Can someone explain to rich Democrats that just because other people drop out of the race that doesn’t mean they have to join? That it’s good that we’re whittling down the field? People like Kirsten Gillibrand and Michael Bennet drop out, and Tom Steyer jumps in. Beto drops out, and now Michael Bloomberg is registering for the primary in Alabama. Calm down, fellas. Hasn’t Trump proved that having money should be enough? You don’t also need the presidency.
But I digress. Snow is on the ground. Student journalism is… fraught at the current moment, to say the least. And the quarter is wrapping up and doing the opposite of winding down. But at least on this podcast/column, there was some semblance of calm.
At least until Michael Bloomberg came along. It was all fun and games looking back on Beto’s candidacy, thinking about how he somehow holds the qualities of both a frat guy and a sorority girl. But then, this week, a former New York City mayor and CEO of a major corporation filed to participate in the Alabama Democratic presidential primary.
This week has really proved that I, a native Alabaman, cannot escape the Yellowhammer State. First, Jeff Sessions came to campus. Then, he announced that he’s running for senate again in my home state. Then, Michael Bloomberg filed in Alabama.
But anyway, why did he do this?
The current consensus is that Bloomberg seems to be getting himself ready to jump into the race if Vice President Biden continues to slip in the polls as he is now — polls have him in consistently third or fourth place in Iowa. Of course, Bloomberg has only registered for one primary in one state; he hasn’t announced a candidacy publicly and has held no events. But there is no denying that he’s certainly getting ready for… something, as ominous and vague as that sounds.
Of course there is debate around whether Biden’s support will even slip that much (it probably won’t), whether Bloomberg would really be the right candidate to fill Biden’s shoes (he probably wouldn’t) and whether I’ll stop conforming to the rule of threes (I don’t think so).
Regardless of all that, Bloomberg did make the first move. And there’s a chance that it creates a sort of chicken and egg scenario, in which Bloomberg gets ready to enter the race because he thinks Biden is slipping, causing people to believe that big name Democrats don’t have confidence in Biden, making people less sure about Biden, resulting in a slip in Biden’s support, justifying Bloomberg’s initial move. Obviously that doesn’t seem all that likely, but if a previously unknown Midwesterner mayor can evolve into a national name and a fourth place candidate, anything can happen.
Bloomberg’s move also gets at a larger idea of rich, establishment Democrats attempting to use their wealth to buy their way into the election. The conversation got started when Tom Steyer entered the race and it continues with Bloomberg. It creates an interesting dichotomy in the race where two of the biggest names, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders (who’s already attacked Bloomberg because of course he has), whose platforms are working against the uber-wealthy, have to share the spotlight with two billionaires.
I don’t know, reader. It’s been an Interesting Week™ here at Northwestern University, so maybe I’m lashing out at Bloomberg. But then again, maybe I’m not.
Putting all that aside, I’d like to end on a lighter note, namely, possibly the first genuinely endearing moment I’ve seen from Joe Biden. After a reporter asked him what he thought about Trump considering his invitation to Russia’s Victory Day Parade, Biden gave the most sincere response I’ve ever seen from a politician: “Are you serious?...You’re kidding me?” Biden was so thrown by the question that when another reporter asked him a different question, he turned back to the original reporter, asked “Are you joking?” and then walked away. Absolutely incredible.
That’s all for this week. I’m off to dive into the snow like a fox.
Thumbnail courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.