November 11, 2019
Another billionaire–this one with abundant political experience—having held three consecutive terms as mayor of New York City—is about to join the 2020 presidential race, running for the nomination on the Democratic ticket.
Michael Bloomberg, who will be 78 next February—and who currently is the CEO and owner of Bloomberg LP, a global financial services firm— is expected to file paperwork this week designating himself as a candidate in Alabama, a state with an early filing deadline, people briefed on Bloomberg’s plans told The New York Times for a November 7 report.
Bloomberg and his advisers called a number of prominent Democrats on Thursday, November 7, to tell them he was seriously considering the race—including former Senator Harry Reid of Nevada, the retired majority leader who remains a dominant power broker in the early caucus state.
Reid said in a brief interview with the news outlet that Bloomberg had not explicitly said he was running for president but that the implication of the call had been clear.
His entry into the race would cause a seismic disruption—but it might be welcomed by party leaders who are looking for a centrist politician with political seasoning who could stand up to Trump .
According to the Times report, with his immense personal wealth, centrist view, and close ties to the political establishment, Bloomberg would present an instantaneous threat to former Vice President Joe Biden, who has been struggling to raise money and is already defending his ideologically moderate base on multiple fronts.
Bloomberg initially bowed out of the 2020 race because of Biden’s apparent strength, but he has since grown skeptical that the top-polling Democrat is on track to win the nomination—and he does not see the two leading liberals in the race, Senators Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Bernie Sanders of Vermont, as strong candidates for the general election.
Howard Wolfson, a close adviser to. Bloomberg, said on Thursday that the former mayor has grown uneasy about the existing trajectory of the Democratic primary. He said Bloomberg viewed President Trump as an “unprecedented threat to our nation,” and noted the Democrat’s heavy spending in the 2018 midterm elections and this week’s off-year races in Virginia.
“We now need to finish the job and ensure that Trump is defeated—but Mike is increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well positioned to do that,” Wolfson told The New York Times. “If Mike runs he would offer a new choice to Democrats built on a unique record running America’s biggest city, building a business from scratch, and taking on some of America’s toughest challenges as a high-impact philanthropist.”
Advisers to Mr. Bloomberg said he would likely make up his mind about the race within days, rather than weeks.
Research contact: @nytimes