg is doing the exact same thing as Trump, flooding the airwaves with his messages without any news media filtering. But in a bizarre twist, instead of having all the airtime given to him, like Trump, Bloomberg is simply buying the airtime himself. If Bloomberg's candidacy continues to take hold, we can expect a strong pushback from the media in articles such as this that he did not make the normal round of cable shows and news interviews, kissing the rings of all the political media stars. The political establishment brought this on themselves. The logical conclusion of a corrupt, money-based political system is that only billionaires can afford to run for president. Political journalists of all people should not be shocked, angered or surprised at this development, as the author of this article seems to be.

  145. @John M Exactly the thoughts I expressed in a previous comment that I hope would be published. Bloomberg spending his money his own way is not to the liking of media bosses.

  146. The brutal reality that political journalism is only now just beginning to confront is that conventional politics is dead. It died in 2016 when Donald Trump, thanks to the estimated $5 billion in free air time and column space he was generously given by the cable networks and news media, was completely able to bypass the conventional political system and communicate directly with his public without editing and filtering. With this advantage in airtime, no conventional politician can defeat Trump. The only way to beat a candidate with billions of dollars of free airtime is with billions of dollars of airtime. Recognizing this new fact of political life, Bloomberg is doing the exact same thing as Trump, flooding the airwaves with his messages without any news media filtering. But in a bizarre twist, instead of having all the airtime given to him, like Trump, Bloomberg is simply buying the airtime himself. If Bloomberg's candidacy continues to take hold, we can expect a strong pushback from the media in articles such as this that he did not make the normal round of cable shows and news interviews, kissing the rings of all the political media stars. The political establishment brought this on themselves. The logical conclusion of a corrupt, money-based political system is that only billionaires can afford to run for president. Political journalists of all people should not be shocked, angered or surprised at this development, as the author of this article seems to be.

  147. @John M What does this mean for the untapped people out there only seeing Bloomberg ads and memes, not meeting him/being able to question him in person? Govt supported shorter campaigns excluding private monies may be seeing its time finally coming. btw Stalin was about 5' 4" and Napoleon around that size and stature.

  148. Indeed, getting our attention has been the on-line concern, and gain, for a long time, especially if it can make us addicted to a streaming information that may be biased, even untrue, but smart enough to capture our attention. And money speaks, no question about it. Now, Bloomberg's attempt to 'cross' vainglorious Trump, even whip him to order and reason, may not be a bad thing. But ultimately, Bloomberg would do well to withdraw from being a candidate...to generously supporting whoever becomes a true contender, in genuine touch with his supporters in real time.

  149. @manfred Marcus -- Wait, what? Are you comparing the horrendous GOP strategy of bait/switch/divert/deceive with the Democratic race to nomination? That you could even mention these in the same breath is a shocking example of either political ignorance or deliberate disregard of reality. The defeat of Donald Trump and the defeat of his corrupt administration is first and foremost the objective of Mike Bloomberg. His potential candidacy is a boon to the entire country; his effort must be respected and if Bloomberg wins the nomination, then we vote for him.

  150. @manfred marcus That will be the moment. Another candidate emerges. Bloomberg will either destroy that candidate or support him/her. Kinda creepy.

  151. Ocasio-Cortez is "far more genuine": a vacuous pseudo-judgment. As if "genuine" actually means anything in the world of social media-- except maybe the skill to convey the flavor of a post-ironic sincerity.

  152. Wholeheartedly agreed. And I have nothing particular against AOC. But that was an absurd and risible statement by the columnist.

  153. Would have appreciated more of the column devoted to media and technology and how it has changed or affected our politics rather than how Bloomberg is more like Trump than most Democrats in how he uses media.

  154. I'm sorry, where is the shame in spending your own honestly earned money for what he believes (and I agree) is a public service? He is being unapologetically tactical and overwhelmingly financially committed because the Democratic field does not have a front runner who inspires confidence. If Al Gore were running, I bet Bloomberg would just contribute. You may be cynical, but I don't think Mike Bloomberg is, and I'm not either.

  155. @NHNebeker Why not declare for an existing candidate and pour money into that candidate? He obviously thinks they are poor candidates. This subtext is damaging everyone else.

  156. Michael Bloomberg is false savior... all the money in the world can't buy you political talent. Mike can spend 5 billion, 10 billion, but he'll still lose to Trump... i have nothing against Bloomberg, but he's just not the guy. The Democratic Party needs Bloomberg's financial support, not his candidacy. All he's going to accomplish is to mess up the race further for the Dems.

  157. @NHNebeker That’s right, why have ethics at all? Let’s just support an oligarch.

  158. It takes hundreds of millions of dollars to run for president. That Bloomberg and Steyer are spending their own money instead of others peoples money should be commended, not ridiculed. They are beholden to no one but the voters.

  159. @KJ especially with the hit to our democracy from the citizens united anti democracy ruling....at least we know who is funding who, for a change and it feels empowering again. election and electoral reform will come from someone with power and indepencence like Bloomberg one can hope.

  160. @KJ By definition you have just defined an oligarchy. Only those who can afford to pay for themselves should be permitted or "commended" to run for office.

  161. @KJ Remember the 2016 election when Trump told us he was so rich he could fund his campaign? And then he couldn’t. He was and probably is beholden to the Russian hackers and oligarch donations (i.e. Foreign money) to win the presidency. Wouldn’t it be nice to have someone who is NOT beholden to an adversary who can pull the strings? There are many strange decisions made by Trump recently ... including pulling out of Syria and betraying the Kurds as well as trying to sell the lie that the Ukrainians were the ones who meddled in the 2016 election. This has got to stop. First, defeat Trump, THEN fix what Trump has broken ... our Department of Justice, the State Department, our Ethical government and guidelines,etc. AND our rather warped, lengthy and financially absurd election process.

