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Old 02-01-2020, 10:06 AM
Wesley Clark is offline
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So is this Bloombergs plan


I may be late to the discussion but I couldn't figure out what Bloombergs plan was until I heard this theory.

There are 3979 delegates in the democratic primary. A candidate needs 1990 to win the primary. Failure for any candidate to win 1990 delegates will result in a contested convention.

In the contested convention, super delegates can vote. And I believe other delegates can change their vote.

Bloombergs plan is to win enough votes on super Tuesday and in large states so that no candidate can hit 1990 delegates. Mainly his goal is to stop sanders from hitting 1990.

Then at the contested convention he offers a wide range of financial incentives for delegates to pick him or pick a more moderate candidate (like Biden or buttigieg) who will not pass a wealth tax. Bloomberg will pay several billions a year in a wealth tax.

Incentives could be things like offering hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars in financial aid to democratic races at all levels. Maybe say 'of you pick Biden I will donate a billion dollars to house and senate races, and another half a billion to state and local races'. He can use his financial leverage to get delegates to pick him or pick a more moderate democratic candidate who won't push for a wealth tax.

Bloombergs main goal is shutting down a wealth tax and blocking progressive taxes as part of the democratic platform. And this is his method of doing it. The democratic party endorses this plan and that's why they changed the rules so Bloomberg can be in the debates.

To me, this theory makes a lot of sense as to why and how he is running. Is this theory well known at this point?

I'm fine with Bloomberg donating to leftist causes, but this will create a huge fight within the democrats if he succeeds.
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Old 02-01-2020, 10:42 AM
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not sure but I think the super delegates can only vote on 2nd ballot
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Old 02-01-2020, 10:52 AM
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not sure but I think the super delegates can only vote on 2nd ballot
But that's the point. If Bloomberg can siphon enough votes so sanders can't get 1990 delegates, then there is a brokered convention. Then Bloomberg can help pick a more moderate nominee.
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Old 02-01-2020, 11:24 AM
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Why in the world would you think he's siphoning Sanders votes?
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Old 02-01-2020, 11:40 AM
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This is the time of year when "contested convention" always comes up, and as always it's extremely unlikely to happen (probably less likely this election than most). After the first 2 primaries, the entrenched voting factions coalesce around whichever of their candidates got traction, and this time around there is really the mainstream wing and the progressive wing and that's about it. Whether Bloomberg likes it or not, if he gets crushed by Biden in the early primaries, the vast majority of his voters will flock to Biden. His only route to staying in the election is to at least come close to Biden in Iowa, gain ground or outright come ahead in New Hampshire, and then keep gaining ground and win multiple states on Super Tuesday.

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Old 02-01-2020, 11:53 AM
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I can't imagine Bloomberg is so stupid & paranoid that he thinks a wealth tax has any chance of ever getting passed. President Sanders or Warren can't just suddenly declare that a wealth tax exists. Mitch McConnell would never even allow a vote on it, and if by some miracle Schumer became majority leader instead, that Wall Street pet wouldn't allow it either. It's not happening.

Otherwise, I agree with the rest. Bloomberg wants to split the delagates and be a kingmaker. This is more to serve his own ego than an attempt to protect his pocketbook. The entire GOP and most Democrats are alread busy protecting Bloomberg's pocketbook 24/7, so he has no need to worry.
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Old 02-01-2020, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by str8cashhomie View Post
This is the time of year when "contested convention" always comes up, and as always it's extremely unlikely to happen (probably less likely this election than most). After the first 2 primaries, the entrenched voting factions coalesce around whichever of their candidates got traction, and this time around there is really the mainstream wing and the progressive wing and that's about it. Whether Bloomberg likes it or not, if he gets crushed by Biden in the early primaries, the vast majority of his voters will flock to Biden. His only route to staying in the election is to at least come close to Biden in Iowa, gain ground or outright come ahead in New Hampshire, and then keep gaining ground and win multiple states on Super Tuesday.
There's no "if" about it. Bloomberg will get crushed in the first four primaries. He will not come close to Biden in Iowa, he will not come close in NH. He doesn't care. He's not competing there. He's going for Super Tuesday and beyond. He's banking on Biden underperforming, and Sanders doing well. If the left does well in the first four (Sanders), Biden is vulnerable. This is where Bloomberg's banking on picking up the moderate baton.
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Old 02-01-2020, 12:08 PM
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There's no "if" about it. Bloomberg will get crushed in the first four primaries. He will not come close to Biden in Iowa, he will not come close in NH. He doesn't care. He's not competing there. He's going for Super Tuesday and beyond. He's banking on Biden underperforming, and Sanders doing well. If the left does well in the first four (Sanders), Biden is vulnerable. This is where Bloomberg's banking on picking up the moderate baton.
If you look at any past primary at least since the TV era, each early primary gets a ton of attention, and the media simply reports who the top performers were, and voters follow suit and run away from the others.

