Most presidential candidates launch their campaigns with a rally, or a trip to Iowa or New Hampshire. Thursday evening, a few hours after aides called The New York Times to say that he was really, actually, no seriously, going to do this, Mike Bloomberg tucked in for a small dinner at a French bistro on the Upper East Side where a plate of french fries goes for $10. The next day, he sent a private plane with a few aides aboard to file his paperwork in Alabama.

Now, as we enter year 15 of is he actually going to do this? speculation, a Bloomberg presidential run comes down to one question: How much do votes cost?

This might seem like a question the nascent Bloomberg campaign might want to bat down. Billionaires like Bloomberg aren’t exactly popular on the left these days. No matter. His campaign is leaning into Bloomberg’s wealth with pride. “Mike has a history of spending what it takes to win,” Howard Wolfson, a top adviser to Bloomberg since his 2009 re-election race, told me on Friday night. “And unlike the president,” he added, “Mike’s really a billionaire.” (Trump has a long history of inflating his wealth.)

Operatives on other campaigns push back on the prospect of an old rich white guy opening his bank account in a race that has been defined so far by a party seeking something new and hoping to recapture the Obama magic. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders quickly fundraised off Bloomberg’s trial balloon, with Sanders’s campaign manager Faiz Shakir writing this in an email to supporters: “Just what America needs… another billionaire using his wealth to try to buy an election.”

Why, yes, comes the response from Bloomberg’s team: he and his money are just what America …read more

Source:: The Atlantic – Politics


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