Michael Bloomberg is done pretending that he might run for president. In a lengthy statement, Bloomberg says he is flattered by the many (imaginary?) Americans who have been begging him to throw his hat in the ring. But ultimately, the billionaire has concluded that the rules governing the electoral college guarantee that the only thing his third-party bid might accomplish is clearing Donald Trump’s path to the White House.
“In a three-way race, it’s unlikely any candidate would win a majority of electoral votes, and then the power to choose the president would be taken out of the hands of the American people and thrown to Congress,” Bloomberg writes. “As the race stands now, with Republicans in charge of both Houses, there is a good chance that my candidacy could lead to the election of Donald Trump or Senator Ted Cruz. That is not a risk I can take in good conscience.”
Before nipping his presidential bid in the bud, Bloomberg did prepare a potential campaign slogan — “All Work and No Party” — and a television advertisement, which has been obtained by the New York Times. The latter touts Bloomberg’s New York mayoralty and philanthropic efforts, before concluding with the warm intonation of several adjectives, “no-nonsense, non-ideological, centrist, results-oriented. Finally, a new choice.”
While there’s probably a constituency for a candidate with those abstract qualities, Bloomberg’s actual platform seems designed to appeal to as few Americans as possible. In his statement, Bloomberg explained his dissatisfaction with the country’s current presidential options:
“The leading Democratic candidates have attacked policies that spurred growth and opportunity under President Bill Clinton – support for trade, charter schools, deficit reduction and the financial sector. Meanwhile, the leading Republican candidates have attacked policies that spurred growth and opportunity under President Ronald Reagan, including immigration reform, compromise on taxes and entitlement reform, and support for bipartisan budgets.”
Wall Street deregulation, trade deals, Social Security cuts, tax hikes, and expansionary immigration policy: Is there a single voter outside of lower Manhattan who has all of these items on their wish list? Somehow, Bloomberg’s aides found a way to answer “yes.”
Bloomberg is not “ready for Hillary” or “feeling the Bern.” But the idea of another nonideological billionaire winning the presidency on a platform of protectionism and xenophobia is even more off-putting to the former mayor. So he has resigned himself to raging against the dying of the centrist technocracy in the pages of his personal press.
Pour one out for the socially liberal bond trader in your life.