I think it is shaping up to be a two-horse race between Biden and Sanders. If the early primaries show Sanders winning almost every one, people are either just going to vote for the frontrunner, or if there is enough of a backlash against Bernie's success , they'll go for the perceived number 2.

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Old 02-01-2020, 12:10 PM
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I can't imagine Bloomberg is so stupid & paranoid that he thinks a wealth tax has any chance of ever getting passed. President Sanders or Warren can't just suddenly declare that a wealth tax exists. Mitch McConnell would never even allow a vote on it, and if by some miracle Schumer became majority leader instead, that Wall Street pet wouldn't allow it either. It's not happening.

Otherwise, I agree with the rest. Bloomberg wants to split the delagates and be a kingmaker. This is more to serve his own ego than an attempt to protect his pocketbook. The entire GOP and most Democrats are alread busy protecting Bloomberg's pocketbook 24/7, so he has no need to worry.
That's a valid point, but I think Bloomberg sees the direction that the party is taking and wants to slow it down.

Also maybe a president sanders wouldn't be willing to sign a budget reconciliation law unless it has progressive taxes and wealth taxes.
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Old 02-01-2020, 12:26 PM
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If you look at any past primary at least since the TV era, each early primary gets a ton of attention, and the media simply reports who the top performers were, and voters follow suit and run away from the others.
Nobody in that era has had Bloomberg's unholy amount of cash and willingness to spend it either. Plus the dude's playing moneyball with it. That's completely unprecedented, but not necessarily a bad idea. Time will tell, but don't underestimate Bloomberg just because he's not doing things like you're used to seeing

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Old 02-01-2020, 02:15 PM
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For Bloomberg's candidacy to have any chance, he needs Biden to under-perform. Right now, despite all of the angst over Biden's apparent fragility, when you look at the poll numbers, he still is looking fairly safe to finish in the top two in all of the February primaries, and that's probably all Biden needs going into Super Tuesday. All of that is to say that Bloomberg a long shot right now.

But surprises can and do happen, and a poor Iowa finish would be bad news for Biden. I wouldn't be surprised to see Biden come in at 2nd place behind Bernie in IA, but if he finishes behind Buttigieg and/or Warren, then that's a problem that will follow him wherever he goes.

I think we'll know a lot more about Biden's - and Bloomberg's - chances after Monday night.
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Old 02-01-2020, 02:18 PM
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1. Bloomberg is almost certainly not running to block a wealth tax, and likely has virtually no fear of such a tax. I think Bloomberg is a genuine centrist. Like most leftists, you naturally assume all centrists are closet monsters or far right conservatives. It's one of the most destructive thought patterns the Democrats deal with on a regular basis--believing only far leftist political views are genuine, and all others are just craven.

2. A brokered convention doesn't necessarily have two rounds of voting. When a candidate gets pledged delegates, (assuming the candidate has managed the process correctly--Trump for example didn't in 2016, but it wasn't a big enough issue to affect his nomination), those pledged delegates are typically extremely loyal to that specific candidate. If we finish the last primary and no one has hit the majority number (which sounds like is 1990), the candidates can actually broker deals on their own. For example let's say Bernie is 500 delegates short and Liz Warren has 600 delegates. Warren can agree to release her delegates and she'll also advocate they vote for Bernie. That sort of thing has actually happened before, and generally these delegates follow their marching orders. So this would happen before the convention even started, and once Bernie and Warren's deal was firmly in place, it would be announced very publicly to shift the perception away from the convention being "contested", it'd become widely understood Sanders is the nominee.

I just used Sanders/Warren as an example, any collection of candidates who can merge delegates to get to a majority could theoretically enter into an agreement to release their delegates and instruct them to vote for another candidate on the first ballot.

If this happens superdelegates never get to vote.

3. If it does get to a second vote, the superdelegates are going to be lobbied hard, and we'll have a true contested convention. That being said the people who are superdelegates actually really want to beat Trump, and they are probably going to want to "preserve" as much democratic influence on the process as possible. This is why I wager that the superdelegates likely would coalesce around candidates who have at least one of these three attributes:

-Received the most total votes (by voters) in the primaries
-Received the most pledged delegates from the primaries/caucuses
-Won the most States

That could in theory be three separate people but most likely it would be 1 or 2 different candidates (in 2008 Hillary actually for example won the "popular vote" over Obama, but Obama won more delegates and more states.)

