Earlier this week, while everyone was busy watching the impeachment inquiry:
Hank Paulson at the (Bloombergless) Bloomberg New Economy forum in Beijing: "My good friend Mike Bloomberg asked my good friend Henry Kissinger and me to represent him here today because … he's made a decision to serve his country."
— Ben Smith (@BuzzFeedBen) November 21, 2019
Maybe not the most effective political advertising strategy, but talk about an Oligarch Status “prestige” move!
Between this and the digital efforts, it amounts to a built in answer to those would say he should spend $$ on helping to defeat Trump rather than run for president. He can do both https://t.co/JYuoBTOA3W
— Steadman™ (@AsteadWesley) November 20, 2019
NEW: Bloomberg has reserved more than $30 million TV ads beginning on Monday.
A huge show of financial force. Story: https://t.co/xSFHJ3RV7z
— Shane Goldmacher (@ShaneGoldmacher) November 22, 2019
“Huge show of financial force!!!”…
… The ad buy will begin on Monday in more than two dozen states from California to Maine, according to ad trackers. This initial television campaign will feature 60-second ads — a sign of a huge 2020 Bloomberg campaign budget that could easily stretch into the nine-figure range.
The scope of Mr. Bloomberg’s ad buy is staggering. It costs more than some smaller campaigns have spent all year on advertising…
The spending on Friday follows a separate $100 million digital ad campaign Mr. Bloomberg is funding that will solely target President Trump. Together, his ad buys signal his willingness to wield his wealth in perhaps unparalleled ways to oust Mr. Trump from the White House….
Mr. Bloomberg, with an estimated net worth of more than $50 billion, is one of the wealthiest people in America, with a fortune that dwarfs even Mr. Steyer’s…
On Friday, Mr. Bloomberg’s campaign submitted forms to television stations designating himself as a federal candidate, which entitles him to the lowest price available for ads.
Among the other steps he has taken before formally declaring his bid: he filed to be on the ballot in Arkansas, Alabama and Texas; announced the digital ad campaign against Mr. Trump and launched a $15 million voter registration drive…
Ya gotta love that frugal fillip: Bloomberg is worth, at a minimum, $50 billion dollars… but he’s still careful to ask for the
senior citizen federal candidate advertising discount. Of course, that native Massachusetts frugality (Mike was born in Medford, but realized early that NYC is where you make the big dollars) is part of why he’s got fifty bill to throw around. Except, of course, he’s not spending more than a tiny fraction of that!
I think Bloomberg stands a real chance at defeating Deval Patrick.
— Tastee Weet (@TasteeW) November 22, 2019
He did, per the Washington Post, have his aides “file papers to join [the] Democratic race” :
… Advisers said Thursday that the filing was a step toward running for president, following several state ballot registrations, but not an official announcement or public signal that he had made a final decision. An adviser said the timing of the filing was triggered by his earlier application for a spot on the Alabama ballot…
His bid would be built around his effectively bottomless pockets, since no presidential campaign has ever come close to spending the resources at Bloomberg’s disposal. His advisers expect to work without a preset budget or any outside fundraising efforts, a fact that will bar him from participation in the December party debates, which require candidates to meet a donor threshold…
Maybe he’s serious this time! Not like all those other aborted announcements that this time, for sure, he’d get out there in the trenches and get his hands dirty!
Or maybe he’s tossing his advisors some couch change, giving them some creative stimulation to keep them busy, while not-so-subtly making the point that Trump is a cheapjack grifter hustling the rubes on Putin’s dime and the ooh-shiny! distractability of America’s Media Village Idiots. Josh Barro had an interesting article in NYMag this week, pointing out how Bloomberg’s wealth is both larger and harder to parse than the billionaires usually featured on celebrity media.
Mike has never hesitated to spend money on things he really wants, like a third term as NYC mayor, but he doesn’t seem to get a kick out of the usual Thorstein Veblen status markers. When expensive knick-knacks and celebrity parties don’t thrill, why not spend a small fraction of one’s otherwise unspendably vast fortune for a (fully legal!) public display of political influence?
It’s not as though Bloomberg’s committing to the worst parts of campaigning — begging for donations, slogging through the debates, hanging around grip’n’grinning in states whose only entertainment value is watching the rubes bait the journos.
Assuming he finally officially Announces, he’s prepared to visit his existing army of gun-safety and voter-registration volunteers in the nicer cities, while letting the earned-media professionals who’d otherwise be promoting some other billionaires’ status advertise Bloomberg’s personal ability to ‘move the news’. Even media assaults will only prove how much power Bloomberg has to ignore what would be ‘devastating’ to lesser pols (and it’s not as though Mike didn’t have some experience with some of the most vicious political reporters in the American media already; bad news is not gonna come as a surprise to him or his employees.) Not a bad hobby, for a man of his age and tastes!