2 min readFeb 24, 2020


Bloomberg’s Bluff

On July 28, 2017, John Delaney announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination. The following two years would see dozens of candidates join the race, run exhausting long-term campaigns, and drop out. By November 2019, Beto was gone, Harris was about to be gone, several debates had come and gone.

Normal people — normal politicians — might look at that narrowing field and see the process approaching a conclusion. Bloomberg is fond of pointing out that he’s not normal. He’s a businessman. He looked at that narrowing field and saw little companies going broke, ready to purchase and restructure.

So he joined the competition on November 28th, less than three months ago. He placed a large bet on his reputation and ability to outlast the others financially.

He probably anticipated a better debate performance, or thought his billboards about golf would get a better reaction.

They were not well received.
They were not well-received.

Maybe he didn’t think his purchased surrogates would be so transparent and easy for Twitter to ban in bulk, as 70 were the other day. Faced with this total collapse, Bloomberg’s campaign concluded that they could only win by begging everyone else to drop out.

That’s almost definitely true. Bloomberg will be on the ballot for the first time on Tuesday, after several states have already had their primaries and others have already begun early voting. If the best he can do is ask his competition to drop out and let him win, maybe his money would be better put to a different use.