“Radiating electability” sounds like a deadly condition

Oh, no. Just as I was looking forward to the Democrats weeding out the deadwood, another useless narcissist steps forward to enter the race: Michael Bloomberg. Ugh.

“As a former business magnate and mayor of New York City, Bloomberg has the two qualities essential to enter the presidential race at this late stage: money and name recognition,” Dr. Thomas Gift, a political scientist at University College London, told Newsweek.

Money? Seriously? How out of touch is this guy? Bloomberg is a billionaire 50 times over. The plan is to tax a big chunk of that away, and if he resists, to put his head on a pike on Wall Street, as a warning to the others. He is the antithesis of what progressives want.

As for name recognition…maybe in New York. Not out here in the “heartland”.

“For that reason, I think Bloomberg can immediately become a heavyweight in the Democratic primaries. Beyond the attention he’d garner with his announcement, there’s plenty of space for Bloomberg to position himself as a moderate voice, especially with Joe Biden’s candidacy stuck in neutral.”

Gift said Bloomberg may appeal to moderate Democrats “looking for a reasoned and pragmatic approach to policy, especially someone with a proven track-record of competence.”

“Unlike Elizabeth Warren, he also radiates electability, which is important to many Democrats who, above all else, prioritize beating Trump in the 2020 election,” Gift said.

Right. Let’s replace Trump with an obscenely wealthy New York real estate mogul. New boss, same as the old boss.

Also, when I hear the word “electability”, which is just a code word for “conservative supporter of the status quo”, I start thinking we’re going to need more pikes.


  1. brucej says

    The plan is to tax a big teensy chunk of that away

    Seriously it’s on 3% of your fortune above the first billion dollars, and if you’re not making more than 3% on your money above the first billion, you’re too stupid to have that kind of money. So this isn’t even going to do more than reduce, slightly the rate at which they’re gaining wealth.

    You pay taxes on your wealth, so do I…because as middle-class homeowners most of our wealth is in our homes (whether or not we actually own it or the bank does, we don’t pay a percentage of property taxes based on how much of our house we’ve paid off, after all) and our income is taxed a a much higher rate than their incomes.

    Heck, just resetting capital gains taxes back to the rate they should be (ie: the same as wages and salaries) would go a huge way to rectifying the vast gulf of inequality, and shake out money that could be used to improve everyone’s lives.

    What I don’t understand is why these Masters of the Universe don’t understand that, say spending a trillion or so to fix out antiquated, broken infrastructure would make them a lot of money. If Amazon didn’t have to pay as much in vehicle maintenance for their delivery trucks alone, Jeff Bezos would probably make enough more profit to pay for Elizabeth Warrens taxes. A Green New Deal would save them a ton of money in insurance or rebuilding costs for facilities that don’t burn down, or get flooded.

    Wealthier serfs, I mean ‘consumers’ make them more money.

  2. PaulBC says

    I think his name recognition is way overstated, though he is probably pretty well known at Johns Hopkins, where he donated billions of dollars. He might very well be a shoo-in for governor of Maryland. President, I don’t think so. (I could be wrong.)

  3. kurt1 says

    Unlike Elizabeth Warren, he also radiates electability, which is important to many Democrats about 150 or so op-ed writers in major news outlets.

    Going with “electability” in the age of the most unelectable president in history requires some serious brainworms.

  4. Artor says

    To be honest, if Ghouliani hadn’t made such a name for himself recently, I would have a hard time telling him and Bloomberg apart. “Electability” my ass!

  5. says

    Cross posted from the Political Madness Thread. Link

    Some media outlets are pushing the idea that Elizabeth Warren is not electable. They are making her unelectable by pushing that bogus story. Reprehensible. The “electability” issue is skewed to favor older white men, and it is being pushed further and further toward that restrictive attitude by the news coverage.