Most likely given the nature of our political system and what is seen as more important, the candidate with a plurality of the pledged delegates will be very likely the person the supers coalesce around. The only chance I would see for them to go in a different direction would be if the person who won a plurality of pledged delegates won that plurality by a very small margin (say less than 150), and that same candidate say, lost the total popular vote. In that case the results might seem muddied enough the supers would potentially go against the plurality winner.

Most likely the individual candidates will still also be able to lean on their former pledged delegates into the second round. But the pledged delegates are usually local, smaller time activists. It's entirely possible they actually behave unpredictably in the second round, and may be motivated to change votes based on direct appeals from the candidates and etc. The superdelegates aren't even the real scary thing for Democrats with a contested convention that has two rounds of voting--it's the pledged delegates. Mainly because it's really far more unpredictable what they would do in round two than a superdelegate.
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Old 02-01-2020, 02:23 PM
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I know everyone screamed like a stuck pig about the new debate requirements but I like it since it’ll force Bloomberg on the debate stage or make him chicken out.

I still think most of Bloomberg and Steyer support is coming from those who have been bombarded by ads. That is unprecedented. And those ads are everywhere. I know the cool kids under 30 never watch TV but there’s still a ton of older people who both watch it and vote. I know the Buttigieg campaign is all about Iowa and NH, so there’s almost no resources anywhere else in the country. I assume it’s pretty much the same for Warren.

So, the question for Bloomberg is does he stay strong once the campaign finally moves out of IA and NH and people in other states start paying attention? I’ve used the Super Bowl analogy before. People that go out to a bar and typically don’t drink will often order a Bud or Bud Light because they’ve seen endless ads for it. Are the people being polled in national polls just saying Bloomberg because they’ve seen the commercials and maybe they know they don’t like Bernie?

I don’t think Bloomberg or Steyer’s plans will win. This is not the right political climate for billionaires, even good billionaires, in the Democratic Party.

Progressives should take a long hard look at the wealth tax and first figure out how they’d get it passed even with a Democratic majority in the Senate. Even if they get it passed after spending a ton of political capital, what’s the chance of it surviving the current SCOTUS? Roberts kept the ACA alive I think more for his own legacy. Roberts is a very conservative judge, but he does care about how he will be written about in the history books and doesn’t want to go down as a right wing rubber stamp like Rehnquist.
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Old 02-01-2020, 02:28 PM
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Something else to keep in mind about Bloomberg is he entered the race when Biden was at a really low point. Mike isn't actually an idiot or an evil guy, he looked at Biden's struggling poll numbers, and the fact of the matter is anyone who has seen previous Biden runs for the Presidency knows Biden is a lackluster campaigner. Not just at the glad handing and speechifying, but at building a campaign organization. At fundraising. He's never been great at this stuff, Biden's political career has mostly been about leveraging power in the U.S. Senate and then being a party elder perfectly positioned to make a pretty good "Elder Statesman" Vice President for Obama.

Mike had a genuine fear that given Biden's weak campaign chops, poor fundraising, that he could be near a collapse. Bloomberg does genuinely want Sanders to not win (I'm on the same boat, not only will Sanders be a terrible general election candidate, he would be a terrible President--no Americans should want him to win); and I think Bloomberg mostly stepped in so he could be like "here's Mike" after Biden collapsed.

But Biden recovered from his lowest point and has held steady with around 25-30% of national polling. His fundraising is still lackluster, but it's enough to be viable. So now Bloomberg is in the weird position that his campaign may actually siphon enough votes away from Biden that it cripples his chances to win the primary when Bloomberg gets delegates of his own on Super Tuesday.

There have been some lightly leaked rumors that Bloomberg may be interested in ending his campaign and building for himself a sort of "Financier-in-Chief" role for the Democrats instead of continuing as a candidate himself. But we're at a weird inflection point where I don't think it's clear to Bloomberg himself yet if Biden is really going to hang in there, so he doesn't want to withdraw too soon only to see Biden collapse after say, a narrow win of South Carolina (my prognostication is if Bernie wins IA/NH and gets within 10% of Biden in South Carolina Biden's campaign falls apart pretty bad.)
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Old 02-01-2020, 02:41 PM
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There have been some lightly leaked rumors that Bloomberg may be interested in ending his campaign and building for himself a sort of "Financier-in-Chief" role for the Democrats instead of continuing as a candidate himself.
I'd love to see where you got those lightly leaked rumors from. I have no problem believing he wants to be a financier-in-chief (either for himself, another moderate nominee, or perhaps Senate/House candidates if Sanders somehow wins the nom), but I don't believe for a minute he actually wants to end his campaign. If he did, he would've bought an $11 million dollar Super Bowl ad to attack Trump rather than build himself up. He's done a shit-ton of anti-Trump ads, if he didn't want to continue in this race, why not just run another one of those for $11 million?
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Old 02-01-2020, 02:57 PM
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I don't think you understand how rich $50bn+ net worth is. This money means nothing to Bloomberg.

