The U.S. presidential bid started with 31 candidates counting Donald Trump the incumbent. The early round of campaign and fund raising filtered out half of the contenders quickly. The Democratic Caucasus and initial debates conditioned on sufficient fund raising support and decent voter opinion poll left six Democrats in the Jan. 14, 2020 Iowa debate hosted by CNN and the Des Moines Register in Des Moines, Iowa. Andrew Young the Chinese American did not make into the debate as well as the last black candidate, Cory Booker (Senator from New Jersey) who formally dropped out of the race. The yellow mustang, Andrew Yang, with no political background but self-claiming as a ‘math’ guy, offered to save the U.S. from the robot revolution. He blamed the Democrat party for being not included in the Iowa debate. Currently, the top tickets are occupied by Joe Biden (former Vice President), Bernie Sanders (Senator, Vermont), Elizabeth Warren (Senator, Massachusetts), Pete Buttigieg (former Mayor of South-bend, Indiana), Amy Klobuchar (Senator, Minnesota) and Tom Steyer (Billionaire).
Andrew Yang did pass the first of the three criteria, 225,000 individual donors, ranking of 5% in four polls and 7% in two early voting states but failed the latter two. In the Iowa debate, all six candidates claim to be the right candidate to beat Trump in November than distinguish themselves from each other. The next three debates are scheduled on Feb. 7th sponsored by ABC at Anselm College, New Hampshire, Feb. 19, sponsored by NBC and MSNBC at Las Vegas, Nevada, and Feb. 25 by CBS, the Congressional Black Caucus Institute and Twitter. At this moment, Andrew Young is the only non-white candidate in the race. No matter who emerges as the winner, it would seem to be a left-wing liberal facing Donald Trump who has a solid-minority right-wing supporters. One of the logistic issues in the debates is hinged on the Impeachment proceeding in the Senate since the three sitting Senators are supposed to be jurors in the Impeachment trial.
Besides the above presidential contenders, there is a low-key contender who appeals to the centrists or independents of the voter population in a different manner. That is Michael Bloomberg (born February 14, 1942, grew up in Medford, Massachusetts, graduate of John Hopkins and Harvard Business School), a billionaire (roughly $22B, founder and CEO of Bloomberg L.P., with experience and success in providing information technology and services to the financial industry) and former mayor of New York City (2002-2009). Bloomberg, seeking Democrat Party nomination started late and seemed to be taking an old-fashioned campaign methodology by touring the country meeting folks face to face. We will try to follow Bloomberg’s recent trail, to understand his political views and to assess whether he has a chance to win the U.S. 46th Presidency. On Mike Bloomberg’s campaign website, you find the slogan, “We can’t let Trump Win”, videos featuring him as a problem solver, effective Mayor and ambition to rebuild America as well as various news reports, “Bloomberg is spending $100M anti-Trump ad and spending $15-20M to register half million voters.” Bloomberg's history of political affiliation is Democrat (prior to 2001), Republic (2001-2007), Independent (2007-2018) and Democrat (2018-present); this is a very unique record which may attract the independent voters.
Bloomberg bets 2020 campaign on an unprecedented strategy. He will participate in Democratic primaries but will skip the earlier ones, Iowa and New Hampshire. His recent 17-hour touring around the country is executing that strategy; we will review some of the reports about this tour to get a feel of his campaign. He first visited a soybean farm in Minnesota where we could see how his strategy of “see it and be seen” was played out. Mr. Bloomberg held a round-table discussion with the Johnson family at their soybean farm in Wells, Minn. Bloomberg, speaking to the farmers, said, “you are the backbone of our country........It is easy for us living in big cities to forget about the rest of the world. .....You don’t see it everyday.” To be seen, Mr. Bloomberg climbed behind the wheel of the tractor — glistening with a fresh wax job from the proprietor’s teenage children (photo op for reporters) — then eventually back into a waiting vehicle bound for an airplane to somewhere else. Matt Flegenheimer, a Times reporter accompanied Bloomberg in his tour remarked in his report: “There is a way that people generally run for president. And there is whatever Mr. Bloomberg is doing.” We take it meaning that Bloomberg's campaign is unconventional. Then Bloomberg was moving on to Chicago to assess and address economic growth and factory jobs issues. Bloomberg appears to be campaigning with greater efficiency in mind (Flegenheimer's statement) as well as generating useful video footage for advertising since advertising seems to be his campaign focus (this author's observation). The gathering in Chicago might suggest that Bloomberg might have a constituency outside of Manhattan, as a woman shouted out: “We need somebody like you!” and Bloomberg replied : ”If you say so.”
Mr. Bloomberg's final stop of the tour was in Ohio which has a primary day of March 17. Bloomberg accepted the endorsement of Mayor Daniel Horrington of Akron. He drew a few hundred people at the city's Innovation Club. He autographed baseballs for eager attendees. One Akron Bloomberg fan remarked that “He needs to get out there. Call in, go on CNN, get your face out there. But so far more likely Bloomberg can only be seen during a commercial break on his ad. Bloomberg is not a gifted politician as reported by Flegenheimer. He is betting that “his zag-while-they-zig electoral strategy and functionally bottomless resources can make him the standard-bearer of a Democratic Party whose 2020 primary has been defined in part by progressive disdain for the billionaire class.” Two very graphical descriptions were used to depict his presidential bid: 1.“Mr. Bloomberg is a chess-master (grand strategy) whose opponents play checkers (jump step by step).” and 2. “he is more accurately working to bury the (game) board with a gusher of cash (used in campaign and ads) so overpowering that everyone forgets how the game was always played in the first place”. Up to this point, it is not obvious that either one is a good description for Mr. Bloomberg's Presidential campaign.
In my opinion, despite of the Impeachment, President Trump holds a solid support from the republican voters. The democrats need a revolution but can’t find a revolutionary leader. Biden is a baggage person who cannot shake off the Obama heritage. Sanders is too much a replay of his 2016 theme; he can’t excite people. The rest of candidates are busy attacking Trump's Administration than delivering substantive solutions for the country as evidenced by the Iowa debate. Bloomberg made a remark that the two early states, Iowa and New Hampshire, among most homogeneous (race) states in the nation, dominated the candidates time and resources. This is unfair to the African Americans, Latino, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, especially the electoral weight of Iowa and New Hampshire is relatively insignificant. Bloomberg called for changes; it might be too late for 2020 but he had made a good point. By skipping these two states, Bloomberg saves resources for the other primaries. It remains to be seen whether Bloomberg's strategy will win him the Democratic Nomination by focusing on ads to win primaries. Not like other candidates, how to debate Trump is not on his mind until he won the nomination. Thus, his chance to win the presidential bid hinges on his strategy of touring the country, creating local news and spending ads to win primaries.