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Sunday, January 24, 2016


Michael Bloomberg is evidently "seriously considering" a third party run for President, especially if Bernie Sanders wins the Democratic nomination. My guess, it'll happen either way. I also think he'll do better than most suspect.

If Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump win their party's nominations, the stars will be aligned perfectly for a third party run. There's never been an election with two candidates with such high disapproval ratings.

Hillary is a corrupt, hypocritical opportunist who would have gotten nowhere had she not been married to a President. From the cattle futures trading bribe to the selling of the State Department to Clinton Foundation donors, it's always baksheesh time for the Clintons. Hillary decries Wall Street while taking their money for speeches, and says all rape victims deserve to be believed after having savaged women who accused her husband of abuse.

There are plenty of liberals who despise her.

Trump has said that John McCain was not a war hero, made fun of a New York Times reporter for his physical disability, mocked Carly Fiorina for her appearance, and exhibited plenty of other bullying, un-Presidential behavior. He seems to feel he should be President because he's leading in the polls, will do a great job (without giving any specifics), is rich, and is the author of "The Art of the Deal."

Plenty of traditional conservatives actively dislike Trump.

Third party candidates have always had the ability to influence electoral outcomes. John Anderson may have turned the 1980 election in Reagan's favor. Ross Perot drained support from George H.W. Bush, and allowed Bill Clinton to be elected with a plurality in 1992. Even Ralph Nader may have handed the 2000 election to George W. Bush, since he drew his support mostly from idealistic Democrats.

But none of these third party candidates ever had a realistic shot at winning. It may be different this time. Bloomberg, as he told friends early on, would have been unable to secure either party's nomination. But now the moment seems right.

Bloomberg's got more than enough money to bankroll his campaign, and has evidently told friends he'll spend a billion to do so. As a lifelong Democrat who ran as a Republican for Mayor of New York, and governed as a centrist, he's got crossover appeal.

Who will he get support from? First, the disaffected voters who don't like their own party's candidates. That's a sizable fraction.

Second, independents who like the idea of a genuine centrist. Bloomberg didn't kowtow to the municipal unions in New York, nor did he kowtow to business. The biggest criticisms he incurred were for his nanny state views (like limiting the size of soft drinks), and his three terms were scandal-free.

Third, he'll get the support of all of the voters who want to feel good about themselves. They can tell themselves they're being free thinkers by voting for the independent candidate. They can tell themselves they're being "balanced" by voting for the middle-of-the-road guy. And they can tell themselves they're being broad-minded by voting for the Jewish guy.

It may sound silly to say that some voters vote to feel good about themselves. But realistically, that's human nature. (Think of all the whites who voted for Obama to prove they weren't racist.)

Finally, Bloomberg will have most of the mainstream media on his side. He is, after all, one of them.

Bloomberg isn't charismatic. He's short, nerdy, and has a nasal voice that sounds like a kazoo. And some say he has no influence beyond New York because his national anti-gun movement never gained traction. He's not the type of guy people go crazy about. But, he'll get the better-than-the-alternatives vote, which will be sizable this year. And, his strengths play well against both of the other candidates' strengths and weaknesses.

Hillary seems to think her biggest asset is her vagina; and feminists do thirst for the first woman President. But Bloomberg would be the first Jewish President. And Hillary, who is always embroiled in some scandal or other, is going to make the incorruptible (because he is already rich) Bloomberg look pristine by comparison.

Trump's biggest weakness is that he offends a lot of people; Bloomberg is inoffensive. And a large part of Trump's justification for running has been that he's such a successful businessman; some of that rationale will melt away in the face of Bloomberg's $37 billion.

Anyway, my guess is that it's going to be a three-way race, and a close one. Someone might win with 36% of the vote.

Don't take this as an endorsement of Bloomberg, by the way. He's a bloodless manager who wouldn't change the direction the country is headed in. They used to call Alfonse D'Amato of New York "Senator Pothole," because that's essentially what he was, a guy who went around taking care of all the small problems New Yorkers had.

Bloomberg would be President Pothole.

What we need is an obnoxious, blunt-spoken guy like Trump who understands that we're gradually turning into a Third World nation and wants to stem that tide before it's too late.


Pavonine99 said...