It's a level of wealth you probably have trouble understanding.
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Old 02-01-2020, 03:03 PM
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Like Bloomberg has given a total of $3bn to Johns Hopkins (his alma mater), has put $8bn into fighting for gun control and climate change policies. His actual spending on this Presidential campaign is still pretty small for Bloomberg.

Since Bloomberg LP is a privately held company and we've not seen Mike's tax returns yet it's a little hard to quantify--but I'd guess Mike receives anywhere from $1-3bn a year in profit from his ownership of Bloomberg LP. He makes more than that from positive capital gains (mostly unrealized) on a typical year as well. Back in 2016 Mike was worth $36bn and is worth $60bn estimated today, a large portion of that wealth is tied up in his 85% ownership stake in Bloomberg LP, but he has tens of billions in other assets.

Bloomberg could spend $5bn on this campaign and it wouldn't materially affect him in any way.
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Old 02-01-2020, 03:03 PM
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So, no cite?

And I understand it means nothing to him. But if he were actually interested in dropping out and just wounding Trump for the eventual nominee, why wouldn't he run an ad directly attacking Trump, instead of building himself up? That doesn't strike me as someone who "may be interested in ending his campaign," as you claim.
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Old 02-01-2020, 03:05 PM
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I mean you can do your own research. I'm out of the cite game, I don't really care to dig through old news articles for literally no reason.
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Old 02-01-2020, 03:07 PM
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I mean you can do your own research. I'm out of the cite game, I don't really care to dig through old news articles for literally no reason.
No, you're the one who claimed there were rumors he is interested in ending his campaign. It's on you to back that one up, not me. Otherwise you could just start posting made up crap with the hope of not getting called on it. That's not how it works here, and you know that.

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Old 02-01-2020, 03:09 PM
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Why? I told you there were rumors that I read about. If you don't believe me then I doubt there's much reason to continue discussion. Why would you talk to someone you believed is a liar?

Edit to add: The quote from a Bloomberg (unnamed) aide was posted in mainstream press. I have seen these banal requests for cites go on for years on the sdmb and have never seen them meaningfully advance any discussion. I suspect you're disinclined to believe Bloomberg's aides, but for some reason you want to "make me" go dig up an old quote that you yourself would've seen if you say, read the New York Times during the month of January, specifically January 11th. It's silly.

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Old 02-01-2020, 03:09 PM
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Something else to keep in mind about Bloomberg is he entered the race when Biden was at a really low point. Mike isn't actually an idiot or an evil guy, he looked at Biden's struggling poll numbers, and the fact of the matter is anyone who has seen previous Biden runs for the Presidency knows Biden is a lackluster campaigner. Not just at the glad handing and speechifying, but at building a campaign organization. At fundraising. He's never been great at this stuff, Biden's political career has mostly been about leveraging power in the U.S. Senate and then being a party elder perfectly positioned to make a pretty good "Elder Statesman" Vice President for Obama.

Mike had a genuine fear that given Biden's weak campaign chops, poor fundraising, that he could be near a collapse. Bloomberg does genuinely want Sanders to not win (I'm on the same boat, not only will Sanders be a terrible general election candidate, he would be a terrible President--no Americans should want him to win); and I think Bloomberg mostly stepped in so he could be like "here's Mike" after Biden collapsed.

But Biden recovered from his lowest point and has held steady with around 25-30% of national polling. His fundraising is still lackluster, but it's enough to be viable. So now Bloomberg is in the weird position that his campaign may actually siphon enough votes away from Biden that it cripples his chances to win the primary when Bloomberg gets delegates of his own on Super Tuesday.

There have been some lightly leaked rumors that Bloomberg may be interested in ending his campaign and building for himself a sort of "Financier-in-Chief" role for the Democrats instead of continuing as a candidate himself. But we're at a weird inflection point where I don't think it's clear to Bloomberg himself yet if Biden is really going to hang in there, so he doesn't want to withdraw too soon only to see Biden collapse after say, a narrow win of South Carolina (my prognostication is if Bernie wins IA/NH and gets within 10% of Biden in South Carolina Biden's campaign falls apart pretty bad.)
Not only was Biden slipping but Pete was rising. Bloomberg’s timing was right around that DMR poll showing Pete leading Iowa.

I wish wish wish wish Biden (and Bernie) would have rode off into the sunset and sat this one out. Damnit Joe, you’ve been in the Senate since Nixon was President. Even the 1990s were light years ago in politics. The loud activist progressive Democrats don’t give a fuck about where politics was at during the crime bill and Anita Hill. They know that you are EVIL and that’s that. Moderate liberals like myself are looking for something different now and to move forward. That’s why Buttigieg and Harris caught my eye.