  162. This is the order of operations: 1. Get Trump out. 2. Then think about campaign finance reform.

  163. @Evan I don't know. We had years to think about campaign finance reform before Trump was in office. I don't think it's him holding us back from talking about this issue now (or at least, I see no reason why he should).

  164. @Evan I agree. But Joe Biden is still a stronger candidate than Bloomberg from the moderate lane. Because Biden can win the the center without a wholesale defection of the left. If Bloomberg takes over the center lane, A) it's not sure that he can beat Sanders and B) if the primary has an unclear outcome, you run the risk of physical violence at the convention, with Sanders' thugs taking on Bloomberg's paid security forces. And if Bloomberg loses 15 million voters on the left because of that conflict, he won't beat Trump in November.

  165. @X You wrote "We had years to think about campaign finance reform before Trump was in office." campaign finance reform can't work, it seems to me, until both chambers of Congress are in Democratic hands and perhaps the presidency as well. That hasn't been the case for a while.

  166. Trump - Shamelessness and conflict equal attention Bloomberg- Attention equals power. And an opportunity for Bloomberg help to do something great for our country and democracy) Vote my friends- Bloomberg 2020

  167. @Steven He is destroying the other candidates with money.

  168. Excellent and spot-on article. Bloomberg IS Trump, just more articulate and competent.

  169. Yeah, they are exactly the same, except the hundreds of millions Bloomberg has spent on fighting climate change and gun violence, the billions of real wealth Bloomberg has made in an honest way, and the integrity of a candidate who can't be bought.

  170. Sorry my friend - Mr Bloomberg is a man of quality and moral values - highly competent and who believes in our democracy and rule of law. Bloomberg is nothing like the corrupt, morally bankrupt donald trump.

  171. @Christian Haesemeyer If Bloomberg is competent, then he is not Trump. Trump can't do the job -- that's really the biggest problem with him. If he has not been "exposed," it's because we have yet to have a crisis that will do it.

  172. It has been noted before but bears repeating. In 2016 the two parties and their horrible candidates each spent over a BILLION dollars to "influence the election" and win the presidency. Bloomberg could spend more than that combined and still be one of the 10 richest people on the planet. That cannot possibly be good for democracy. We have had one New York billionaire in the White House. Never again.

  173. @Concernicus I agree, mostly. But I also think we are faced with having to decide what is least bad for democracy. I’d definitely take Bloomberg over Trump.

  174. @Concernicus Unless you are talking about one of the Roosevelts (adding inflation) we haven't had any billionaires in the White House yet.

  175. @Concernicus The reality is this campaign will probably run $4-5 billion. With or without Bloomberg. If the choice is Trump or Bloomberg, Bloomberg is the overwhelmingly better choice.

  176. Both parties have shown themselves to be of little use to the dull citizenry they were meant to serve and thus were ripe for hijacking by rich individuals who like attention. Politics is primarily a branch of entertainment now. Bloomberg is financing the biggest blockbuster in the primary so he'll get a disproportionate amount of attention. He may yet bomb but even if he spends five billion he'll still be ahead on the year.

  177. Tell it to the Supreme Court. Their rulings have removed any possibility of controlling campaign expenditures. Meanwhile we are stuck with where we are at. Trump must be removed and he will fight with any tools he can grasp. Fight fire with fire, or lose again.

  178. @Luce That's right. These are desperate times. We need to fight against him by any means fair or foul. That's what Trump is doing. This is not the times to play by polite rules. Nope. We fight to win. We can't afford to have purity tests. Nope. We fight to win.

  179. Fair or foul? Didn’t we just see what foul means get throughout the last 3 years. We can’t allow means to justify ends that destroy our process.

  180. @Hunter S. Ordinarily no. But we can't have 4 more years of Trump. NOTHING else matters.

  181. Regular guy builds a business from scratch - makes a billion dollars and gives a lot of it to support gun legislation, to fight climate change, and to give kids a shot with educational programs. He built the best stock trading terminal ever and every right wing Republican and left wing Democrat on Wall Street uses his system and watches his news feed. He’s too old and doesn’t like big sodas. Stop & frisk was a nightmare for the citizens of the poorer neighborhoods of NYC, but All of the policing policies in this country are broken, for a long time. We need to fix them. So he may not be Mr. Personality, but Mr. Bloomberg puts His money where his mouth is. I didn’t like all of his policies and positions as Mayor, but so what? For 12 years he did good things for New York across party labels, and its good to have a NY street fighter stand up to unrestrained power. Good Luck, Mike.

  182. I'm not sure what the point of this piece is. Bloomberg does not have clandestine Superpacs supporting him. We know the source of his funding. And we know the causes he supports. This election is not only about defeating Trump. It is equally about maintaining the Democratic majority in the House and taking control of the Senate. McConnell et al are as toxic as Trump. Bloomberg 's coattails can carry Democratic candidates along with him in appealing to moderates and independents.

  183. @Sarah I couldn't have said it better. If this is Bloomberg's goal--to take the wind out of Trump and make room for the voice of the decent Dem candidates, then Bloomberg will deserve the Nobel Peace Prize.

  184. Replacing one oligarch with another is not a good idea. Neither of them respect democracy or the democratic process. That should be concerning to everyone.

  185. @Scott And you are right there. Bloomberg thought term limits didn't apply to him. I mean, NY voters just voted twice to implement them. Not that we matter obviously. But we did get City Council back (Goodbye Christine Quinn) and he's the last GOP/IND mayor we are going to have for a long, long time in NYC. The last thing the US needs is another NYC Oligarch.

  186. @Scott sadly, I have to disagree with you. The bottom line is Bloomberg is the lesser of two evils.

