Josh Barro: “Mike Bloomberg is a very smart guy who thinks unusually dispassionately, for a billionaire, about how to spend his money effectively in politics, which is why he keeps passing on presidential runs whose sole effect would be to make consultants richer and himself less rich.”
Michael Bloomberg announced that he would not run for president, “concluding his path to the Democratic nomination was narrow and he could accomplish more as a private citizen,” the Washington Post reports.
Said Bloomberg: “I believe I would defeat Donald Trump in a general election. But I am clear-eyed about the difficulty of winning the Democratic nomination in such a crowded field.”
“In place of a candidacy, Bloomberg has committed to funding a new independent political operation with the goal of preventing the reelection of President Trump, with intensive voter targeting and outreach in swing states over the next 18 months.”
Michael Bloomberg’s closest advisors “have been interviewing potential aides in early caucus and primary states as the billionaire considers a 2020 run for president,” CNBC reports.
“Kevin Sheekey, one of Bloomberg’s closest confidants, has been meeting with prospective staff members in Iowa and New Hampshire… Iowa and New Hampshire serve as the first two states in the presidential primaries while also acting as an early litmus test for those looking to capture the nomination. Both of the early contests are expected to take place in February 2020.”
Playbook: “Reps for Michael Bloomberg are looking at 7 World Trade Center and the old NYT building in Times Square as headquarters if he embarks on a 2020 campaign.”
“Bloomberg’s emissaries are already interviewing people to hire if the New York billionaire jumps in. They are looking at leasing approximately 30,000 square feet of office space to start, according to the sources. Bloomberg is expected to decide in March if he will enter the race.”
“This appears to be the most material sign that Bloomberg is leaning toward jumping in.”
Warren Buffett told CNBC that he would support fellow billionaire and former three-term New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg for president.
Said Buffett: “If Mike Bloomberg announced tomorrow that he was a candidate, I would say I’m for him. I think he would be a very good president.”
Politico: “From shuttering coal-fired power plants to fighting the gun lobby, obesity and Big Tobacco, Michael Bloomberg’s philanthropy has given away $6.4 billion and earned the love and respect of progressive-minded activists across the country. The question is whether that goodwill is enough to fuel a Democratic presidential primary campaign.”
“The network of Bloomberg Philanthropies recipients is vast, and it includes mayors throughout the country as well as grassroots climate-change, gun-control and education advocates and others who could form a ready-made army of campaign supporters, volunteers and paid staffers. Bloomberg’s political team is beginning to press the issue. As the former New York mayor nears a decision on whether to run, his advisers — led by right-hand man Kevin Sheekey — are asking beneficiaries of his largesse if they’d be on board for his presidential bid.”
“Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg will not decide on whether to run for president in 2020 until March at the earliest,” CNN reports.
“Michael Bloomberg is preparing to spend at least $500 million from his own pocket to deny President Trump a second term, according to Democratic operatives briefed on his plans,” Politico reports.
“Bloomberg has not yet announced whether he will run in the Democratic primary. If he runs, he will use that half-billion-dollar stake — roughly $175 million more than the Trump campaign spent over the course of the entire 2016 election cycle — to fuel his campaign through the 2020 primary season, with the expectation that the sum represents a floor, not a ceiling, on his potential spending.”
“If Bloomberg declines to seek the presidency, his intention is to run an unprecedented data-heavy campaign designed to operate as a shadow political party for the eventual Democratic nominee.”
“Michael Bloomberg is assembling one of the most skilled and experienced campaign teams in Democratic presidential politics. And he might not even run,” the Washington Post reports.
“Bloomberg has retained more than two dozen of the party’s leading operatives and data strategists, some of whom played prominent roles in Barack Obama’s winning presidential campaigns. They are poised to leverage their networks and experience to help the billionaire former New York mayor make inroads with key constituencies across the country.”
“For Bloomberg — who has been a Republican, independent and Democrat — the staffers could be critical as the 76-year-old businessman navigates the modern Democratic Party, giving him links to blocs and stakeholders who may be wary of his past and politics.”
“My objection to Donald Trump is the way he’s filling his current role, in terms of representing the country, in terms of representing the public. There’s an attitude, and a style, and lack of civility that I think is bad for the country, and I find offensive.”
