What are Michael Bloomberg's vulnerabilities
Candidate "Mike": How Michael Bloomberg wants to beat Donald Trump
How do you sell Michael Bloomberg? How do you market one of the richest men in the world in a party that is going through a shift to the left? How do you teach Midwest workers that a $ 60 billion man is right for them?
Brainstorm in Newburyport near Boston. Eydie Silva, campaign manager in the state of Massachusetts, has invited to the Bloomberg party. About 30 guests came. What they have in common is a certain desperation. None of those who headed the Democratic field for the White House after the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries have what it takes to beat Donald Trump in November. Bernie Sanders? To the left. Pete Buttigieg? Too inexperienced. Amy Klobuchar? Too little known. Only Bloomberg, the successful entrepreneur and former mayor of New York, believe they will win. Everyone is ready to clean the door for him during the election campaign. Only, someone asks: "What message do we go out to the people with?"
A Manhattan real estate agent says they could point to the rebuilding of Ground Zero after 9/11. Or the Hudson Yards high-rise complex, the most ambitious urban development project that New York City has ever tackled. Hasn't Bloomberg set the course in both cases? Done nails? Doubtful looks - the proposal is too property-specific.
Silva rather wants to sketch the person Bloomberg, a person with rough edges, whose career not only knew highs, but also lows. "Mike was fired too," she says, almost triumphantly, after asking everyone who has ever lost their job. Before he founded the company in 1981, with which he made a fabulous fortune, he left Salomon Brothers, a brokerage firm, in a dispute.
Before he developed a computer system that delivered financial information faster and more extensively than was previously known, Bloomberg was canceled, if you will - as happens to thousands and thousands of Americans every day. And in Massachusetts, where he grew up in the middle class, he used every opportunity to quench his thirst for knowledge at the Museum of Science in Boston. Because someone like him doesn't forget who he owes his rise to, he donated $ 50 million to the museum a few years ago.
"Mike will do it"
Bloomberg, the philanthropist. The self-made man - who, unlike Donald Trump, did not inherit a large bank account and did not drive any of his companies into bankruptcy. Bloomberg, the American Dream personified. So maybe one could also make it palatable to the malochers in the Midwest.
You can see how the 77-year-old sells himself in the TV spots. Whether gun laws, climate protection or immigration law: "Mike wants to get it done" - Mike will get it done. He only announced his candidacy in November 2019. Joe Biden showed clear weaknesses that he decided to try it himself. In addition, the personal duel against Trump, in which he sees only a braggart, and not a serious businessman, appeals to him.
From 2002 to 2013 Bloomberg was City Councilor in New York. He enforced a smoking ban in pubs, had bike paths built and Times Square was converted into a pedestrian zone. The city became more beautiful, even more of a tourist magnet, but often no longer affordable for normal wage earners. While "Mayor Mike" celebrated gentrification, he neglected social housing.
"Not always politically correct"
Can a multi-billionaire, especially a former Republican, convince a party base that Bernie Sanders’s polemic against capitalist excesses, especially among young Americans, appeals to? He can do it - that is what Thomas Friedman of the believes New York Times: "This candidate is not cuddly, he is not always politically correct, and he will not always tell you what you want to hear." Bloomberg certainly made mistakes, they just have to be included in the overall balance sheet of a man who boldly took a stand on key issues and who was enormously involved in almost every progressive cause - be it in the fight for stricter gun laws or for the preservation of the right to abortion it is with climate change or with education.
Bloomberg's most glaring flaw has to do with a police tactic called "stop and frisk": stop and frisk. This means that passers-by are stopped by officers without specific suspicions and can be searched for weapons, for example. As mayor, Bloomberg took over the tactics of his Republican predecessor, Rudy Giuliani, to make them more widely used. In practice, it resulted in young African-Americans and Latinos being controlled much more often than young whites. “Racial profiling!” Protested civil rights activists.
"Stop and frisk"
Even long after Bloomberg cleared his desk in the town hall, he did not show any learning effects. Only now did the recording of a speech appear, with which he defended the tactics in 2015 in a confidential round with no ifs or buts. At the time at the Aspen Institute, he said at the Aspen Institute: "Male, ethnic minorities, sixteen to twenty-five." The chapter "stop and frisk" hangs like a block on the candidate's leg. On Super Tuesday in early March, when his name appears on ballot papers for the first time, it can cost him a lot of popularity in states like California or Texas.
Bloomberg knows this: he apologized in all forms back in November, and now he's demonstratively set out on a kind of reconciliation tour through the United States. He realized too late, he put ashes on his head, how the police's actions must have affected blacks and Latinos. "I'm sorry. I take responsibility for it." (Frank Herrmann from Newburyport, Massachusetts, February 15, 2020)
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