  187. For some reason, this made me laugh out loud. I don't usually think things like, Get out the popcorn! But that's all I could think as I read it. It will be good if Bloomberg can beat him at his own game. What's going on with Trump is of course, deadly serious. But this is like some kind of gigantic cosmic joke, and every time I think about it I chuckle. Bloomberg is starting to organize a campaign that will use volunteers. Even though he's not accepting cash, there will be a face-to-face element. His events opening offices appear to be attracting numbers well beyond expectations. My suggestion to Bloomberg's campaign is to have people pledge money to the campaigns of other Democrats, in lieu of donating to him. I don't think he'd specify anyone in particular, just the idea of those folks getting a lot of individual donations could turn the country a reassuring shade of blue. Seriously, or not so seriously, when I think of him getting all Trump's attention, I can't help but laugh.

  188. As one who views social media from the rarefied perch of a devout non-participant, its entire universe has always felt like dropping suddenly through the clouds into Eternal High School. The ethos is pure adolescence: creating a superficial image to puff up your ego, make money and stir up mischief. The golden ring is attaining instant meaningless celebrity. Or more accurately, celebrity becomes the sole source of meaning. The moment of truth for Bloomberg will come when he is forced to step out of his carefully contrived media cocoon into the relatively more real world of live debates and town meetings. Dealing with real people face to face. Having to answer follow-up questions that probe beneath the depth of facile canned answers. People will have the chance to discover whether TV-ad Bloomberg offers an accurate picture of Bloomberg in the flesh. The last week has produced much pundit trashing of Iowa and New Hampshire as being unrepresentative of the country as a whole. These criticisms are accurate but miss an essential point. The intimate small-state opening events force candidates out of the media cocoon and allow ordinary folk to encounter and test them. It may be an anachronism, but it is a very healthy one. Bloomberg cleverly sidestepped the challenge of an opening round of retail politics, instead bombarding the airwaves with a saturation media campaign. So far it has worked. But can he avoid the unwashed masses forever and still hope to succeed?

  189. @woofer God I hope you are right. We will have to see if the so called 'free media' actually challenge him. Hopefully it won't get to that point.

  190. @woofer Well said Woofer. The wizard must come out from behind the curtain.

  191. Our company made record profits. We workers? Longer hours, are healthcare is getting cut, and matching was reduced to 3%. Raises are below inflation. Time for a change. NO MORE REPUBLICANS. This millennial is with Bernie Sanders.

  192. @Chloe Hilton And so is this boomer. I've heard Sanders for about 15 years now, and he and his message are always consistent. He's the real deal.

  193. @Chloe Hilton You got it! Not me. Us. If you stand with Bernie (like we all do inside) then donate, canvas and vote.

  194. Read some history books before you scrap a democracy and a form of capitalism. You might want go to China and look around and talk to them about how this all works when your leaders are also your mother

  195. I don't like it, the method that is, not the man. Personally, Bloomberg surpasses Trump in ethics, smarts, and experience. But I can not help but think that he is playing unfair. So, yes, he is using his own money as is Steyer. Big whoop. Meanwhile, our top tier candidates are working full time, in spite of their "day jobs," to market themselves and to plead for contributions. These folks are working darn hard. It is easy to have all the money in the world to push oneself onto the electorate. But in my book, it is moot, meaningless unless one is willing to sweat a little. It goes to the character of an individual. Yes, anyone including Bloomberg surpasses Trump in all that counts regarding the dignity and worth one must have to hold the highest office in the land. But I can not and will not, at least during the primaries, endorse someone who buys his way to the top. Not okay. (However, for his supporters, I WILL vote for him if he is our nominee. Anyone but Trump.)

  196. I suspect he worked, and works, pretty hard for what he has and what he does.

  197. Hm, you won't vote for him in the primary so you can have a non-winning candidate in the general election (thus 4 more years of Trump)? That is truly the height of self-sabotaging liberal thinking. And I'm a life-long liberal!

  198. @Kathy Lollock You should take a look at some of the videos where he defended his stop and frisk policy. Minority arrests skyrocketed during his tenor as mayor of NYC. He is just as racist as Trump. The only difference is he knows how to hide it better.

  199. Horses for Courses. I don’t get the point of this piece, is it that riding around Iowa in a bus for nearly three months seeking the approval of a nearly insignificant subset of the nation’s electorate is a more honest way to go about being elected? That worked out well in the end , didn’t it?

  200. @Mike , it at least gives everyone a moderately fair shake. Bloomberg gets a huge advantage over every other candidate, not because he has a long history of championing democratic values and solving the world's biggest problems, he has a huge advantage because he developed some finance software and hit the jackpot. Being phenomenally rich should not give you the right to buy elections.

  201. @Mike This piece is trying to show the dangerous path Bloomberg is taking. Rather than run on issues and policy, he is trying to buy the election through social media. This is not the kind of candidate we need right now. A vote for Michael Bloomberg is a vote for Trumpian antics without the racism.

  202. The most interesting questions about Michael Bloomberg are not asked by the Press. It is very unclear why it is that Michael Bloomberg wants to spend 1billion plus dollars to become President. How would he like the U.S.A. to change.? What does he wants to accomplish? What if anything doesn't he like about Trump. There are many others say like Larry Page of Google with this type of wealth.

  203. @Michael Cohen You might take a look at Bloomberg's website. His platform is spelled out there in quite a bit of detail actually and there is a lot to like. It's really no different than the platforms of most other candidates. Two things, I think, stand out: 1) Bloomberg has a long and strong record of supporting environmental activism, both with money and with leadership. For example, he is bank rolling the effort of putting the coal industry out of business - with a lot of success. If Bloomberg became President, chances are we would see a dramatic push for action on climate change. He won't nibble around the edges. 2) Bloomberg generally puts his money where his mouth is. He is not just a talker and hates people who are - like Donald Trump. Bloomberg thrives on getting stuff done. That's just how is wired. And that's what we could really use after four years of either doing nothing or heading in the wrong direction.