"What we need is an obnoxious, blunt-spoken guy like Trump who understands that we're gradually turning into a Third World nation and wants to stem that tide before it's too late."

There's no world power that has existed since the dawn of civilization, and I doubt there'll be one that exists until its end, no matter who is in power, and I trust Trump as much as I'd trust any other sociopath (But again, I'm just a jaded, apolitical 22 year-old, so feel free to take this with a grain of salt.)

And I'm sorry to hear about your diagnosis. I wish you and yours all the best.

bluffcreek1967 said...

"What we need is an obnoxious, blunt-spoken guy like Trump who understands that we're gradually turning into a Third World nation and wants to stem that tide before it's too late" - A BIG 'Amen' to that!

Euphanticus said...

There is no way support for gun control is a winning proposition anywhere besides large urban populations with a sizable Jewish component, and they are going Democrat because they need union city and state workers and the feminists and sodomites. New York City is an aberration (as Silicon Valley and the LA entertainment complex might be also, with some differences).

American elections are not won by appealing to the independents, who are largely a cryptozoological species, in the sense of the person who always or nearly always votes but who is genuinely open as to who he or she will wind up voting for on any kind of rational thought process. One wins American elections by turning out one's base: people who might or might not vote in a given election but when they do vote they vote either for the same party or on one or a small number of fixed issues.

Karl Rove did correctly figure that one out. GWB's "simplistic"-actually, the correct word is 'simple'-yapping about evildoing evildoers was engineered to get those whom liberals and libertarians alike call 'the patriotards'-people who are mostly genuinely not very smart and who respond to the simplest and most jejune, cloying appeals to 'flag and country'-to get up a little earlier in the morning or take off on lunch break and actually go down to the polling place and vote that day.

They did, and Bush won.

Establishment conservative Hugh Hewitt called this "recognizing that getting elected President requires the vote of some not very smart people". The Bloomberg voter is going to be someone who wants order and stability and feels that a centrist candidate amongst a field of dysfunctional extremists will stand the best chance of doing that.

The irony of that is, of course, is that it has happened before. Dysfunctional Nationalists on the right, dysfunctional Socialists on the left, a centrist candidate willing to break a few eggs to make the omelet...

John Craig said...

Pavonine --
Don't expect the US to last forever. But for it to effectively go down without a fight as it seems to be right now is not acceptable.

Thank you re: the cancer.

John Craig said...

Ambrose --
Amen to your amen.

John Craig said...

Euphanticus --
You make a lot of good points.

Agreed about gun control; that's a losing issue for Bloomberg, though it doesn't disqualify him with a large swath of Hillary voters. And you're right, true independents are rare, but swing voters, who can be persuaded to desert their usual party if they don't find their own candidate personally appealing, do exist. And there will be more of those than usual this time around. Some of them used to be described as Reagan Democrats, and a lot of blue collar whites seem to have switched parties permanently, because they were turned off by the political correctness of the Dems.

Anyway, yes, the fracturing of relations between the Left and Right has paved the way for a centrist. If Perot, after having essentially dropped out of the race and then returning at the last minute, could get 20% of the vote in '92, then Bloomberg, in the far more splintered atmosphere of '16, with his billions and the help of the media, can easily do better.

Mark Caplan said...

Someone might win with 36% of the vote.

If no candidate gets an absolute majority in the Electoral College, the election outcome is thrown into the House of Representatives.

John Craig said...

Mark --
Didn't Bill Clinton win with something like 43% of the vote in '92?

Mark Caplan said...

Clinton did win in 1992 with 43% of the vote and Ross Perot getting 19%. Clinton won in a landslide in the Electoral College. You're probably right that someone could win the presidency outright in the Electoral College with only 36% of the popular vote.

John Craig said...

Mark --
Aha, you were talking electoral college, of course, sorry, my mistake.

Anonymous said...

Spartan said….

Who does Bloomberg hurt the most, Clinton or Trump?

John Craig said...

Spartan --
The accounts that I've read have said Clinton, and I'd lean that way, but I'm not sure.

whorefinder said...

The funny thing about Blomberg is how much in a bubble he is, and how reality isn't piercing it. He won NYC based on 9/11 and Giuliani's endorsement (people forget he was losing in the polls just before the attack, and then Giuliani became a superhero following 9/11 and the general election was only 2 months later---NYC was ready to stop eating it's carrots with Republicans and was going for the dessert in Mark "Communism" Green).