Bloomberg is the last thing I want as well and I hope he does bow out if Biden looks more viable.
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Old 02-01-2020, 03:17 PM
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So, no cite?

And I understand it means nothing to him. But if he were actually interested in dropping out and just wounding Trump for the eventual nominee, why wouldn't he run an ad directly attacking Trump, instead of building himself up? That doesn't strike me as someone who "may be interested in ending his campaign," as you claim.
I’ve seen things like there on Political Wire and other blogs myself, I’ll try to find one next time I see it.

The main reason is that Bloomberg could have pulled a Steyer and run enough fundraising ads to meet the donor standards. So, as of now, he had no interest in getting on the debate stage which leaves the waiting in the wings theory with some support.
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Old 02-01-2020, 03:17 PM
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Why? I told you there were rumors that I read about. If you don't believe me then I doubt there's much reason to continue discussion. Why would you talk to someone you believed is a liar?
I'm not calling you a liar. You made a statement I had not heard before and I simply asked for a fucking cite so I could read it for myself. This place is about fighting ignorance, and if you could've produced a link, it would've actually accomplished the fighting of my ignorance.

Hey, I heard rumors that Biden will resign the minute after he takes office, should he win, and hand the presidency over to his vice president. Is it kosher for me to post that with no accountability, or should I get my panties in a wad too if someone asks for a cite?

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Old 02-01-2020, 03:18 PM
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You seem pretty worked up about it.
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Old 02-01-2020, 03:32 PM
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When I'm trying to have a discussion with someone in good faith, and ask for a cite, but they tell me it's my responsibility to verify their claims, yeah, I tend to get a bit cranky.

I do believe I'm starting to get a better picture of the person I'm interacting with.
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Old 02-01-2020, 03:43 PM
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I'm not calling you a liar. You made a statement I had not heard before and I simply asked for a fucking cite so I could read it for myself. This place is about fighting ignorance, and if you could've produced a link, it would've actually accomplished the fighting of my ignorance.

Hey, I heard rumors that Biden will resign the minute after he takes office, should he win, and hand the presidency over to his vice president. Is it kosher for me to post that with no accountability, or should I get my panties in a wad too if someone asks for a cite?
Ok, but what about my point that Bloomberg made no attempt to meet the donor requirement to get on the debate stage? Andrew Yang will be up there next debate while Bloomberg won’t.
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Old 02-01-2020, 03:43 PM
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There’s this January 11th article in the NYT.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/11/u...-spending.html


The paragraph that I think is being referenced reads:
“His aides have indicated that Mr. Bloomberg is not inclined to keep pouring money into an extended contest with Mr. Biden and would instead reorient his campaign into an organization dedicated to battering Mr Trump, should the former VP emerge as the leader in the race”

But I don’t interpret that as Bloomberg intends to drop out. He’s once again making it clear that his priority is getting Trump out rather than getting himself in, but he’s made that clear already.

Time will tell. I guess I mostly think Bloomberg’s entry into the race is significant because up until the time he entered the race, I didn’t think any of the Democratic candidates had a shot in hell against Trump. But I think Mike and his billions and a data-driven approach and the analytical infrastructure he has in place now means that the Democrats have an actual chance.

I’m much less depressed about the whole thing than I was a month ago.
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Old 02-01-2020, 03:47 PM
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Ok, but what about my point that Bloomberg made no attempt to meet the donor requirement to get on the debate stage? Andrew Yang will be up there next debate while Bloomberg won’t.
It looks like he might have a shot.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/17/u...e-qualify.html
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Old 02-01-2020, 03:49 PM
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Ok, but what about my point that Bloomberg made no attempt to meet the donor requirement to get on the debate stage? Andrew Yang will be up there next debate while Bloomberg won’t.
I don't think he cared. Unorthodox? Sure, but skipping the first four states in favor of the more delegate-rich states in Super Tuesday and beyond is unorthodox too. But, hell, this isn't even the only debate in February, and it sounds like the party is adjusting the qualifications for the ones later in the month. Those are closer to the primaries he's competing in anyway, if he chooses to participate.

ETA: What Ann said, too.

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Old 02-01-2020, 03:58 PM
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I don't want a really young guy but can't we have someone born after the Korean War? Yang and Mayor Pete were born after Korea but neither one of them is going to be the nominee.
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Old 02-01-2020, 03:59 PM
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There’s this January 11th article in the NYT.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/11/u...-spending.html


The paragraph that I think is being referenced reads:
“His aides have indicated that Mr. Bloomberg is not inclined to keep pouring money into an extended contest with Mr. Biden and would instead reorient his campaign into an organization dedicated to battering Mr Trump, should the former VP emerge as the leader in the race”

But I don’t interpret that as Bloomberg intends to drop out. He’s once again making it clear that his priority is getting Trump out rather than getting himself in, but he’s made that clear already.

