Bloomberg's brokered Demo convention gambit
By Mark Alexander
If not for Iowa's distinction as holder of the nation's first primary on 3 February, the latest Demo debate in Des Moines wouldn't matter much. Iowa's 3.1 million residents put it 30th in population, and the Hawkeye State suffers from the undue influence of leftists from nearby Chicago, who treat the eastern part of the state like a dude-ranch suburb.
The Iowa primary is actually composed of secret closed caucuses promising a prize of 49 delegates, of which 41 are pledged, so all eyes are on Iowa until its caucuses conclude.
Last week was the seventh dull debate, but the first of the election year. It was hosted by the Democrat Party's public-relations firm, CNN. Participants included frontrunners Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Pete Buttigieg, along with outliers Amy Klobuchar and billionaire leftist Tom Steyer.
That's a large field of candidates given how close we are to voting in Iowa and New Hampshire, and it reflects both the lack of unity and strength within the Democrat Party. It's now a uniformly white field of candidates after New Jersey Sen. Cory "Spartacus" Booker dropped out — except, of course, for "Honest Injun" Warren, who has been certified 1/1024th Cherokee or some other indigenous flavor.
Noticeably absent from the "oh so important" Iowa Demo debate was Michael Bloomberg, the mega-billionaire former nanny-state New York City mayor whose political platform is laughably focused on his abjectly hypocritical concern for "income inequality" and his dangerous gun-confiscation agenda.
In order to qualify for the debate, candidates had to first demonstrate broad-based funding support from 225,000 unique donors (at least 1,000 of whom had to be from each of 20 states). Second, they had to meet popular political polling thresholds.
Bloomberg made the polling thresholds (5th place at 5.8%), but he's intentionally not soliciting individual donations. However, his ad buys now total more than $200 million, almost as much as the rest of the Democrat field's combined $222 million — effectively doubling their collective strategy to defeat Donald Trump.
Fact is, Bloomberg had no intention of being on the debate stage with his fellow leftists, because that is not his objective.
The stage podium Bloomberg wants is the big one at the Demo convention in July, where he is betting that it will be tough for any of the candidates to win a majority of the party's delegates. That will enable him to broker a path not for his own nomination but more likely for his preferred candidate. That brokering will take place behind the scenes.
And given Bloomberg's $52 billion net worth, he will have an outsized influence on which candidate ultimately wins the nomination. After the convention he has vowed to spend hundreds of millions more on advertising to defeat Trump.
Sidebar: This is yet another example of why I believe a candidate should not be able to make limitless donations to their own campaign or on behalf of others (buy the office). They should be subject to the same limits imposed on every other American — $2,800 in a primary and general election.
Who, then, will win Bloomberg's convention favor and affection?
Biden's views align most closely to those of Bloomberg, and he is the "establishment candidate." Thus, he is biding his time as the mainstream Demo favorite, pacing his campaign accordingly and benefiting from a mainstream media that seems shockingly disinterested in the fact that Biden is virtually non compos mentis.
On the other hand, Bernie Sanders is surging in the polls, and the 78-year-old Vermont socialist is leading in Iowa and California, while tied for the top post in Nevada and New Hampshire. Notably, he's also surging in fundraising, having raised more than $34 million last quarter, compared to Buttigieg's $25 million, Biden's $23 million, and Warren's $21 million. As I warned a year ago, "Take Sanders's 2020 Campaign Seriously and Literally."
Democrat Party poobahs are certainly taking him seriously, and they're concerned about a repeat of 2016, when Hillary Clinton and the DNC conspired to sandbag Sanders in order to secure the nomination for her. The end result of their malfeasance was, of course, a shocking Electoral College victory for Donald Trump and the sudden onset of Trump Derangement Syndrome.
The "Sanders Surge" is thus creating a lot of heartburn for the Demos, who know that his nomination could be "an epic nightmare for them."
I believe Bloomberg is positioning himself as an insurance policy against Sanders's nomination.
Warren is doing her best to move Sanders out of the way, and their dustup will benefit Biden.
Moreover, in the RealClearPolitics polling average (the poll to watch), Biden has a substantial national lead over Sanders (27% to 19%) and has marginal leads over Sanders in both Iowa and New Hampshire.
I profiled the threat he and his club of wealthy leftists pose to Liberty in a column two years ago: "The Archenemies of Liberty — Soros, Steyer, Bezos, and Bloomberg," noting that this megalomaniac has "an insatiable narcissistic quest for power, including centralized government power." Typical of rich leftists, he does not want to play by the rules, just dictate the rules for others.
Whomever Bloomberg and his sidekick Tom Steyer back at the convention, that nominee will be beholden to them and most certainly will comply with their wishes. We call this arrangement a "quid pro quo."
And on that note, the Demos' "urgent" articles of impeachment, which were held hostage by Nancy Pelosi for more than a month, are on the way over to the Senate this week.
Some are suggesting that Pelosi's delay was intended to help Biden's candidacy, because now Sanders and Warren will be distracted by their obligatory attendance at the Senate impeachment trial just ahead of the early primaries. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said: "This is the dirty little secret that nobody is talking about, why the speaker held these papers. ... This benefits Joe Biden. This harms Sanders, who ... will be stuck in a [Senate] chair" instead of out campaigning.
Shades of the 2016 Sanders sandbagging...
In response, Pelosi's deputy chief of staff declared, "Impeachment has nothing to do with politics or the presidential race." Seriously, that is the best reply he could script. (Big Lie playbook rules: When trying to deflect from the truth, always leave the denial to a cutout at least two steps removed from the originator of the lie!)
Moving forward, Bloomberg will also be noticeably absent from the unending flood of upcoming Demo debates: 7 February in New Hampshire, 19 February in Nevada, and 25 February in South Carolina. Again, he'd rather buy ads than engage in debates.
Finally, while I'm neither a gambler nor a prognosticating political pretender, if I was, I would suggest you keep your eye on this potential combo ticket: Joe Biden and Kamala Harris. I know, crazy, right? I think Biden will be Bloomberg's water boy, and he'll have to go younger and non-white in order to abide by his party's obsessions with race and identity. Booker would be another option, but I suspect Biden's advisers will insist he go female, and Harris is that default.
Of course, in the unlikely event that Bernie survives the slings and arrows of the DNC, he could choose metrosexual Beto O'Rourke, who can pass as both female and Mexican.
Mark Alexander is the executive editor of the Patriot Post.