Former NYC mayor, billionaire Michael Bloomberg planning 2020 presidential run: report

Sources tell Times of London he’s preparing to run as a Democrat

By Nicole Karlis
September 14, 2018 12:00AM (UTC)
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Michael Bloomberg (Getty/Lukas Schulze)

Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire financier and former Republican New York mayor who championed an imperious nanny-state neoliberalism and who spent $100 million to win a third term as mayor, may be running for president in 2020 — as a Democrat. This is according to a report in the UK paper Times of London.

Earlier today sources close to Bloomberg reporting told them that he was planning on running for president. The report states:

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“He has told confidants that he is planning to join the presidential race, in which several leading business figures could follow the example of Donald Trump and throw their hats in the ring.

“Mike Bloomberg told me he is going to run in 2020,” a source said. “He has the money to see it through while other candidates knock themselves out.”

This is certainly not the first time that Bloomberg’s name has been referenced in the same breath as “president.” Aside from possessing the purse strings to independently finance a presidential run, the Bloomberg brand is one of technocratic centrism that appeals to both sides of the aisle; purportedly, he was on the short-list for Democrat Hillary Clinton’s vice-presidential candidate in 2016, while he was likewise reported to be a contender for Republican John McCain’s vice presidential pick in 2008 as well.

The announcement prompted scorn from many pundits and politicos, in particular from those on the left who pointed to Bloomberg’s right-wing record as mayor. “I will raise all the hell if the racist, anti-Muslim, right wing, anti-union, charter school lover, Republican funder Bloomberg is allowed to run as a Dem,” Melissa Byrne, the Get Out the Vote director for the Bernie Sanders campaign in 2016, wrote on Twitter.

Others pondered if a second billionaire president was a wise follow-up for our first. “From the same insanely corrupt political culture that produced Trump! ‘Bloomberg 2020: He's the good one?’” joked writer David Walsh on Twitter.

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This news follows an appearance Bloomberg made in San Francisco on Thursday for the Global Climate Action Summit. Protesters picketed outside the Summit, while Bloomberg called them “crazy.”

"We've got environmentalists protesting an environmental conference. It reminds me of people who want to build a wall along the Mexican border to keep people out from a country we go to for vacations. Something's crazy here," Bloomberg said.

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Nicole Karlis

Nicole Karlis is a staff writer at Salon. Tweet her @nicolekarlis.

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