Mike Bloomberg is undaunted by his subpar performance at the Nevada debate. Indeed, according to Politico, he is looking ahead at the Democratic National Convention.
“Mike Bloomberg is privately lobbying Democratic Party officials and donors allied with his moderate opponents to flip their allegiance to him — and block Bernie Sanders — in the event of a brokered national convention. The effort, largely executed by Bloomberg’s senior state-level advisers in recent weeks, attempts to prime Bloomberg for a second-ballot contest at the Democratic National Convention in July by poaching supporters of Joe Biden and other moderate Democrats, according to two Democratic strategists familiar with the talks and unaffiliated with Bloomberg.”
The idea is that everybody goes into the convention with delegates, just not enough to win the nomination on the first ballot. Then not only do the super delegates, Democratic officeholders and other movers and shakers, come into play, but eventually, delegates who are pledged to particular candidates will be freed from their obligations and will be able to vote for whoever offers the better deal.
Politico is reporting that meetings and phone calls have taken place with supporters of other candidates such as Biden and Buttigieg, even before the Nevada debate. The idea is to not only make Bloomberg the nominee no matter what but also to deny Bernie Sanders the nomination by hook or by crook.
Of course, this insider wheeler-dealing approach is considered brazen coming from a man who not only currently has no delegates but who also melted down under withering attacks about stop and frisk and Bloomberg’s toxic work environment concerning his female employees. However, Bloomberg has two advantages that might make his strategy work.
First, he has unlimited campaign cash to buy commercials to drown out the memory of the Nevada debate. One such commercial used the debate to Bloomberg’s advantage. It shows the former mayor of New York asking the other candidates who had started and grown a business, followed by an awkward silence. The ad is an obvious deep fake, which Hot Air notes are being feverously fact-checked by the media. It makes the point, though, that only Bloomberg has executive experience outside of politics.
The other advantage that Bloomberg has is that the Democratic establishment is scared to death of Bernie Sanders. Politico reports that the big money donors who might be called upon to mount a Stop Bernie campaign have been terrorized into impotence. If they do start such a campaign, it might backfire and make Sanders even stronger than before. But if Sanders is the nominee, many Democratic movers and shakers are looking at a 1972-style blowout that would also swamp a lot of down-ballot Democrats in the undertow. Four more years of Trump with a congressional majority are almost too much to bear,
Pundits point out two potential flaws in Bloomberg’s brokered convention strategy.
First, while the other Democrats would certainly approve of the idea of uniting under a single candidate to stop Bernie Sanders, none are likely to seize upon Bloomberg as their white knight. Biden, Buttigieg, and Klobuchar can point out that they, unlike Bloomberg, have already held elected office. Why exchange one entitlement addled New York City moneybags for another?
Second, the supporters of Bernie Sanders, many known as the Bernie Bros, are not likely to take kindly to having the nomination yanked out from under their guy a second time by the Democratic establishment. They are not party loyalists. The goal of toppling Donald Trump is secondary to igniting a political revolution and making the United States a Soviet Republic.
The moderator at the Nevada debate asked the question, should one candidate enter the convention with a plurality of candidates, should he or she be given the nomination. Only Bernie Sanders answered in the affirmative. The other five candidates, including Bloomberg, answered that the convention should “work its will” which is to say not pick Bernie is he has the most delegates.
If Mike Bloomberg can, in effect, buy the nomination, even as a kingmaker for someone else, the consensus among political observers is that the Bernie Bros will revolt, likely violently. The threat by one Sanders staffer that “cities will burn” will not be an idle one. The reelection of Donald Trump by a landslide could be just the least of the likely outcomes of such a development.