Of all the criticisms of Michael Bloomberg’s surprise proto-candidacy for president (He met the first state filing deadline, but hasn’t really committed to a full-on campaign), this is probably the one that concerns him least (as reported by Politico):
Mayor Bill de Blasio panned former Mayor Mike Bloomberg’s potential run for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination, calling his predecessor “a billionaire who epitomizes the status quo.”
Oh, I don’t know. Bloomberg is unquestionably a billionaire who may perfectly represent the status quo in terms of the financial system and perhaps in some other respects. But if a gun control and climate change activist “epitomizes the status quo,” we’re in better shape than I thought.
BDB did acknowledge Bloomberg’s strength on those issues, actually, and stood on stronger ground in criticizing his predecessor’s understanding of economic equality. But the bigger problem is that Hizzoner really ought to avoid saying much of anything about a 2020 Democratic nominating contest in which he ran (at this point, anyway) the most thoroughly mocked and unsuccessful campaign in the vast field. When he finally quit the race in September, my colleague Margaret Hartmann penned one of the kinder assessments of the whole saga:
Despite a list of progressive accomplishments in New York, such as universal pre-K and raising the minimum wage to $15, what de Blasio contributed to the primary race was mainly an opportunity to make jokes about the wild unpopularity of his presidential bid. In the months before the mayor announced his campaign, everyone from former aides to his own wife expressed doubts about his run. In April, a Quinnipiac poll found 76 percent of New Yorkers felt he should not launch a 2020 campaign, with only 18 percent supporting the idea. These reservations proved well founded. After he entered the race, de Blasio consistently polled around zero to one percent, and he had little chance of qualifying for the October debate. A Siena College poll released three days ago had de Blasio at zero percent among voters in both New York City and New York State.
If Bloomberg does move ahead with his candidacy, his bankroll alone will ensure he does better than that. He’s already at 4 percent in one major national poll of Democrats (Morning Consult). De Blasio could only have dreamed of that sort of showing. So he should probably concentrate on running the city and talking policy rather than politics.