by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
There is very good reason to believe Michael Bloomberg isn’t actually running for president.
Of course, there is plenty of evidence to the contrary. For one, he declared he is. He’s also hired more than 1,000 staff and is still expanding, offering salaries far above campaign averages. This week, he became the first of the declared candidates to have campaigned in all 14 states of March 3’s Super Tuesday primary battle, and he’s spent a quarter billion on political advertising so far. All would point toward Bloomberg indeed running for president.
But here’s the snag: He wanted to do all of this anyway. Everything, that is, but the declaration bit. That, he was loathe to do. But the staff, the ad spending, the campaigning — he was going to do all of this to defeat President Donald Trump already, and we know this because he told us so. …
… This magnanimity in defeat doesn’t seem to square with Michael Bloomberg, cut-throat capitalist billionaire, but it does make sense when viewed in the light of his Bloomberg News empire, which loses money every year. The losses don’t seem to bother Bloomberg, because in this aspect of business he is a man who wants his ideas in the world and is willing to pay to make it happen.
So why declare? Simply put, the billionaire mayor gets a lot more for his money as a candidate than he ever could as a donor or even as the operator of a super PAC.