  204. Good grief, just look at his website before you wonder and wonder so much! It’s spelled out there. He seems to care about the causes we all care about. Otherwise, indeed, why’s he doing this? I think he already has enough money for a comfortable retirement, so I guess he really thinks preserving the USA and the planet matters.

  205. @Michael Cohen --- no, no no! He is not trying to "buy the Presidency." He is out there to rid the nation of Trump!! HOORAY!

  206. I was enthusiastic when Bloomberg announced his candidacy. Here was someone who could actually do what Trump had promised, which was not to take any campaign contribution that would have impaired his values. Trump soon ignored this, and began to accept money from those he had castigated as "buying elected officials" I saw Bloomberg as the Alpha male who could go toe to toe, but have the advantage of really not accepting bribes (whoops, contributions) His recent ad included his promise to promote "common sense laws." I interpret the word as meaning laws that appeal to the masses without contemplation og the hidden defects that could be disastrous. An example is the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, introduced by Chuck Shumer in the mid 1990s. It was ruled unconstitutional, but has state versions that now will allow prayers in public school and possibly end Roe v. Wade. This is a classic example of a "common sense law" that passed overwhelmingly. If Bloomberg is going to buy this nomination he must at least represent more than the standard pandering that has debased our democracy

  207. Bloomberg has not just been spending HIS money HE earned on his campaign, but he's been helping other Dem campaigns. I see what he's doing as patriotic. We must do all we can in our power to save us Trumpism. He's got the money and he's using it for the greater good. I still do not know who I'm supporting, but I appreciate what he's doing

  208. @Lil50 While the other Democrat candidates are busy smearing each other, Bloomberg has focused almost entirely on Trump. He’s not doing anything to make enemies among the Democrats. While there is far too much money in politics, that is the reality today and for the foreseeable future. In short, Bloomberg has and is willing to expend the ammunition Democrats badly need. And he’s aiming at, and hitting, the correct target.

  209. @T Exactly.

  210. In spite of Bloomberg’s social media onslaught I have yet to see a single post from Bloomberg on either my Facebook or YouTube accounts. It must be the friends I keep. If you are seeing Bloomberg’s ads you can only blame yourself. Personally I am quite open to a Bloomberg candidacy but if I want to see what he is doing I will have to go out and search for that information because none of it is being pushed my way.

  211. The idea that Democrats have to go high when the Republicans go low has resulted in Trump getting elected President, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh being appointed to the Supreme Court, the gutting of our State Department, climate change denial as the official policy of the US, interference by Russia in our elections going unchecked, the reversal of critical EPA regulations, and on and on and on... The Democrats need to stop bringing a knife to a gunfight and fight fire with fire. This is a critical time in our history, and any opportunity to defeat Trump must and should be used. Everything Bloomberg is doing is both legal and savvy. He understands the tactics that our new cyber culture creates and he has the resources to pull it off. He’s the right person for these times.

  212. @GC Not to mention that looking at that debate stage there is not one politician that can take out Trump.

  213. @Billy I wouldn't go that far. I am not a Buttigieg supporter, but can you imagine what Pete would do to Trump on the debate stage? It would be like shooting fish in a barrel. Which is why Trump would never agree to debate Pete. I think Sanders would also steamroll over Trump. Trump can't talk in full and complete sentences on his best days. On a debate stage he will go down in flames.

  214. @Robert Buttigieg would out debate Trump, but he couldn't out insult, out mock or out lie Trump. He's intelligent and well educated; uses logic and data to bolster his arguments. He's my kind of candidate and a person for more civilized times. The people in critical states like and respect rich people. Bloomberg could tease Trump about his taxes, he could challenge him to prove he's a billionaire. They could compare charitable giving, taxes paid, bankruptcies.... It could be quite entertaining.

  215. There are a lot of commentators like you whom I don't understand. You would prefer that Trump isn't elected for four more years. And this is an election unlike any in recent memory. And it will take measures unlike anything in memory to succeed. Now you have a candidate, who has made mistakes, as any human being does. Yet his stands on the most important issues of the day are correct--I think I'm right in assuming--by your standards. Yet you dismiss him as undemocratic. And to what end? To elect arguably the worst president in American history for another four years? I don't get it.

  216. To nominate one of the superior the candidates who have a better chance of winning. Mike has pledged to support the eventual nominee so we will benefit from his money and a better candidate.

  217. @bnyc can you articulate why Bloomberg is a good candidate without using the word 'Trump' ?

  218. After Citizens United and all of the ALEC nonsense going on at the state level, our elections in 2020 are being bought by Trump and the Republican party with money, technology and human resources from foreign governments. Until campaign reform is complete for state and federal elections with mandatory procedures nationwide to ensure secure voting everywhere in Federal elections, elections will continue to be bought. Voters must demand money is removed from elections. No more Republican fundraisers costing over half a million per couple for special access. That being said, I want the elections bought by a Democrat like Mike Bloomberg in 2020. After this election, the USA can get started on reform and consider what role voter money should continue to play in elections. My preference is short campaigns, government funded. Equal time to confront lies from any opponent on any media for free.