— Michael Bloomberg, quoted by the Washington Post.
“Mike Bloomberg has bigger plans for 2020 than running for president. The billionaire and former New York City mayor has been openly dreaming of the White House for 25 years, and spent huge amounts of time and money now four times over the last 10 years trying to figure out a way to get him there,” The Atlantic reports.
“But he has hesitations about this race, too. He’s not sure there is a realistic space in the Democratic primaries for his centrist record. And he almost certainly won’t run if Joe Biden does, members of his team believe.”
“While no final decision has been made, his aides have nonetheless been working on a fallback that only a man worth $40 billion can afford, whether he runs or not. Bloomberg is pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into a data-centric political operation designed to assure one goal: Crush Donald Trump.”
“Though a budget has not been set, this effort would almost certainly become the biggest and most powerful political organization in the country overnight. It would also be the only real counter to the operation that Trump’s campaign put together in 2016, which allowed it to reach out to millions of voters in a more targeted, under-the-radar way, and helped deliver the election to Trump by shaping their thinking for months and then activating them on Election Day.”
“Michael Bloomberg looked alot like a traditional presidential hopeful on Tuesday with a well-attended speech in New Hampshire, a factory visit and a walking tour of local businesses. But he didn’t sound much like a Democratic candidate,” Politico reports.
“Other than his sharp criticisms of Donald Trump on climate change, the government shutdown and the president’s governing style, the New York billionaire seemed intent on testing the limits of how far he could deviate from Democratic Party orthodoxy.”
Michael Bloomberg issued a statement apparently about Howard Schultz considering an independent bid for president:
Now I have never been a partisan guy — and it’s no secret that I looked at an independent bid in the past. In fact I faced exactly the same decision now facing others who are considering it.
The data was very clear and very consistent. Given the strong pull of partisanship and the realities of the electoral college system, there is no way an independent can win. That is truer today than ever before.
In 2020, the great likelihood is that an independent would just split the anti-Trump vote and end up re-electing the President. That’s a risk I refused to run in 2016 and we can’t afford to run it now.
“The presidency is not an entry-level job… And the longer we have a pretend CEO who is recklessly running this country, the worse it’s going to be for our economy and for our security. This is really dangerous.”
— Michael Bloomberg, quoted by the HuffPost.
Michael Bloomberg said that Donald Trump’s presidency “cannot be helped” and was “dangerous” for the country, the AP reports.
The former New York City mayor also described the partial government shutdown, now at a record 35th day, as “a complete failure of presidential leadership.”
He added that for Trump, “the art of the deal is simply cheating people and not caring about how badly they get hurt and now he’s doing it to the American people.”
Politico: “At first glance, Michael Bloomberg would seem to have zero appeal in a Democratic Party where progressive populism is on the rise and activists and elites say it’s time for a woman or a person of color to win the White House.”
“But unlike any of the other presidential hopefuls, Bloomberg plays a dominant leadership role on two of the top issues on the minds of progressives heading into the 2020 cycle: climate change and gun control. He’s spent a decade as the nation’s preeminent financier on those issues, buying considerable goodwill in progressive circles. If he runs, those familiar with his thinking say, they’ll be the pillars of his campaign.”
“No successful presidential campaign has ever been anchored to those issues. But the politics surrounding climate change and gun control have changed dramatically in recent years, and nowhere more than in the Democratic Party.”
Michael Bloomberg says that if he runs for president, he’ll pay for it himself, the AP reports.
Said Bloomberg: “I ran three times. I used only my own money so I didn’t have to ask anybody what they wanted in return for a contribution. And, if I ran again, I would do the same thing. I think not having to adjust what you say and what you work on based on who financed your campaign is one of the things that the public really likes.”
He added: “I understand not everybody can be self-funded but those that can, I think, should.”
Michael Bloomberg told NBC News he’ll decide by February whether he plans to run for president in 2020.
Said Bloomberg: “Everybody wants to know what you’re going to do, and the bottom line is I’m not sure yet. I care about a bunch of issues. I care for my kids. I care for this country that’s been so good to me. And I want to see how I can help the best.”