It’s official. Michael Bloomberg, Former Mayor of New York City has dropped out of the presidential race. His short-lived campaign will go down in the history books—if only for the astronomical sum he spent trying to buy the election. How much did he spend? Well, Mike spent $500 million dollars on Super Tuesday alone. That doesn’t account for any money he spent before then. Some are estimating he spent 700 Million. Let’s be conservative and assume it was 100 million. So $600 million total; that seems reasonable.
His campaign lasted just 101 days, which equates to about 5.9 million dollars a day. Wild. All that money and nothing to show for it. Last night when the results rolled in, the only place that Michael Bloomberg won was American Samoa. He got 175 of 351 votes cast. That’s not a typo; there are no zeros behind those numbers. So $3.4 million for each vote. I don’t know about you, but I’d gladly move to American Samoa for 3 million bucks.
When the news broke this morning that Bloomberg would be leaving the presidential race, I couldn’t help wonder how I might have used that 600 million dollars. Now let’s put aside lottery fantasies and charity and focus on winning a presidential race. Additionally, I would like to make the caveat that I don’t care that Bloomberg has that much money. God Ble$$ Capitalism. But as a campaign hack, I take issue with the way he squandered it. If it were up to me, this is how I would have done it.
First, I would have spent $10 million on an elite paramilitary team to kidnap each of my opponents (alive). Then I would have called up Elon Musk and paid $62 million for a Falcon 9 Rocket and then shot my opponents into space, returning them after the convention. We could take a page out of the president’s book and hold a rally at the launch. Now that would be one hell of a rally. By my calculations, that would still leave me a hundred million dollars for TV ads and another $100 million for yard signs and their deployment logistics. Plus, several million for a legal contingency fund for the ensuing lawsuits resulting from shooting people into space. The only question is, would $100 million be going to be enough for yard signs? The grassroots say no.
I’m kidding. I’m kidding. I’m not advocating that anyone kidnap anyone or, for that matter, shoot them into space. But it does give us some perspective. It’s like a Bond movie when the villain devises some overly complicated plan to accomplish a pretty straightforward goal. If the goal is to beat Trump, why not use your considerable wealth and influence to help another candidate succeed? If the goal is to pursue democratic policies, perhaps he could fund think tanks and non-profits that further them. He talked a lot about gun control and taking on the gun manufacturers. With billions of dollars in the bank, he could buy a gun manufacturer or two and shut them down. Just think about that.
One idea floated this morning on Twitter was that Mike could have saved millions and simply dropped $100k with some Russias. They, in turn, would put up some garbage digital ads, and he would have clinched the presidency, at least that is what media narrative has been for the last couple years.
Bloomberg’s campaign kinda reminds me of a similar race I was a part of back in 2010 when Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay and female business icon, spent $144 million of her own money to take on Jerry “Moonbeam” Brown. Tragically we lost that race. One needs only to take a quick look at California today to see how destructive those Democratic policies have been. Let’s be clear, though; Mike Bloomberg is no Meg Whitman. Fun fact, Meg had hands down, the best name for a women’s coalition ever. MEGa women. Ikr? Anyway, perhaps the joke is on us. If memory serves me correctly, Whitman made that money back in less than a year. Mike Bloomberg won’t be sweating over losing $600 million. That’s less than 1% of his estimated wealth.
Mike now joins fellow Democrat Billionaire presidential race dropout Tom Steyer but also several other Republicans who invested millions in their failed presidential campaign, including Steve Forbes, Ross Perot, and others. There is no shortage of Senate and Congressional candidates, Republican and Democrat, who have attempted to leverage their wealth to achieve high office. Most of them are losers. There are a few self-funded winners like Republican Rick Scott (FL), Democrats David Trone (MD), and Dianne Feinstein (CA).
It seems that generally, Americans share a bipartisan view that you shouldn’t be able to buy your way into office. Or rather, your campaign can’t just be about raising or having money. President Trump famously invested millions of his own money into his campaign in 2016 but also built a vast new coalition of voters to support him. Back to Bloomberg, sadly, the only people who are going to miss him are the media buyers. Is this the end of Political Bloomberg? Don’t count on it. Like a villain in a Bond movie, escaping in his private submarine or this case a motorcade, Bloomberg will be back, I’m sure of it.
Image: “Michael Bloomberg – Caricature” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by DonkeyHotey