  219. Yikes. Your republic is on the precipice and pundits are protesting that someone is trying too hard and spending too much money in an attempt to save it. As far as I can tell—from afar, granted—Mike Bloomberg is your best hope. Not to win, necessarily, but to beat Trump. 1. He has the money to match Trump’s record-breaking war chest. 2. He counters every one of Trump’s below-the-belt punches. 3. He’s not destroying the other Democratic candidates in the process. 4. He’s promised to see this through to the end, even if he doesn’t personally win the nomination. He appears to be doing what needs to be done regardless of the personal cost. He’s getting his hands dirty for the greater good. Like Batman. Bloomberg is pretty much Batman.

  220. @Rob Jennings This is Jiya Kowarsky - Agree with you and well said.

  221. @Rob Jennings Excellent comparison. Batman.

  222. @Rob Jennings love your comment!

  223. Politics is not a long, well-funded attempt at hacking people's attention. It's well-funded in the U.S. because of our awful campaign finance laws. For example, in the U.K., campaigns are for weeks, not years, limits on campaign spending are in the thousands of dollars, and if third parties want to campaign, they're limited to something like $500, not billions. And they have a robust political system. They may vote for Trump-like populists on the right and anti-Semites on the left, but they do it on a budget that doesn't let the rich control the government as easily. Or so it seems from a distance, and it's not what our politics are meant to be about.

  224. @Mike Which is the reason why I don't find Bloomberg's tactics particularly anti-democratic. By US standards he's doing exactly what all of the other candidates would do if they could, including Bernie. If we don't like the idea of people like Trump or Bloomberg effectively running for President, we need to change our campaign finance laws. Until that happens, there is no point for Democrats to fight with their hands tied behind their backs and allow Republicans to gerrymander, voter-suppress, and super-PAC their way to power. That's what you get when money is everything. And in America, today, money is everything - whether we like it or not.

  225. Endorsements by black mayors and other black politicians are what caught my attention about Bloomberg. I read about these in mainstream media, not social media, which I do not use. I’m glad to learn that Bloomberg has a robust presence on social media. It is a requirement for any successful candidate. Warzel’s complaint seems to be that Bloomberg’s campaign is effective at using this particular tool. Some of us think competency is a good thing. Anyway, it is only one small part of Bloomberg’s campaign. That’s good, too.

  226. The best Bloomberg line I’ve seen was in response to a question about two billionaires running to be president. Bloomberg asked: Who’s the other one?

  227. This is bad, actually.

  228. Bloomberg really does not want to be president. He's worth $60B. If he spends $1 - 2B to keep Bernie or Warren out that is cheap insurance on $60B. Plus he saves the entire US and global econony from going down the drain as it would if one of the "free" stuff Dems won the presidency.

  229. @Reader In Wash, DC - Let's do a quick thought experiment, shall we? If you give a billionaire $500 what will they do with it? Throw it on the pile of money? If you give that same $500 to a working class person, what will they do with it? They would probably spend it on something they need. Probably use it to pay off a credit card or something. That's what the so called 'free stuff Dems' are trying to do. Giving average Americans financial relief. And when those people have extra money they tend to spend it, which strengthens the economy.

  230. @Reader In Wash, DC - so, you believe he is campaigning with the closet motive of reelecting Trump? Seriously? Clearly, you believe there are no good men anywhere. Sad.

  231. @Felix My concern with "free stuff" is after the receiver depletes their "free stuff" account, it will need to be replenished with more "free stuff". *****Vote Blue*****

  232. I actually love that a businessman running for President has co-written a book with the former head of the Sierra Club...Climate of Hope. The only way we will save the planet is to engage business and corporations in the fight. There has been far too little emphasis with the political candidates on this issue, and of course Trump seems determined to take us backwards on all our meager environmental progress. It makes me feel like Bloomberg is spending this insane amount of money because he cares about the fate of our Earth. It is unfortunate we haven't seen him debate the other candidates yet, but I really hope he can bring a climate of hope to this election.

  233. @Jessie Paul - he is sincere - about the Earth and the future of this country. Mike lacks 'presence' however. When it comes to bombast and outrageousness, Trump always wins. He's bigger, he's nastier and far less genteel. It will be a tough battle on the debate stage for Bloomberg. But he has my vote.

  234. I like Mike. Always have. And he did a super job as NYC mayor. But he's not put in the time to win this gig. No matter how much money he throws at this, he won't convince enough folks that he's the best choice. So where does that leave us? This thing is wide open, as wide as can be. The dust will begin to settle after Super Tuesday, March 3rd, a little over two weeks from now. Elizabeth and her reach for the stars health care plan will fade away. As will Bernie. Pete is articulate, but at the end of the day, unfortunately, America is not yet ready for a gay president. Maybe someday, but not yet, unfortunately. And Joe is just not getting it done, and not sure why; his shoes just aren't gripping on solid ground. ....Amy Klobuchar will win the democratic nomination. Her legislative achievements, smarts, wit, sense of humor, ability to cut to the chase, ability to get things done, penchant for working well with others, and down home likability will win the day with undecideds in both the republican and democratic camps. Those attributes will be the deciding factor in the key swing states. When Bernie doesn't get the democratic nomination, you can count on him running as an independent and dragging away votes in the general election. But regardless of Bernie taking progressive votes, Amy will beat Trump. Americans are smart, by and large; what is best for the US will come through in November. Amy will bring us out of the hole Trump dug over the past 3+ years.

  235. @Ed Definitely agree about Amy ! But disagree that Bernie will run as an independent. He is more honorable than that, and (as in 2016) has strongly stated that he will support whoever is the eventual Dem nominee. You can watch him say just that at his speech after the New Hampshire election.

  236. @Ed - you give the voter too much credit. Trump distractions of lies, bullying and namecalling will win the day again - UNLESS someone wages the war the way Bloomberg's people are doing. When it comes to defeating Trump, a scorched earth policy of memes, twitter wars and a GUSHER OF MONEY is the only way.

