Michael Bloomberg has had quite a week. Once considered a dark horse, Mike has taken the lead in a Feb.14 Rasmussen poll with 26% support. Biden is second at 22%, Sanders at 18%.
Those numbers stand in stark contrast to today's NPR/PBS/Marist poll, which places Sanders in the lead at 31%, Bloomberg 19%, and Biden at 15%. Regardless, seeing Bloomberg in first or second place in a national poll was unthinkable just two weeks ago. While it seemed likely he'd spend his way to prominence eventually, no one saw a #1 spot this quickly.
Biden, who led the Democratic candidate race since entering in April, is broke. This isn't the first time, either. Biden ran low on money over the summer, but fixed the problem when he reneged on a campaign promise to reject Super-PAC money. This time, the well has run dry due to embarrassing showings in Iowa and New Hampshire. Worse, a funereal cloud follows Biden wherever he goes: call it the ghost of Ukraine. The failed impeachment of President Trump directed enough national attention to Hunter Biden's shady business dealings to finally stick.
Elizabeth Warren has faded from view as well. Pundits have pinned her demise on an impossible-to-fund Medicare for all plan, but she also displayed desperation over fundraising, the third rail in the confidence game of politics. At the last debate, she expressed gratitude for a supporter who pledged three of the last six dollars in her bank account. Sounds like a preview of socialism.
Don't be surprised to see Biden and/or Warren shutter their campaigns by February 29.
Now it's down to Bernie Sanders and Bloomberg, two very different sides of the nomination coin. Bernie is a well known commodity, but Bloomberg not so much. Until the past week, Bloomberg has been on political honeymoon, existing as a blank slate onto which voters could project their hopes. Yes, there were the quotes about 15-25 year-olds and crime committed by minorities in urban areas. While it was surprising to hear a politician be so candid, at least Bloomberg's quotes were based in common sense and facts.
Now, in a series of quotes old and new, the public has discovered a shocking side to the elderly businessman. First, from 1995, former employees of Bloomberg's recounted some truly horrific, cringeworthy statements.
Regarding an employee's struggle to find quality childcare:
“It’s a fucking baby! All it does is eat and shit! It doesn’t know the difference between you and anyone else! All you need is some black, who doesn’t even have to speak English, to rescue it from a burning building!”
To an employee who announced her pregnancy, Bloomberg was more succinct: “Kill it!”
That's right. Frustrated by the number of maternity leaves taking place at his business, Bloomberg suggested abortion. Spoken like a true Democrat!
Granted, those quotes--and many more like them--are 25 years old. What's almost as surprising is what came out of the candidate's mouth in 2016...and just this week.
First, in 2016, Bloomberg insulted farmers, claiming he could teach anyone to farm, but business requires "more grey matter."
Not that many farmers were likely to vote for Bloomberg anyway, but way to make it stick, Mike. On the heels of that display of tone deafness, the Bloomberg campaign released a new advertisement that disparages Bernie Sanders followers as mean-spirited and violent.
Again, not too many Bernie voters are likely to support Bloomberg, but why spend campaign funds to attack fellow Democrats?
That kind of intra-party sangfroid is almost always saved for debates, not national ads. Speaking of debates, Bloomberg qualified for the next one--tomorrow on NBC/MSNBC (9pm EST). And in what could be a huge misstep, the campaign reports that Bloomberg will be there.
No word on whether he'll be standing on a box.
The real question is whether any of Bloomberg's statements, past or present, will matter to voters. Mainstream media has taken pains to downplay the comments. Whether voters are offended will show in time, but any candidate perceived as a legitimate Trump-beater will likely be given leagues of latitude.
Anything to defeat Orange Man Bad.
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