2020 billionaires’ ‘war’ In America

Posted by News Express | 27 November 2019 | 794 times

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The biggest news of the day is that one of the richest men on planet earth, Michael Bloomberg, has officially announced his late-entry into the United States’ Democratic presidential bid by unveiling a campaign that he, former New York mayor, said will be squarely aimed at defeating President Donald Trump.

The international media are already feasting on this political phenomenon which, if you like, has signalled one of the world’s fiercest political contests of all times. The late-entry opposition candidate is regarded as being far richer than the main contestant and current president, Donald Trump, who doesn’t shy away from announcing to the media that he is a man of tremendous wealth.

The emergence of billionaire Bloomberg in the race to become the  presidential candidate of the Democratic Party has added more energy to   the whole competition for who becomes the 46th President of the United States come November 3, 2020.

And if the billionaire wins the ticket in the next three months that the Democratic primary election will hold, he would square up with incumbent President Trump of the Republican Party in what will be the political war of billionaires.

The flamboyant billionaire, Bloomberg, had in a letter explaining his candidacy on his campaign website, laid out

a more moderate vision for the country and casts himself as “a doer and a problem solver – not a talker.”

“I’m running for president to defeat Donald Trump and rebuild America. We cannot afford four more years of President Trump’s reckless and unethical actions,” Bloomberg wrote.

The Cable News Network (CNN), which openly supports the Democrats against Trump, hinted that Bloomberg’s late 2020 bid – along with the money the billionaire can spend to fund his campaign, injects a new level of uncertainty into the race, less than three months before the first voting   begins.

The CNN reporter stressed that in the last several days, there was little doubt he was running. Ironically, there seems to be some other similarities and attributes between Trump and Bloomberg aside the fact that both are men of immense wealth. Both Bloomberg and Trump are somewhat eccentric and both can be considered as outsiders in their political families – the Democratic and Republican Party. Bloomberg moved from Republican to being an independent and then registered in the Democratic Party. Trump emerged as Republican presidential nominee completely from outside the core hierarchy of the Republican Party.

Bloomberg, who had said earlier this year that he would not run, reversed his decision because he doesn’t think there’s a candidate in the current list of Democrats who can beat Trump next November, several people close to the former mayor told CNN.

In the considered opinion of the CNN, the paper weight candidates, according to the assertion of Bloomberg, includes   former Vice President Joe Biden, who Bloomberg has watched fade in a poll and struggle with fundraising, even as this rich donor doesn’t trust him to be good enough to defeat Trump to an extent that he wouldn't financially support him.

Former President Barrack Obama had also expressed his apprehensions that the Democrats are seriously derailing from the core ideology of the party whose philosophy of modern liberalism advocates social and economic equality, along with welfare state. Democrats seek to provide government regulation in the economy. But Obama had warned that the Democratic Party influential members are leaning dangerously towards far left. “The average American doesn’t think we have to completely tear down the system and remake it. And I think it’s important for us not to lose sight of that.”

Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, two of the more than twenty other candidates in the Democratic Party disagreed with Obama, insisting that “there is the need for a massive structural changes and for implementation of policies that would dramatically alter the role of government in Americanlives.” The dramatic entry of Bloomberg barely 48 hours after this Obama’s intervention may be strategic, going by the widespread apprehension that the leftist-leaning candidates may not be able to defeat Trump.

However, CNN observed that Bloomberg is not the first late-entry candidate to get into the race. Former Massachusetts Governor, Deval Patrick, also announced earlier this month that he, too, would run for the Democratic nomination.

To show that money wouldn’t be his problem, Mr Bloomberg has placed at least $37 million worth of television advertising over the next two weeks, according to data from Kantar Media/CMAG.

As can be discerned from the initial investment in advertisements running  into princely sums, the 2020 election campaign will be the fight of dollar for dollar, millions for millions.

Specifically, the CNN reports that the ads highlight the mayor's biography.  “He could have just been the middle-class kid ... but Mike Bloomberg became the guy who did good,” said the ad – and his post-mayoral work on combating climate change. Then the spot turns to Trump, saying now the mayor is “taking on him” as an image of Trump freezes on screen.

The spot ends with narrator saying “Mike Bloomberg for President” and Bloomberg saying “I’m Mike Bloomberg and I approve this message.”