  237. @Ed That's a terrible prediction. Sanders didn't run as third party in 2016 when he was doing better, why would he do so now? Amy Klobuchar will be a repeat of 2016.

  238. "Or maybe it’s always been this way. After all, what is politics if not a long, well-funded attempt at hacking people’s attention?" Yes. It has. I like Mike.

  239. The irony of the entire discussion around "buying an election" is that there are millions of decent, intelligent people in this country who wouldn't have a prayer of winning an election because they are not personally wealthy. ALL of the current candidates are trying to buy the election.

  240. @mindy Bernie Sanders isn't. If he wanted to BUY the election then he would have taken donations from Super PACs and big name donors. Instead he's been out-raising his opponents with many many average citizens sending on average $18.

  241. @Felix Yeah, bout that. How many of Sanders' contributions are coming from Russians and Trump supporters? (Any contribution under $35 doesn't have to be reported and recorded with a name, and he got lots of suspect donations in 2016--look it up please). At least with Bloomberg I know where his money is coming from and I know he hasn't been bought and isn't being supported by hostile foreigners trying to hack our democracy).

  242. Am I the only one concerned about his age? And the likelihood it would, or maybe should, make him a one-term president, should he win? Cognitive functioning drops dramatically with age.

  243. @Jo It depends. I think that his campaign is quite brilliant. He's been a brilliant man and an effective man all of his life. I may not agree with all of his politics, but I really admire his smarts. Though average cognitive functioning drops dramatically with age, that has a lot to do with diseases like dementia and averaging. It doesn't hold true at the high end of the curve. There are plenty of sharp-witted people over seventy and eighty. Especially those who stay active and involved. My guess is that he'll choose to be a one term president as long as he feels democracy is back on course.

  244. @Jo I'm into a big fan of his politics but I think he's the sharpest of all the candidates. Just listen to him speak. He is lucky but he really seems to be quick on his feet and don't see any issues at the moment.

  245. @Jo Associate Justice Ginsburg should retire? Early on-set dementia and strokes can strike people in their 50s. As long as Blooomberg is sharp and chooses a healthy running mate qualified to take the helm (a requirement that should apply to any candidate's running mate), I've got no serious concerns.

  246. TLDR: Bloomberg the candidate is making savvy use of the internet and his bazillions; Purity test, purity test, not fair, not "organic enough," purity test; Bloomberg is really no better than trump, if you are clever enough to see it from the right perspective; Oh, how I cry for the republic, given politicians' tendency to cater to base human instincts. But maybe that's how it works, anyway. Here's my own op-ed: Bingo, re: the republic, that's how it works, anything else is an illusion. And I Like Mike.

  247. Let’s remember that both FDR and JFK were able to use their wealth and family connections to leap ahead of other candidates. Was that unfair? Why the purity test for Bloomberg?

  248. @Mark LANDRY , Yes, it was unfair. FDR and JFK were great people, and Bloomberg is nice enough, but you don't deserve a giant advantage in the political landscape because you were born into tremendous wealth or because you made a bunch of money building financial software. Neither of those things are good indicators for what makes a good president, so why do we allow them to influence are elections so much?

  249. @Mark LANDRY There were no national 'primaries' back then. The candidates were literally chosen by party poobahs in the proverbial smoke-filled back room.

  250. Bloomberg is no FDR or Kennedy. More like a Ross Perot.

  251. ''What if you ran a presidential campaign so optimized for efficiency and reach that you cut the human element of campaigning altogether?” He also has allegedly the largest best cared for army on the ground. That is what it takes to beat a tech savvy opponent whose skills leave the rest of the Democratic field as road kill.

  252. Bloomberg, if elected, would be completely unaccountable to the public, and to the Democratic constituencies who elected him. He won't worry about whether his proposals set back women, people of color, working people, etc. He won't need them to be re-elected, as his money will do the work. And his money will repair his legacy. For example, if he wants to cut a deal with the GOP to cut social security, he'll do it. Here's Mayor Bloomberg in 2013 (from New York Magazine): "I actually am a conservative more so than other conservatives in the sense that I think you could go and cut 2 or 3 percent out of the budget in every agency. We’ve done that twelve times ...." Bloomberg's concept of democracy is different from most of ours. Democracy for him means winning an election legally (spending endless sums) and following the law (that he and other ultra-wealthy people create). It's the rule of the rich: plutocracy. That is not a huge difference with Trump.

  253. Peck: Bloomberg is as different from Trump as it is possible to be. Bloomberg is a self-made billionaire. Trump had his money handed to him over time by his father and then proceeded to use it to become a developer. He then lost all the money, a billion dollars over a decade. according to an analysis done by Wall Street reporter. He borrowed huge sums of money from New York banks and then failed to pay them back more than once. The result of that is, according to his son, Don Junior, they then got all of their funding from Russia. Moreover, it seems that Trump is unable to speak on any issue without lying. Trump was also reported to have had 3500 suits going in a ten-year period, some of which he initiated against the banks from which he borrowed money. Finally, Bloomberg is whip smart, able to feel empathy, apologize when necessary and achieved a great many worthwhile things as mayor. Trump is only smart about one thing, and that is forcing everybody to pay attention to him by any means at all. All the rest are completely beyond his skill set.

  254. @Subjecttochang Yes, in terms of their history, their personalities, ethics, respect for the law, and intelligence, Bloomberg and Trump are opposites. Bloomberg is a better person. My point is that in terms of DEMOCRACY, they're 2 sides of the same coin: PLUTOCRACY, the rule of the rich. And because of Bloomberg's vast wealth, he'd be completely unaccountable. Their core GOVERNING VALUES are similar: Unaccountable rule of the rich. If the choice is between the 2, Bloomberg is better. But their similarities are substantial.