Time will tell. I guess I mostly think Bloomberg’s entry into the race is significant because up until the time he entered the race, I didn’t think any of the Democratic candidates had a shot in hell against Trump. But I think Mike and his billions and a data-driven approach and the analytical infrastructure he has in place now means that the Democrats have an actual chance.

I’m much less depressed about the whole thing than I was a month ago.
Thanks for posting that. But like you, I'm not interpreting that as Bloomberg secretly wanting to end his campaign. I see that as someone who is willing to step aside if the writing is on the wall, and throw his considerable wealth into the fall election(s).

But, seriously, if there are rumors of Bloomberg wanting to end his campaign for president, I'd love to see/read them. Especially interested as I continue to figure out who I'm going to vote for.
  #33  
Old 02-01-2020, 04:05 PM
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I don't want a really young guy but can't we have someone born after the Korean War? Yang and Mayor Pete were born after Korea but neither one of them is going to be the nominee.
Deval Patrick (1956), Tom Steyer (1957), Amy Klobuchar (1960)

Take your pick.

The young-but-not-too-young candidates like Harris, Booker, Beto, Castro and Gillibrand were all driven out by because people evidently liked the seniors more.
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Old 02-01-2020, 04:05 PM
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doubt Bloomberg stays in after super Tuesday unless he does really well that day.

Deval Patrick (1956), Tom Steyer (1957), Amy Klobuchar (1960) are not winning the nomination. One of them only wins if the all top guys/gal die or quit.

I guess I should have said a leading candidate born after Korea.

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  #35  
Old 02-01-2020, 08:30 PM
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doubt Bloomberg stays in after super Tuesday unless he does really well that day...
Which he could. And if not he is committed to helping whoever the candidate is beat Trump. Not to being a spoiler or causing the likely nominee to waste resources.

FWIW Bloomberg has a long history of spending large amounts of his money for political causes. Those causes have not been fighting against progressive taxation. They've been
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a total of $8 billion on issues he cares about, including curbing deaths from tobacco (nearly $1 billion), traffic ($259 million), guns ($50 million), and opioids ($50 million), as well as combating climate change ($500 million).

Those donations show some of Bloomberg’s priorities, but his donations to political candidates are better indications of whether his money has the power to swing an election. A man who prides himself on his independence, Bloomberg has retained more control over his spending than other megadonors have, picking and choosing relatively moderate candidates who appealed to him and growing more aggressive each election cycle.

The result: Bloomberg has largely backed winners. According to the FEC filings from Bloomberg’s personal contributions and, more significantly, his political action committee, Independence USA, candidates he’s supported have won 45 of the 54 (often highly competitive) races he’s spent money on.
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Old 02-02-2020, 01:34 AM
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Something else to keep in mind about Bloomberg is he entered the race when Biden was at a really low point. Mike isn't actually an idiot or an evil guy, he looked at Biden's struggling poll numbers, and the fact of the matter is anyone who has seen previous Biden runs for the Presidency knows Biden is a lackluster campaigner. Not just at the glad handing and speechifying, but at building a campaign organization. At fundraising. He's never been great at this stuff, Biden's political career has mostly been about leveraging power in the U.S. Senate and then being a party elder perfectly positioned to make a pretty good "Elder Statesman" Vice President for Obama.

Mike had a genuine fear that given Biden's weak campaign chops, poor fundraising, that he could be near a collapse. Bloomberg does genuinely want Sanders to not win (I'm on the same boat, not only will Sanders be a terrible general election candidate, he would be a terrible President--no Americans should want him to win); and I think Bloomberg mostly stepped in so he could be like "here's Mike" after Biden collapsed.

But Biden recovered from his lowest point and has held steady with around 25-30% of national polling. His fundraising is still lackluster, but it's enough to be viable. So now Bloomberg is in the weird position that his campaign may actually siphon enough votes away from Biden that it cripples his chances to win the primary when Bloomberg gets delegates of his own on Super Tuesday.

There have been some lightly leaked rumors that Bloomberg may be interested in ending his campaign and building for himself a sort of "Financier-in-Chief" role for the Democrats instead of continuing as a candidate himself. But we're at a weird inflection point where I don't think it's clear to Bloomberg himself yet if Biden is really going to hang in there, so he doesn't want to withdraw too soon only to see Biden collapse after say, a narrow win of South Carolina (my prognostication is if Bernie wins IA/NH and gets within 10% of Biden in South Carolina Biden's campaign falls apart pretty bad.)
The only problem with this analysis is that it isn’t true. Biden has never been below 25% in national polls, and for about the last six months he’s been holding steady in the 25-30% range.

