Just when it looked like the crowded 2020 Democratic field was starting to thin out, it now appears a familiar face is ready to throw his hat in the ring. According to staffers, Michael Bloomberg is finalizing qualifying paperwork for the Democratic primary in Alabama, prior to the Friday deadline. Bloomberg has not officially entered the race, but entering the Alabama primary is the first step towards a full-scale campaign.
Bloomberg was expected by many to be an early 2020 frontrunner, but chose not to run initially once Joe Biden officially entered the race. With Biden appearing to slip in the polls, Washington insiders believe Bloomberg now feels compelled to jump into a race that has yet to produce a leader. Not long after The New York Times broke the story of his latest moves a former staffer was quoted saying: “Mortality is weighing heavily on him. This is the last time that he can run.”
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Oddly enough, a field that has lambasted rich old white guys, now has two billionaires potentially entered in the race for 2020. Bloomberg, the 9th wealthiest person in the United States, would be joining fellow billionaire Tom Steyer who entered the race over the summer. Like Steyer, Bloomberg will be forced to spend millions in the early days of his campaign to make up for lost time.
Steyer scratched, clawed and spent 10 million dollars to get on the debate stage but has failed to gain any traction in the huge field of hopefuls. It is virtually impossible that Bloomberg will qualify for the November 20th debate in Atlanta and will have to spend record breaking amounts to be included in a debate before the first of the year. Worth nearly 53 billion, he can certainly afford it, but it isn’t a necessity that Mr. Bloomberg qualify for either remaining debates in 2019.
Bloomberg’s billions will be a major asset to his campaign, but also a huge target for the rest of the field that has sought to blame the wealthy for many of the countries issues. Thursday afternoon Faiz Shakir, the manager of the Sanders campaign said:
“More billionaires seeking more political power surely isn’t the change America needs.”
Sanders, the self proclaimed Socialist from Vermont posted the following on Twitter:
Elizabeth Warren also weighed in on Bloomberg potentially joining the race with a shot directly at his wealth.
Although no official announcement has been made by Bloomberg or his staff, it is believed by many that they would not be taking these steps if they did not intend on entering and have data to believe they could win. Registering for the Alabama primary doesn’t guarantee he’s running but it does guarantee he can. However, with the first primaries right around the corner if he doesn’t decide now it could be too late.