The Bloomberg tacked left and dropped his Republican affiliation, and the power of a decent incumbency pulled him through. So I can see how he might think he could have a chance.

His Mayors Against Guns has been a colossal failure anywhere outside NYC; the NRA loves having him as a foil, he's the Washington Generals. He's lost billions on fruitless laws that never got through. And the NRA loves making him, and him alone, the face of the movement.

In short, Bloomberg is only a blue-state only-loveable guy. He makes financial reporting for blue state stock traders, but can't penetrate the America that doesn't work on Wall Street and doesn't ride subways.

It's a testament to his ego and his cluelessness that he thinks anyone outside of NYC (and not NY; upstate NY won't like him) and maybe San Francisco (they really don't trust Hilary, seeing her as "too right wing", lol) supporting Bloomy.

The only way I could see this happening is if Bloomy teamed up with Sanders. Sanders is a beta, and might gladly be Bloomy's V.P. if Bloomy pushed some NYC-style socialism on people. But then again, a two-Eskimo ticket (and both from NYC, natch)might be enough to start Americans to openly complain about Eskimo influence.

John Craig said...

Whorefinder --
Interesting take. I'd lose a lot of respect for Sanders if he ran with Bloomberg after what he's said so far about Bloomberg, and given the divergence of their views on guns, immigration, taxation, etc. I don't like Sanders' politics for the most part, but at least I can respect him of rbi integrity.

Yes, two NY Jews on the same ticket wouldn't exactly provide geographical or ethnic balance. Agreed, Bloomberg's war on guns has been a failure. And no red meat-eating gun owner is going to vote for Bloomberg. But I think that this time there are an awful lot of people who don't like either Hillary or Trump who would look desperately for any minimally acceptable alternative. Bloomberg inspires no one, but also offends few, and this time around, that may be enough to garner a lot of votes. I'm not saying he'll win, but he could allow one of the other candidates to win with 36% or so of the popular vote.

And yes, he lives in a bubble, but how could you have $37 billion and not live in a bubble?

whorefinder said...

And yes, he lives in a bubble, but how could you have $37 billion and not live in a bubble?

Trump doesn't, and he has billions as well. He picked up a massive populist issue and has shocked both the elite and their bootlickers (the press) with how much it resonated. He smelled that average everyday folks were concerned about immigration and he was right.

Real estate magnates/businessmen tend to be more blunt and less politically correct than most wealthy folks, since so much of their business depends on demographics, and it isn't hard for them to see which demographics drag prices down the most. Think Donald Sterling, who was perfectly blunt in telling his black gf to stop hanging around with black-playboy-athletes because it embarrassed him. Sterling also famously and openly sought-after Korean tenants for his apartments, openly declaring them the best kind of tenants; since Koreans aren't white, this kind of act was grumbled upon by some but not made into "bad news."

The rule in real estate is "location location location." That really means "who else lives near there?" Real estate guys might put a few donations into the correct left-wing pockets to keep big trouble down (Trump has donated to Al Sharpton, I believe), but they are ruthless in calling "diverse" neighborhoods things such as crime-ridden slums.

And Trump's TV show played to the common man. Elites thumb their noses at reality shows, but the ratings and success of the Apprentice meant SOMEONE was watching. Trump kept his finger on the pulse of the average American that way, learning what they wanted to see and hear on TV. His branding as well: his ties and magazines don't sell to the already-rich, but the lower-middle class to lower class man who seeks to climb the ladder into wealth. Trump's career keeps him from being in a bubble.

Meanwhile, Bloomy didn't have to be populist to win after 9/11; unlike Giuliani, who ran on the populist ("outer borough") issue of law-and-order (with some strong backing by rich orthodox Eskimos, who turned on the Democrats after Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson instigated the Crown Heights riots). The elites in NYC have rallied around Bloomy since then, since he came to the center-left and then allowed a lot of social engineering to go on (bike lanes, traffic closures) but kept the crime down.

And Bloomy's career kept him way from the common touch. He produces financial data for Wall Street traders. He never touched upon on anyone with an IQ below 110 or who didn't have a white-collar job. And where was he during the worst blizzard in NYC history? Out of town, in the Caribbean, whsiked away by his private jet, totally oblivious.

