Friday, November 8, 2019

I'd Love Bloomberg to Run, but Pray He Won't

If Bloomberg runs, he'd be the one Democratic candidate who excites me.

I think he was a dandy mayor (though imperfect; e.g. I hated the term limit override - which, at least, was due to his concern re: a profound fiscal crisis rather than a matter of ego). His mayoralty was characterized by empathy, honesty, competency, and a nonpartisanship so rare and beautiful that I'm not certain it ever fully registered.

I think Bloomberg would make by far the best president of the lot. I'm hearing many glibly superficial takes about how he's just another billionaire motivated by vanity, but that's absurd. Even if you disagree with his stances, if you know anything about him you've got to respect his menschy sense of commitment.

I've been told - convincingly - that he quietly made up for budget shortfalls on important programs by very quietly tossing in his own money. He actually gave a crap. I'm not saying the dude doesn't have an ego, but it was dwarfed, as a motivating factor, by his earnest commitment to public service (consider his shitty Spanish).


If he runs he'll shave off Biden votes in the primary, ensuring a Warren nomination. And I don't believe Warren can attract crucial independents and disaffected Republicans. They won't all flock to Trump instead, but many will stay home, dissuaded, once again, by an intolerable choice. Same with the powerful African American block in vital states like SC. It's widely acknowledged that they won't vote for a gay candidate like Pete, but they're not super into Jews, either. That's just how it is. I can't afford to be defiantly starry-eyed; an existential crisis such as Trump makes - or at least ought to make - realists of us all.

Bloomberg's primary candidacy wouldn't serve the overriding imperative of defeating Trump. And given that I've urged progressive friends to sacrifice their zealous tenets and personal preferences to line up behind the most broadly-appealing candidate, who's most likely to defeat Trump, I'm compelled to do the same, myself.

Fuddy befuddled Biden wouldn't make the best president, and doesn't ring all my bells. But he'd attract the blacks, indies, and disapproving 26% of Republicans necessary to trounce Trump. And he'd be so much better a president than what we've got that the mind strains to even draw the comparison.

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