* The candidacy of Michael Bloomberg: This could be a bridge too far for the Dems, a 77-year-old billionaire who was a Republican when he was the three-term mayor of New York City. But in the era of Trump, nothing is beyond the pale anymore, including a late-entering candidate who would bypass the first four–momentum-generating–states of Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina and prioritize the Super Tuesday states. It would assume, of course, that no Dem had achieved clear-cut-favorite status by then.
The priority for Dems should be to hit a reset button–with America and the rest of the world–and remove Trump. Then pivot. It’s a matter of being both pragmatic and progressive, but in that order.
There’s also this. Yes, Bloomberg’s a bona fide billionaire, and that’s a de facto affront to hard-core, anti-plutocrat progressives fighting against income inequality. But he has at least earned it the old-fashioned way–without inheritance, without bankruptcy laws. He’s an entrepreneur–not a reality-TV performer and charlatan. He’s also in favor of raising taxes on “upper-income earners” and is a major philanthropist–whose activist causes include environmental issues and gun control. He’s also knowledgeable about government and familiar with running more than a brand business. He would also be immune to Trump caricatures of Dems as haters of capitalism, cops and Israel.
He would please the Democratic donor class and assure that the Dems were not outspent this time. And speaking of money, Bloomberg puts it into a context that might appease skeptical Dems. In an address this year to Harvard Business School grads, he underscored values. “People have a hell of a lot more respect for those who make a difference in society than they do for people who just make money,” he said. “Gordon Gekko was wrong: Greed ain’t good.” Take that, Wall Street.
* Much has been made of Kentucky electing a Democratic governor, Andy Beshear, the state’s former attorney general. Partisans and pundits are digging into the details and conclusions. This much seems clear. Beshear pretty much stayed away from impeachment as an issue and concentrated much more on health care and education. His Republican opponent, the incumbent Matt Bevin, used the prospect of impeachment to rally Republicans and send a Trump-support message with his re-election. Others have noticed, of course, including Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell, the Senate Majority Leader, who’s also on the 2020 ballot.