Basically, personally ANY professionally, Bloomy's been in a bubble for a long time. Trump, in contrast, hasn't.

P.S. I can't believe you would have respect for Sanders. He's a total paper tiger. He got pushed off the stage by his own supporters and looked like a weak old man. He cowed before Hilary, saying, "I'm so sick of hearing about these emails," instead of pointing out that her violations of the law weren't a left v. right issue. He's a weak little man, total beta, unsurprisingly ran away from Brooklyn when it became to diverse and found safety in the bucolic, all-white Vermont, where rich people elected him to Congress. He's a cowardly little cretin, a far FAR cry from some fire-breathing, manly socialists from the 20s, 30s, or 40s, whose words were backed up with their own fists, and if one of their guys stepped outta line, they woulda socked them themselves. I would respect a K-selected socialist like that, but Sanders is a total rabbit. Soros has a great puppet in him.

whorefinder said...

P.S. the question is: who would Bloomy's candidacy hurt, Hilary/Sanders or Trump?

It would kill Hilary/Sanders, if Bloomy ever got traction. Bloomy's social policies would be straight democrat, and his tax/economic plan would be indistinguishable from Trump's---or, really, any centrist-Blue Dog, triangulated Democrat. But he would be an open borders plutocrat, so Trump still has the high ground on the major issue of the campaign--the national question.

Plus Bloomy is an internationalist, which kills him here, and makes him just like jet-setting Hilary and Obama. He's half-heartedly joked about moving to London and running for mayor there while his friend (and London mayor) Boris Johnson could come to NYC and run there (Boris is a centrist-Conservative party member, so basically the same as Bloomy). Trump would hammer him with that, as well as being an absentee Mayor during NYC disasters.

So basically Bloomy would be running a centrist-Democrat platform, with a bit of deviation by being hard on guns, thus alienating white blue-collar gun-owners from the Midwest. So no one voting for Trump will come to Bloomy, some gun-owning democrats from the Midwest, South, and West will be pushed to Trump, and some of the more economically-centrist Democrats and anti-gun Democrats will see Bloomy as better for them than Hilary or Sanders.

Thus, a Bloomy run can only redound voters to Trump.

Run Bloomy Run!

John Craig said...

Whorefinder --
I had a typo above, I meant "for his integrity," not "of rbi integrity."

True, real estate guys are forced to be realists, just like cops are. And Donald Sterling is a great example of that. Trump, too, you're right. Bloomberg was a Wall Streeter through and through, he was a partner at Salomon Brothers before he invented his terminal. Most rank and file Wall Streeters tend to be standard issue Republican, but a lot of the plutocrats, especially if they're Jewish, tend to be Democrats. Bloomberg is definitely cut from that mold. And, true enough, he lives in a bubble, whereas Trump is more "street." Trump prides himself on his ability to relate to the middle class, and even guys like Mike Tyson -- if they have something to offer him. So, yeah, you're right.

What I like about Sanders is that he's honest about who he is. Think of all the socialists in DC -- like Obama -- who refuse to admit it. Sanders does, and that's refreshing. As far as him not being a tough guy/street fighting man, I can't hold that against him; how many politicians are? (And I'm certainly not, so I can't throw stones.) Would he be a Soros puppet? Probably.

I hope a Bloomberg run would kill the Democrats; I'm not as convinced of it as you are, but I hope so. I can imagine him draining some traditional Republican support from Trump. He'd get it from all the neocon-types, from all the big tent-type Republicans, from all of the people referred to as cuckservatives these days. And that's not an insubstantial number. Plus I think a lot of the media would get behind him, and they still have influence in some circles. I can just see the NY Times congratulating itself as it endorses the independent candidate for the first time ever in a Presidential race; and a host of others would probably follow.

Steven said...

I didn't realise any interdependent had a dog's chance of winning. Interesting that you think he's in with an actual shot.

John Craig said...

Steven --
Put it this way: he's got a better shot than any of the previous third party candidates have ever had. I certainly wouldn't call him the favorite though.

Bob Wallace said...

No one in-between the coasts is going to vote for a New York Jew.

John Craig said...

Bob --
The more I think about it, the more I think I may have overestimated Bloomberg's chances in this post.

