Amid whispers of a possible presidential bid in 2020, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has officially re-registered as a member of the Democratic Party. The billionaire confirmed his party status on his official Instagram account this morning.
“At key points in U.S. history, one of the two parties has served as a bulwark against those who threaten our Constitution,” Bloomberg wrote on the social media platform. “Two years ago, at the Democratic Convention, I warned of those threats. Today, I have re-registered as a Democrat – I had been a member for most of my life – because we need Democrats to provide the checks and balance our nation so badly needs.”
In June, prospects of the switch stirred voters when Bloomberg pledged to donate at least $80 million toward the upcoming midterm elections in an effort to flip the House of Representatives back to Democratic control. Bloomberg won his first mayoral election as a Republican before becoming an independent.
“I’ve never thought that the public is well-served when one party is entirely out of power, and I think the past year and half has been evidence of that,” Bloomberg told the NY Times. “Republicans in Congress have had almost two years to prove they could govern responsibly. They failed.”
Last month, sources close to the billionaire told the Times of London that Bloomberg would be following in the footsteps of fellow businessman Donald Trump by throwing his hat into the race for the White House.
“Mike Bloomberg told me he is going to run in 2020,” a source told the Times of London. “He has the money to see it through while other candidates knock themselves out.”
Social media users were divided in their reaction to Bloomberg’s potential bid for president. One user criticized Bloomberg’s support of the controversial police program known as "stop and frisk," tweeting: “Hopefully, he won't bring that monstrous stop and frisk program he vehemently defended to the nation. He doesn't have my vote whatsoever.” Contrarily, another user praised Bloomberg’s fiscal responsibility, tweeting: “He invests in all kinds of community enriching work. [He] puts his money where his mouth is.”
While Twitter is not the end-all, be-all of politics, White House experts like Lauren Wright, a lecturer in Politics and Public Affairs at Princeton University, are not convinced that a Bloomberg bid is even in the realm of possibility. In a recent survey conducted by Wright, less than 30 percent of Republicans said they would vote for Bloomberg in a hypothetical U.S. Senate race.
"Essentially, nobody knows who he is," Wright wrote in a statement to Salon. "He could never win a presidential election – no matter what party he is in. The person has to be famous and popular like Taylor Swift."