  255. @Peck Unlike Trump, I think Bloomberg would obey the law.

  256. A vote for Bloomberg would be a vote to re-arrange the deck chairs on the Titanic. Both Trump and Bloomberg would steer the country towards disaster. What's needed is a truly different captain and a radical change in course.

  257. Buried inside this (tiresome) purity test is the following statement: "Mr. Patrick and Mr. Bloomberg announced their campaigns around the same time. They have fairly comparable records of governing." The left is always dividing against itself. It has its own way of causing chaos and confusion (the whole debate structure). Bloomberg calls out Trump in his own language because he can, and because he knows this is an emergency. He's got my vote.

  258. @Lorena Cassady I think staying out of the circular firing squad that has been the Democratic primary process so far, and aiming at Trump instead, is a good strategy.

  259. @Lorena Cassady , it's alright to call out unfairness. We don't need to pretend Bloomberg is flawless.

  260. You completely missed the point.

  261. The lengths some self-funded candidates will go to fight for climate change, sensible gun safety laws, and unseat a truly world-damaging President, I'll tell ya. The Stop and Frisk controversy is one that could derail Bloomberg as a candidate and rightly so. When comparing Trump's defense of both sides of a white supremacy rally and his championing the birther movement against Obama with its direct racial motivations, it pales in comparison. Bloomberg has shown contrition and will again as the campaign continues, Trump will never and is incapable of doing so.

  262. @MGower Indeed. Lesser of two evils. I'd rather have Sanders but until Sanders+Warren get more of the share of the vote than Biden+Buttigieg+Klobuchar, it's hard to see Sanders justifably winning the top spot. Sanders however can be Bloomberg's VP. IT is not that crazy.

  263. @RamS Yes it is crazy. One they would fight like cats and dogs. Worse it would not round out the ticket in terms of race and gender.

  264. Apparently, you are totally unaware that when Bloomberg started his campaign in November, he addressed the stop and frisk policy, and said it was not something he would endorse today. You are mighty quick to fly off the handle with old, OLD news. Why don't we look into your background and see what you supported five, ten, fifteen, twenty years ago, and then hold you to those judgements for the rest of your life? Shall we do that? People grow and learn from their experiences over time. Even politicians.

  265. The thing is, Trump has a nearly singular ability to get media attention and I worry the non-Bloomberg Dem candidates are too conventional and not sufficiently charismatic to fight Trump’s fire with a similar fire. Bloomberg can more than match Trump at his game, though in his own way, while also offering substance and relevant experience.

  266. @David Miller Yes and the other candidates seem to be more afraid of Michelle Obama than they are concerned about trump winning.

  267. I hardly ever watch commercial TV, nor am I on Facebook. So I haven't seem more than 2 Bloomberg ads. I have lived in NYC including 12 years with Bloomberg as mayor. I don't need the ads in order to know that he is our best bet against a second Trump term. The other Democratic candidates are a big disappointment. If Bloomberg can win using money and effective tactics then I'm all for it.

  268. I hardly ever watch commercial TV, nor am I on Facebook. So I haven't seem more than 2 Bloomberg ads. I have lived in NYC including 12 years with Bloomberg as mayor. I don't need the ads in order to know that he is our best bet against a second Trump term. The other Democratic candidates are a big disappointment. If Bloomberg can win using money and effective tactics then I'm all for it.

  269. In the Twitter bickering, all I see are two boys having it out at playground, a truly depressing display if this is what's to be expected when Michael Bloomberg's the Democrats' representative. And we should expect it because, as Bloomberg's made clear in his Twitter comments, it's personal. By selecting Bloomberg, Democrats will only be enabling this inane, but then again so consequential feud meanwhile giving up on the candidates who worked so hard in more traditional ways to explain themselves and their substance to us, and each like the adult we need our new president to be.

  270. Give me a break. With Trump, most everyone thought/hoped he would become more presidential after being elected. He didn’t. Now, with Bloomberg, some are concerned that, if elected, he will suddenly begin to act rashly and be totally unaccountable. Is there a past indicator if this? Are these concerns based on “Stop and Frisk”? Let’s examine that. In the context of the time, weren’t there lots of desperate attempts to craft policies that cut back crime? Arresting people who jumped subway turnstiles, fining building owners who didn’t repair broken windows, or clean up trash? Weren’t there lots of severe actions and over reactions that are now judged to have been wrong? A massive restructuring of the criminal justice system is now underway. Is it finally the perfect response? Where does Bloomberg stand on where we are NOW with criminal justice reform? Isn’t that the relevant question? I’ve seen eloquent statements from people of color as to the damage caused by Stop and Frisk. Yes, that is sad, tragic even. People died in Iraq. That is certainly tragic. Are we better off if all who voted for the war are forbidden to enter the political arena? At least in the Democratic Party? I don’t think so. Bloomberg is wealthy. So is a Disney grand daughter who is laboring diligently for better pay for workers. Do we reject one or both? We live in a different world than we inhabited five years ago. Bloomberg seems to understand this. Why excoriate him for that?

  271. @RMF As a former NYC resident just before Bloomberg's mayoralty and a minority, I commend MRB for running. He is perhaps our best chance to beat Trump. Remember the prize folks. It was 70 deg. in the Arctic this month and we have to stop the planet from seizing due to our misbehavior. The current president derides global warming as a factor and insults its advocates. Please, please, keep in mind the most important factors and don't let petty concerns keep us from the prize.

  272. Bloomberg there is some resemblance to Trump and his use of money to bring about the change he wants. The difference for me is that I happen to share many of his views. But I don’t think for a moment that he would know how to work with Congress, which is to say how to share power and negotiate. Because he’s used to getting what he wants by buying it. And he’s used to getting what he wants, period. He is useful for tearing down Trump and I think he could debate Trump without any fear. But Trump might simply refuse to debate Bloomberg. Which would probably suit Bloomberg also because he has policies such as the stop and frisk that he would very much like not to be grilled about.