BUT -- I'm not sure the reason you gave is correct. Bernie Sanders is a New York Jew, albeit a transplanted one, and he's getting all sorts of support coast to coast. A the moment he's polling ahead of Hillary in Iowa. He comes across less "Jewish" than Bloomberg does. (Not a plutocrat, didn't stay in NY, is not for increased gun control, wants to limit immigration.) But still….

Samuel Nock said...


Your descriptions of the various candidates are funny and spot on.

My view is that Bloomberg would drop like a lead balloon.

There is something cargo cultish about his sensing that there may be an opportunity for him to run and do well:

Bloomberg: "Hmm, a brash, obnoxious, arrogant, blunt, self-made NY-based billionaire who isn't a politician? There is obviously a market for such a candidate, so I will throw my hat it."

The problem with this way of thinking, and the reason I call it cargo cultish, is that it largely misidentifies the reasons why Trump is doing well.

The brash, obnoxious, arrogance is certainly a part of Trump's appeal, but only because _he is connecting substantively_: his issues -- immigration, free trade's failures, jobs, 2nd amendment protection, Obamacare -- are ALL resonating deeply and directly with the heartland American, with the blue collar guys who vote democrat and with ordinary conservative white Americans.

Bloomberg is not on board with any of those issues.

Also, Trump is not simply a "non-politician", he is a true outsider and anti-Establishment figure. Bloomberg is part of the Establishment, and is as integrated with the Goldman Sachs, Davos, financial-industry complex as any mainstream politician.

And as for the money. The point of Trump's money is not that he can blow it all on a campaign: he is actually spending _LESS_ that all of the other mainstream candidates; it's that it _reinfornces_ the above point that he is not beholden to the Establishment. Bloomberg's implication that he will spend a lot of money is irrelevant: if your message is not wanted, the money will be wasted. Jeb Bush has spent $100 million and gotten nowhere.

Also, as you indicated above, Bloomberg will take votes from Hillary / Sanders, not Trump. Personally, I think Bloomberg will go nowhere EVEN IF Hillary drops out or doesn't really progress.

John Craig said...

Samuel --
I hope you're right. The majority of opinions here seem to be with you, and you just gave a cogent analysis of why Bloomberg should not succeed. I can't really disagree with any of it. Maybe I should revise my opinion to, Bloomberg will get a lot of votes for a third party candidate.

One little nitpick: Trump DID support nationalized healthcare a while back, not even sure where he stands on the issue now. But otherwise, yes, his positions do resonate with the heartland, and that's why he's leading. And yes, good point about Jeb Bush.

Do you think Hillary dropping out is a possibility? She can't do that after she gets the nomination, that would be considered traitorous to all the people who supported her.

Samuel Nock said...

Trump's critique of Obamacare is not ideological; his critique is that it doesn't work. That's another key aspect of Trump's appeal: he is a pragmatist who is focused on, and has a track record of, achieving what people want: what makes a good hotel? what makes a good casino? what makes a good office tower? what makes a good residential tower? what makes a good golf course? Trump asked himself all of those questions, answered them, and the market said "your answer is correct." His view on healthcare is the same: what will make it work? The fact that he gets the "right" answers so frequently is something that people are _inchoately_ aware of and factors into his popularity: they are aware that he gets things done in a way that works and doesn't just benefit himself. That is also why the "Trump is not a True Conservative" screeching from the Repubicans is not working: no one gives a rat's behind whether Trump fits some pre-conceived litmus test. Bloomberg is also a problem solver but he _is_ ideological and he has pre-set positions that will not resonate.

I don't think Hillary will drop out unless there are serious health problems that can't be _publicly_ ignored or she is criminally indicted. As both of those are possibilities with, if rumours are to be believed, greater than trivial likelihoods, I'd say it is conceiveable but not overly likely that she is not the final candidate.

John Craig said...

Samuel --
Great analysis of Trump's appeal.

I had forgotten about Hillary's health issues, good point.

Bob Wallace said...

Almost all of the people I know have no idea Sanders is Jewish. Worst of all, a socialist Jew. They don't have a clue.

whorefinder said...

P.S. Pat Buchanan agrees with me:

John Craig said...

Whorefinder --
The majority of people seem to agree with you on this one. Looks more and more as if I'm out to lunch here. I was just making the point that I've never seen conditions more auspicious for a third party candidate.