Mike Bloomberg Could Just Give His Money Away Instead of Running for President

Illustration for article titled Mike Bloomberg Could Just Give His Money Away Instead of Running for President
Photo: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez (Getty Images)

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg has so much money that his previous foundation giving is translating into a group of local politicians who are supporting his candidacy. Or at least saying nice things about the man, instead of calling it what it is: Trying to buy an election.

On Saturday, The New York Times reported that Bloomberg Philanthropies has given $350 million to 196 cities. Now eight of the mayors who have benefited from those grants are endorsing Bloomberg, including Stockton and San Jose, California, as well as Louisville, Kentucky, and Gary, Indiana. Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs — a 29-year-old liberal who is Stockton’s first black mayor — said Bloomberg is a candidate “with the resources, with the record and with the relationships” to beat Donald Trump, the Times reported.

Columbia, South Carolina Mayor (and co-chairman of the campaign) Steve Benjamin said Bloomberg’s philanthropy gives him credit as a leader. “It’s given him a great, great deal of credibility with people who, but for his philanthropy or altruism, he never would have interfaced with,” Benjamin told the Times.

Advertisement

It’s not only his philanthropic giving that has led to his political support. Bloomberg is throwing money at ad buys. Bloomberg has spent $58.4 million on TV and radio ads, along with $1.3 million on Facebook ads, according to AdAge. These ad buys has led to Bloomberg reaching a 5 percent support average in Democratic presidential polls, which is more than some traditional politicians like Sens. Amy Klobuchar and Cory Booker have managed to wrangle. (A more effective use of your money might be to give it back to those cities than set it on fire in a failed presidential campaign, but I digress.)

Despite Bloomberg’s huge ad buys, Tubbs, the Stockton mayor who endorsed Bloomberg, told the Times that Bloomberg’s choice of philanthropy is important. “Lots of people have money. But the way he uses his money speaks to how he’s someone who has a vision for this party.”

I’m glad to see a benevolent billionaire out there helping Americans; it makes for a kinder world than the alternative. However, Bloomberg is estimated to be worth $50 billion. There’s no way to effectively spend that money as one person simply living their life. He could give away billions of dollars, maybe replace the lead pipes still plaguing Flint, Michicgan. Instead, Bloomberg wants to be president.

That desire of power should always make you think twice about their motivations.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

biturbowagon
Biturbowagon

I have many opinions about this. Several of them contradict each other. I’m human, I guess.

If it takes someone with deep pockets like Bloomberg to go up against the lazy corrupt racist orange santorum-covered enemy of the people who is also a pretend billionaire, then maybe that’s what we need in 2020.

OTOH, let’s be clear about this: one reason Bloomberg is running, is to protect other fellow billionaires from the specter of a Warren or Sanders presidency. Bloomberg is much more palatable to the one hundred or so people who control something like a quarter of the wealth of our country, than either Warren or Sander on the left, or the Frothy One swimming in his santorum-pool, are. (Numbers are rounded and approximate. I’m too lazy to look up the actual figures right this moment.) Bloomberg probably won’t be dreadful to the poor or middle class, but he will protect the interests of the super-rich.

Bloomberg is moderate or even liberal on certain social issues. He’s fiscally fairly conservative. Perhaps he would have been a liberal Republican fifty years ago, and perhaps would be today if they still existed and if it weren’t for the santorum stench currently encasing the GOP.

Then there is the whole stop and frisk issue.

Would I support Bloomberg in the general election against the Frothy One? Damned right I would! Is he my first choice for the Democratic nomination? No.

Do I hope that Bloomberg will continue to spend against the Frothy One, even if Bloomberg isn’t the nominee? Yes.

To quote Harry Potter: “It’s complicated.”