  273. @Rachel Thompson Bloomberg was elected at least twice as a Republican mayor in Democrat-rich New York. (The third time may have been as an Independent.) I think he knows the system, how to work it and how to work within it. He is not Trump!! For one thing, he really does have all the money he claims to have. For another thing, he built valuable, successful businesses that work, not scams and vanity projects.

  274. @Rachel Thompson Trump can't very well "grill' Bloomberg about stop and frisk because he supported, on video, that very same policy.

  275. This article wholly misses the point. I've been for Biden since 2012, but Joe is no longer equipped to fight the battle for the party nomination, much less overcome Trump in the general. Age is the black hole that robs us of our energy, and Joe is at or beyond the point, where gravity wins. Given the inadequate field of candidates (some to weak, some too socialist, etc.) aspiring to become the Democratic Nominee, Michael Bloomberg represents the last, best hope for defeating Trump this autumn. Is he perfect? Certainly not, but please tell us who is? Does he have warts? Who doesn't? What Bloomberg offers is a record of highly competent leadership and a bold plan to defeat history's worst president. We should admire Michael Bloomberg for his willingness to undertake this mission on our behalf. His "Can Do & Will Do" attitude harkens to a time when men put country ahead of self.

  276. Talk about begging the question, as in petitio principii, the logical fallacy upon which this entire column is based: 1) 100 people each give me a dollar to run for office; 2) I spend my own 100 dollars to run for office. (Note: The 100 people don't necessarily give me their votes, just their money). Why is the first "democracy", and the second "buying an election"? Mr Warzel's premise, as that of so many others, has simply assumed the truth of his conclusion, as opposed to supporting it.

  277. @Gerard GVM In the first case, 101 people have demonstrated an interest in your candidacy (100 one dollar donors plus you, the candidate). In the second place, a grand total of one person (yourself) has demonstrated a similar interest. That's a difference of 100 individuals who think it would be a good idea for you to run. That's democracy.

  278. @irene Irene, while what you say may be true, it is not necessarily so. A hundred Republicans could -- and undoubtedly have -- contributed to the Democrat who they though would be weakest against Trump.

  279. @irene in both examples, you only know how many people have manifested interest in contributing to a campaign, not how many are interested in the candidacy. At the moment, I am “interested” in three Democrat candidates but have not yet given money to any of them.

  280. Given that trump has the Fox network advertising for him ad nauseam, it might take a candidate with Bloomberg's vast wealth to even the field of play.

  281. Oh the irony of the big baby Huey born into privilege in NYC battling against a self made NYC man who might be smaller in stature but by no means a weaker foe is going to be the stuff of legend for the history books. I didn’t think Bloomberg stood a chance several months ago but I am well aware of his philanthropic heart and have always admired that. All of a sudden Trump looks lost and rudderless when you compare the two men side by side Trump looks like the man child he was always destined to be.

  282. Just yesterday I saw Mikes response to the stop and frisk question. His answer was far from complete and bordered on nonsense. I had planned to have him on my list of possible candidates but he has almost completely lost any hope of my support. If he has not searched his soul sufficiently to be able to tell me what he found on that search I will actively discourage other from considering him.

  283. @Bunbury Politically unpopular or not stop and frisk worked. If you look like a possible gang banger dont expect to be treated with no more suspicion than a suited up business man or woman on the street.

  284. What does the writer suggest - that the Bloomberg campaign just opt out of the modern world? Mr. Warzel would then be short his sage dispatch for the week and we'd surely be short another presidential contender. (Of course, this would give him an opportunity to write about how Bloomberg is unfit to lead a nation of millennials because he "doesn't get it".) I'm sure he loves it when AOC does it, by the way. I guess the key thing is to spend other people's money, not your own.

  285. If he wins he will be the fifth president born in the state of Massachusetts. The other four were one term chief executives: John Adams, John Quincy Adams, John F. Kennedy, and George H. W. Bush. Not bad company.

  286. Would you rather Bloomberg spend his own hard earned money? Or spend the collection of special interest groups money? Bloomberg is media savvy and knows how to beat Trump in his own game. Other candidates, if you cannot stand the heat, please do not work in the kitchen.

  287. I strongly object to your use of the word "hacking" to describe hardball political strategies that are necessary to stop the political juggernaut that is trump and his minions. It appears that other Democratic candidates are more afraid of disapproval from Michelle Obama than they are concerned that Trump will win in 2020 and hijack our democracy. Also it is a fact obvious to anyone with objectivity and information that Bloomberg is a far more accomplished person overall than any of the other Democratic candidates, and crystal clear that he is well equipped to be Commander in Chief.

  288. Most politicians use anonymous dark money to advance their campaigns. At least with Bloomberg we know whose paying his bills.

  289. Not a helpful column as we struggle to find who will beat Trump. If you want to write this sort of thing at this stage of the game, please put it in more macro relative terms that also discuss alternatives. And please consider the downstream effects - impact of candidate on keeping/winning majority in both house and senate, so we can actually get things done in next 4 years, versus going backwards. Come on, you can do better than this.

  290. @MSM absolutely

  291. The richest people in the American colonies in 1776 included John Hancock, the merchant, and George Washington, the landowner. What is the author's point? That only the purest shall lead us?

  292. To all the critics: please remember Bloomberg’s driving intention is to defeat Trump. He has stated clearly that he will continue to put his money and advertising expertise behind whoever becomes the candidate. The latter — expertise in digital advertising — is essential as the Democrat party seems woefully behind in understanding how to get messages through to voters in the internet age.