Bloomberg’s massive buy – 60-second spots across some 100 markets – they reckon will begin next week, representing more than the entire Democratic field has spent on TV advertising in the race so far, excluding businessman Tom Steyer, who will have aired nearly $63 million of TV ads by the end of Bloomberg’s initial booking.

The 77-year-old entrepreneur and philanthropist, Bloomberg, reportedly made his fortune creating technology that bankers and traders use to access market data, according to his biographer.

After building a successful financial information business, he turned to politics. He officially launched a bid to become mayor of New York in 2001, and was victorious.

Despite running as a Republican in an overwhelmingly Democratic city, Bloomberg won the election and was reelected twice. During this second term, he reportedly switched parties and became an independent – only to re-register as a Democrat in 2018.

Because of his late entry, aides to the former mayor have said he won’t compete in the first four voting contests, in Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. Instead, Bloomberg is staking his chances on an unconventional strategy of building support in the states that hold primaries on March 3, also known as Super Tuesday.

Pundits say it’s a strategy that has never been successful in Democratic presidential politics. Party officials in Iowa and New Hampshire have publicly expressed disappointment with Bloomberg’s decision.

But on the positive side, the media say Bloomberg can tout his recent efforts advancing causes important to Democratic voters. He’s put his significant financial resources behind efforts to defend reproductive rights and to tackle climate change and gun violence. The big spender is also reported to have bankrolled several campaigns of many democratic congressional members.

There is the report that Bloomberg spent more than $100 million to help the Democratic Party take control of the House during the 2018 midterm elections and, more recently, contributed to important state races in Virginia.

Political pundits say a Bloomberg candidacy could face several challenges including countering the narrative that progressive candidates like  Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Elizabeth Warren of  Massachusetts have already set: that billionaires shouldn’t be able to “buy elections,” reports a political analyst.

Those who know the United States political terrain vastly have stated that it may also be difficult for Bloomberg to meet the polling and donor thresholds to make it onto debate stages.

Political watchers in the USA wrote that the major criticism of Bloomberg grew over the weekend when it became clear that Bloomberg was slated to spend tens of millions of dollars on ads at the outset of his campaign.

“I see this as one more example where how come, when you have  someone who is already a multimillionaire in the White House, do you think that the people in this country are going to go, ‘Oh, we need someone  wealthier’”, Minnesota Sen Amy Klobuchar said in New Hampshire on  Saturday.

And California’s Sen. Kamala Harris turned Bloomberg's entry into a call for campaign finance reform. “Listen, we got to get money out of politics,” she told an audience in Iowa. “I mean, I got to raise a ton of money to be competitive.” From the black community, Bloomberg faces a backlash because of what reporters in the USA stated as his past support for “stop and frisk”, a type of aggressive policing that allowed – critics say encouraged – officers to detain a person on virtually any type of vague suspicion. After defending it for years, Bloomberg apologised last week at a predominantly African American church for implementing the controversial policy.

Media is reporting, however, that some observers have begun to question the timing of Bloomberg’s backtrack on the issue as he made moves toward a presidential run.

“It’s interesting timing that the mayor would apologise for that now,” said one of his rivals for the nomination, former Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro.

If Bloomberg wins the Democratic ticket, here is the man that Donald Trump would confront in a battle of the billionaires.

From the look of things and the political development in America, it would seem that what will shape the colour of the campaign would be the question of whether the efforts by the Democratic Party-dominated House of Representatives to damage Trump’s brand through the ongoing impeachment moves will succeed. The entry of Bloomberg would seem like a confirmation that this effort by the Democrats in the House of Representatives to destroy the Donald Trump political persona is not clicking.

A public affairs analyst, Nat Apir, agrees with my postulation above.

However, he added: “But we must always subject our democratic practice and it’s institutions to rigorous tests and evaluation – the principles and idea of multiparty democracy and the separation of powers embedded in it are the pillars that have made the American democracy unique and enduring.

“The Democrats are only testing the waters for 2020. They know and are very much aware that it is almost impossible to impeach Trump as things currently stand in America today - good economy and jobs,” he concludes.

The coming days would be intriguing in the political firmament of the United States of America. As outsiders, we will keep our fingers crossed. 

•RIGHTSVIEW appears on Wednesdays and Saturdays, in addition to special appearances. The Columnist, a popular activist (www.huriwanigeria.com, www.emmanuelonwubiko.com), is a former Federal Commissioner of Nigeria’s National Human Rights Commission and presently National Coordinator of Human Rights Writers’ Association of Nigeria (HURIWA).

Source: News Express

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