Bloomberg Fizzles

Last night (2/19) the most recent Democratic Presidential debate was held. Qualifying were the usual suspects: Biden, Warren, Sanders, Buttigieg, and Klobuchar. But this time, there was a newcomer to the stage … Michael Bloomberg.

Up until last night, I had high hopes for Mr. Bloomberg. Yes, he definitely has some black sheep running around in his backyard, but I felt he was the one who could stand toe-to-toe with Trump.

Now I’m not so sure.

It wasn’t so much that the other candidates slapped him silly with questions about his past actions (and possibly present beliefs) … although that definitely played a part. But what really disturbed me was that he was a wimp in standing up to them.

For all the bluster he exhibits in his TV ads, he came across with little more than “Uh … well … I … but …” responses to hard questions from the other candidates.

And this is the guy who’s going to blow smoke in Trump’s face?

I was so disappointed. Nevertheless, I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt since this was his first time going head-to-head with much more accomplished debaters … and will trust he’ll spend some time with a debate coach.

Or something.

Let me add this. It’s not that I’m totally sold on Bloomberg’s political stance. I’m not. I do like some of what he supports (climate change, gun control, foreign policy) and I do like the idea that he has (true) business acumen. But there are also some things about him that I’m not real excited about.

And, quite frankly, there are two other candidates that I like far better.

Nevertheless, I still cling to the idea that Bloomberg could beat Trump. But ONLY if he gets his act together which, hopefully, will take place before the next debate.

One more point. As I’ve said many times before …

I. Will. Vote. Blue.

Even if Mickey Mouse is running.

Will History Repeat Itself?

In 2016, when it was time to elect a new President of the United States, a man named Donald J. Trump entered the race. While he had no political experience, many of the wannabes of America were enthralled with the fact he was included on the Forbes list of the richest individuals in the world. Surely, they said, this wealthy man has the business acumen and smarts to put plans into place that will help those of us who struggle to pay bills and put food on the table.

So they voted him into the office of POTUS.

What many of the voters either did not know about Trump (or didn’t care) was that he gained his riches through some rather nefarious means. Further, his wealthy status tended to be irregular due to a number of failed endeavors.

As it turned out, none of this mattered. All his supporters could see was a “successful businessman” who was going to put money in their pockets as well. (At least that’s what he promised.)

As we now approach the end of Trump’s third year in office, some of us cannot help but ask … has it happened? Has the income of the poor and struggling increased? Have the promised new jobs appeared? Has America become greater?

I’ll let my readers be the judge.

In any event, the year 2020 is almost upon us and by next year’s end, we will be voting to either elect a new POTUS … or keep the one we have.

While many of us have strong resistance to keeping Trump in office, we are also not that enthralled with the several candidates who have expressed a desire to step into the Oval Office. We have our “favorites,” but admit they each have their failings.

Enter Michael Bloomberg. A Billionaire … AND … a Democrat!

Hmmm. It seems the question now becomes … do Riches and Votes have anything in common?

A little history on how Bloomberg made his billions — after 15 years at Salomon Brothers, a Wall Street firm, he was let go with a $10 million severance package. He then used these funds to found Bloomberg, LP, a media and financial data services company, which has made him (at this writing) the 9th richest man in the world on the Forbes list of billionaires.

It’s important to also mention that Bloomberg is a genuine philanthropist (not a self-proclaimed one). In fact, he is a member of The Giving Pledge, whereby billionaires pledge to give away at least half of their wealth. (To date, Bloomberg has given away $8.2 billion, including a $1.8 billion gift in November 2018 to John Hopkins financial aid program. He’s also made significant contributions towards fighting climate change.)

A rather startling fact is that Mr. Bloomberg has pledged he will fully support his own campaign. That is, he will not accept any sort of political donations — nor will he take any presidential salary if elected. He has further declared he is willing to spend “whatever it takes to defeat Donald Trump.”

Please Note: I am not writing this post as an endorsement for Michael Bloomberg. I’m simply curious to know if his wealth is going to influence the voters who believed Trump’s wealth would better their position in life. If so, perhaps we’ll end up with a rich Democrat in the Oval Office.

P.S. I’m well aware of the distaste that many feel about “the rich” running this country. But this post is not about that. Rather, it’s about what really matters to certain voters. Do they want to keep a “wealthy” man who doesn’t have a clue about running this country to remain in office? Or will they consider a man who not only has riches, but has proven his ability to run a successful company AND hold a political office?

Or must political affiliation always be the ruling factor?