The candidate who WAS doing well when Bloomberg entered was Warren, who peaked in the low 20s and had moved into second place at that point. But she was still trailing Biden.

Which mean that my question to the OP is still, if he wanted to ensure a centrist President, why wouldn’t he just spend his money supporting Biden?

Last edited by Thing Fish; 02-02-2020 at 01:34 AM.
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Old 02-02-2020, 11:48 AM
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Which mean that my question to the OP is still, if he wanted to ensure a centrist President, why wouldn’t he just spend his money supporting Biden?
Because siphoning enough delegates off to lead to a brokered convention where he can then offer financial incentives to the democrats will give him more power and influence in the democratic party.

Plus Biden seems to have a cap the same way Bernie has a cap. Biden's base is democrats over age 50. Since nearly half of voters are under age 50, then Biden will have a cap on how many votes he is going to get. The democratic party is starting to become fairly evenly divided between progressives and centrists, which means getting a majority of votes may not be possible (Hillary and Sanders ended up being 55-43 for Hillary, and the voters have moved to the left since then).
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Old 02-02-2020, 01:04 PM
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How exactly do you expect this "offering of financial incentives" to go down? Secret bribes or an offer to fund a massive campaign against Trump? Cuz, he did one of those already.

There's obvious reasons why Bloomberg got in the race. He thought it was a weak field that needed a livelier moderate candidate and he wanted to show the best way to take on Trump.
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Old 02-02-2020, 01:50 PM
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That is an extraordinarily generous assessment of Citizen Bloomberg, that he simply oozes civic virtue and good intentions. I don't know much about the man at all, but am eager to be reassured, if you have such.
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Old 02-02-2020, 03:02 PM
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How exactly do you expect this "offering of financial incentives" to go down? Secret bribes or an offer to fund a massive campaign against Trump? Cuz, he did one of those already.

There's obvious reasons why Bloomberg got in the race. He thought it was a weak field that needed a livelier moderate candidate and he wanted to show the best way to take on Trump.
He could offer jobs and financial assistance to a lot of delegates.

He could offer to self fund his campaign if he is nominated. He could offer over a billion dollars for the presidential race, senate, house and various state and local races too.

I think doing this would give him more power and influence within the democratic party than just starting a superPAC for Biden and putting half a billion dollars in it.
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Old 02-02-2020, 03:07 PM
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"extraordinarily generous assessment"? Oookay.
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Old 02-02-2020, 03:23 PM
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Because siphoning enough delegates off to lead to a brokered convention where he can then offer financial incentives to the democrats will give him more power and influence in the democratic party.

Plus Biden seems to have a cap the same way Bernie has a cap. Biden's base is democrats over age 50. Since nearly half of voters are under age 50, then Biden will have a cap on how many votes he is going to get. The democratic party is starting to become fairly evenly divided between progressives and centrists, which means getting a majority of votes may not be possible (Hillary and Sanders ended up being 55-43 for Hillary, and the voters have moved to the left since then).
I’d still take those voters over 50 any day. They’ll show up and vote. Some 21 year old maybe firing off a 24/7 tweet storm about Bernie in their college dorm. then realize they’re past the deadline to get their absentee ballot from back home.
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  #43  
Old 02-02-2020, 03:31 PM
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Then at the contested convention he offers a wide range of financial incentives for delegates to pick him or pick a more moderate candidate (like Biden or buttigieg) who will not pass a wealth tax. Bloomberg will pay several billions a year in a wealth tax.

Incentives could be things like offering hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars in financial aid to democratic races at all levels.
I highly doubt Bloomberg is going through this exercise to reduce his own taxes. The simpler thing to do if very rich but typically a supporter of Democrats and worried about a wealth tax is to not support Democrats in key Senate races. Without a Democratic Senate there will never be one (one might debate whether there ever would be either with a slim Democratic majority relying on Senators from typically conservative states). And that's what a lot of rich Democratic donors may do actually, it's been written about. But attempt some double bank shot with all the effort of running a presidential campaign I really doubt it.

I'm still with the conventional wisdom not seeing much chance for Bloomberg. But again I'm pretty sure the reason he's running is that he disagrees with that, not to bribe a brokered convention to get another nominee to abandon a wealth tax. And as far as donating a lot to Democratic campaigns or at least big money toward direct ads against Trump, he insists he will do that whether he wins or loses the nomination.

