Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is preparing to enter the 2020 race.
The billionaire is reportedly filing paperwork to qualify for the Democratic presidential primary in Alabama, potentially paving the way toward a national campaign.
“We now need to finish the job and ensure that Trump is defeated — but Mike is increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well positioned to do that,” Bloomberg aide Howard Wolfson said in an email to Politico.
“If Mike runs he would offer a new choice to Democrats built on a unique record running America’s biggest city, building a business from scratch and taking on some of America’s toughest challenges as a high-impact philanthropist.”
Bloomberg was one of hundreds of elite VIPs listed in pedophile billionaire Jeffrey Epstein’s infamous little black book.
Epstein’s almost 100-page black book is filled with powerful people like like Rupert Murdoch, Michael Bloomberg, Richard Branson and various Kennedys and Forbeses.
Epstein was also a vocal long-time supporter of Bloomberg, according to a now-deleted post on his own website.
Politico.com reports: Bloomberg has engaged in a will-he-or-won’t-he routine for longer than a decade about running for president, but declined to jump in each time. Earlier this year, he was exploring a bid, only to bow out after former Vice President Joe Biden made clear he would run.
“I believe I would defeat Donald Trump in a general election,” Bloomberg wrote in March. “But I am clear-eyed about the difficulty of winning the Democratic nomination in such a crowded field.”
“He’s tired of being the almost-ran,” said one former Bloomberg adviser on Thursday after The New York Post reported news of his moves. “Mortality is weighing heavily on him. This is the last time that he can run.”
Bloomberg will almost certainly not qualify for the next debate in Atlanta on Nov. 20, and he will likely have to spend tens of millions of dollars in the next few weeks to make the debate stage in December, potentially setting a record for campaign spending in a short amount of time. His current wealth is estimated at $52 billion, per Forbes.
Bloomberg and his money have the potential to scramble the Democratic field, where no clear frontrunner has emerged. He is most similar ideologically with candidates like Biden and South Bend (Indiana) Mayor Pete Buttigieg and could threaten their candidacies or divide their potential voters.
Asked why Bloomberg changed his mind and whether he was underwhelmed by Biden’s performance on the trail, an aide said that “it’s not about any one candidate.” But the aide added: “He is worried about the state of the Democratic primary campaign and the possibility that we could lose in November. He wants to avoid that more than anything else.”
Bloomberg’s money also could further sharpen the existing divisions in the field between the left-wing, populist candidates and more moderate, pragmatic ones. While advisers to Biden and Buttigieg declined to comment on Bloomberg’s entry, Warren’s team and Sanders himself reacted with near glee at the potential contrast he would offer.
“More billionaires seeking more political power surely isn’t the change American needs,” said Sanders campaign manager Faiz Shakir. Sanders weighed in on Twitter, saying “[t]he billionaire class is scared and they should be scared.”
Warren welcomed Bloomberg to the race on Twitter and linked to a page about her wealth tax, adding: “If you’re looking for policy plans that will make a huge difference for working people and which are very popular, start here.”
David Axelrod, Democratic strategist and longtime aide to Barack Obama, said concerns about Biden clearly contributed to Bloomberg’s change of heart.
“There’s no question that Bloomberg’s calculus was that Biden was occupying a space, and the fact that he’s getting in is a clear indication that he’s not convinced Biden has the wherewithal to carry that torch,” Axelrod said. “So yeah, I don’t think this is a positive development for Joe Biden.”