February 25, 2020
Will Democrats actually nominate the candidate they support? Not only is the Kremlin attempting to reshape results via a not-so-stealthy influence campaign; but now, Politico reports, the fix may be in at the convention.
Indeed, the news outlet alleges, despite his bad showing at the Nevada debate last week—and his promise to fund the campaign of whomever the Democratic party chooses as its candidate—Mike Bloomberg is privately lobbying Democratic Party.
Purportedly, Bloomberg is sweet-talking officials and donors allied with his moderate opponents to flip their allegiance to him —and block Bernie Sanders—in the event of a brokered national convention.
The effort, largely executed by Bloomberg’s senior state-level advisers in recent weeks, Politico says, attempts to prime Bloomberg for a second-ballot contest at the Democratic National Convention in July by poaching supporters of Joe Biden and other moderate Democrats, according to two Democratic strategists familiar with the talks and unaffiliated with Bloomberg.
The outreach has involved meetings and telephone calls with supporters of Biden and Pete Buttigieg—as well as uncommitted DNC members—in Virginia, Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, and North Carolina, according to one of the strategists who participated in meetings and calls.
With Sanders’ emergence as the frontrunner in the presidential primary, Democrats in those states have recently raised the prospect that the Democratic Socialist could be a top-of-the-ticket liability, Politico reports.
“There’s a whole operation going on, which is genius,” one of the strategists, who is unaffiliated with any campaign told the news outlet. “And it’s going to help them win on the second ballot … They’re telling them that’s their strategy.”
However, such a political play could bring havoc to the convention—raising the prospect of party insiders delivering the nomination to a billionaire over a progressive populist.
“Look, I think if the election were today, Bernie Sanders would [have] … the delegate lead,” longtime Bloomberg adviser Howard Wolfson told reporters Wednesday night. “In part that is because the moderate lane of the party is split, and … many of the candidates are going to split that vote. Now, that may change between now and Super Tuesday, but I think if the election were today, that would be the result.”
He called Bloomberg “the best-positioned candidate to take on Bernie Sanders.”
Responding to a question at the debate on Wednesday about whether the person with the most delegates should be the nominee, Bloomberg said, “Whatever the rules of the Democratic Party are, they should be followed.”
Asked if that meant the convention should “work its will,” Bloomberg replied, “Yes.”
Research contact: @politico