Because the Democrats avoid winner take all apportionment of delegates by primary result, and leaving aside super delegates, a first ballot deadlock is always more likely than with GOP, and more likely that usual this year. However fatal flaw IMO with Bloomberg remains, he's not really a Democrat and has no real base within the party (Sander is not really a Democrat but does have a real base within the party). I think he overestimates the ability of 'party insiders' to substitute him as the 'moderate' if some other moderate(s) implode.
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Old 02-02-2020, 03:51 PM
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That is an extraordinarily generous assessment of Citizen Bloomberg, that he simply oozes civic virtue and good intentions. I don't know much about the man at all, but am eager to be reassured, if you have such.
To a significant degree see post #35 above.

He has a long track record of using his billions making meaningful impact on causes that can only be described as civic virtue and good intentions: fighting for environmental causes; public health issues such as reducing tobacco deaths, reducing gun deaths, reducing traffic accident death, and preventing and treating opioid addiction; and many more items which you can read about here. His money has gone to those causes, not The Club for Growth or such shit.

Politically he is unapologetic on issues that won't endear him to some Obama-Trump voters. He's worked hard for many years to shut down coal plants, he is the poster child for what the Right likes to demean as "the nanny state" regarding the role of the government in incentivizing behavior changes that impact public health, and is very big on stronger gun regulations. He is NOT someone who sells easily to rural voters and add in that he's Jewish? He could potentially help ramp up Trump's base.

On taxation he is currently promoting greater taxation of the wealthiest (but not the "wealth tax"). His past record there though is mixed - he's made past statements expressing concern that increased taxation of the wealthiest would drive the wealthiest out, but then again as mayor is raised taxes on the wealthiest and property taxes. Under his tenure NY went from a deficit to a surplus.

His now apologized for long support of stop and frisk could be weaponized against him. And he is FOR free trade and against protectionism, which does not sell well with the populist crowd.

To my read there is little question that he is civic minded and of good intentions. And that some will strongly believe that he is mistaken as to what is the good.
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Old 02-02-2020, 03:57 PM
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I’d still take those voters over 50 any day. They’ll show up and vote. Some 21 year old maybe firing off a 24/7 tweet storm about Bernie in their college dorm. then realize they’re past the deadline to get their absentee ballot from back home.
Yes, young people have lower turnout, which is a problem.

But those young people will be old people someday, and those old people will pass away. The oldest millennials are 40.. The democratic party is changing, and the DNC is trying to keep the democratic party a neoliberal party while the new voters coming in want a party more like FDR.
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  #46  
Old 02-02-2020, 04:14 PM
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Yes, young people have lower turnout, which is a problem.

But those young people will be old people someday, and those old people will pass away. The oldest millennials are 40.. The democratic party is changing, and the DNC is trying to keep the democratic party a neoliberal party while the new voters coming in want a party more like FDR.
You mean, by the time Bernie and Bloomberg are dead, things will have shifted in Bernie's favour?
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Old 02-02-2020, 04:27 PM
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That is an extraordinarily generous assessment of Citizen Bloomberg, that he simply oozes civic virtue and good intentions. I don't know much about the man at all, but am eager to be reassured, if you have such.
There's a simple non-complimentary explanation why Bloomberg would run for president, same explanation that at least partly explains virtually every presidential candidacy in history IMO: personal ambition to rise to the position of arguably highest prestige and power in the country and maybe the world.

In explaining self interested aspects of the 'sound of hooves' in people running for president, general personal ambition seems like 'horses' to me, and 'to make the tax code more favorable for me personally' seems like 'zebras'. You'd really want to have some evidence for the tax idea besides just 'he'd pay more tax'.
  #48  
Old 02-02-2020, 06:33 PM
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Yes, young people have lower turnout, which is a problem.

But those young people will be old people someday, and those old people will pass away. The oldest millennials are 40.. The democratic party is changing, and the DNC is trying to keep the democratic party a neoliberal party while the new voters coming in want a party more like FDR.
FDR was an advocate of American entrepreneurship. FDR was an advocate of capitalism. FDR was an unabashed patriot, unceasing in his support for America as a world leader on the global stage.

Bernie Sanders and his ilk could not be further different from FDR.
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Old 02-02-2020, 08:42 PM
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I’d still take those voters over 50 any day. They’ll show up and vote. Some 21 year old maybe firing off a 24/7 tweet storm about Bernie in their college dorm. then realize they’re past the deadline to get their absentee ballot from back home.
FTR the age at which a Democrat becomes less likely than not to support Bernie is about 40.
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Old 02-02-2020, 08:45 PM
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Really blows my mind that people are seriously thinking that the Democratic Party should nominate a Republican. Yet some of these people lose their shit at the thought of nominating an Independent who has been caucusing with Democrats for the last thirty years!
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