    From Laura Clawson:

    Here we go again. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has risen in the polls to the point where her rivals are using the tired old likability attacks, even knowing that much of the coverage about it will involve questions of sexism. Former Vice President Joe Biden’s campaign is also recycling a Republican talking point straight out of former Sen. Scott Brown’s (losing) campaign against Warren in 2012: that she’s an elitist Harvard professor. Is it possible to yawn and rage at the same time? Because those are the conflicting impulses I’m feeling from these attacks.

    Me too. And, frankly, that’s an embarrassing move on Joe Biden’s part.

    The elitism attacks are particularly rich coming from the campaign of a man who was in the United States Senate for more than three decades before becoming vice president, and whose much-touted middle-class family did not struggle any more than Warren’s family. […]

    Beyond elitism, both Biden and Mayor Pete Buttigieg are working hard to brand Warren as angry—a potentially devastating charge for a woman, since women are not allowed to be angry without being punished for it. According to Buttigieg, who spent the last Democratic debate launching angry attacks on competitors and then concluding those attacks with calls for unity, Warren is “so absorbed in the fighting that it is as though fighting were the purpose.” According to Biden, who once suggested he’d like to physically fight Donald Trump but also believes that, post-Trump, congressional Republicans will have an “epiphany” and clamor to work with Democrats, Warren is part of “an angry unyielding viewpoint that has crept into our politics.”

    Oh, fer feck’s sake. The “angry woman” meme. Really?

    The anger attack is particularly interesting because, while Warren refers to herself as a “fighter,” she is campaigning very much in the happy warrior mode […]

    Warren, queen of the selfie line, angry? “Nothing that she is doing seems to be telegraphing that she is angry,” said Barbara Lee Foundation spokeswoman Amanda Hunter. “It seems that those attacks are really coming from somewhere else and are more premeditated and a way to play on her gender rather than a reaction to something that she’s actually doing.”

    Yeah, exactly. And it’s coming from the campaigns of men who are themselves absolutely willing to trade on anger (socially acceptable in its masculine form) when they think it will get them the least bit of advantage in the primary.

  6. Artor says

    Re: likability. Warren reminds me of my favorite aunt. I like her better than anyone else in the race, by a solid margin.

  7. PaulBC says

    @8 I agree that Warren is likable. She seems down to earth and earnest in her speech. But apparently, that’s not the “narrative.” Biden is a glad hander whose best gig was playing Ed McMahon to Obama. Also, his politics are straight from the Clinton era.

  8. says

    ‘Electability’ is the same nonsense that put Clinton against Trump in 2016.
    It’s genuinely amazing that people are so completely unable to learn such clear lessons.
    Unless of course they know full well it’s nonsense, but would much prefer someone like Bloomberg to run and lose than for someone like Sanders to run and win.

  9. chrislawson says

    Another observation on the stupidity of the American political discourse: A multi-billionaire who wants to eviscerate any attempt to tax a tiny percentage of billionaire fortunes is described as a ‘moderate voice’.

  10. says

    Comments excerpted from an article by John Cassidy:

    […] it is difficult to see how a Bloomberg Presidential bid would be anything other than a costly folly. Simply put, he’s not very popular with ordinary Democrats. He’s an ex-Republican billionaire in a party that has embraced the language of class conflict, […] He also has some political and personal baggage that would be exposed in a Presidential campaign, such as his support for stop-and-frisk policies when he was mayor and long-standing allegations of misogyny involving him and his company. […]

    Just last week, pollsters from Fox News asked a sample of people intending to vote in the Democratic primary how they would react if Michelle Obama, Hillary Clinton, or Bloomberg entered the race. Half said they would definitely vote for Obama, twenty-seven per cent said they would definitely vote for Clinton, and six per cent said they would definitely vote for Bloomberg. Actually, six per cent may overstate Bloomberg’s potential pool of supporters. Nathaniel Rakich, of FiveThirtyEight, notes that Bloomberg “was generally registering around 2 or 3 percent in national primary polls before first taking his name out of consideration in March.” […]

    Even if Biden’s campaign were to crater, it is far from obvious that his supporters—many of whom are members of minority groups, unionized workers, or middle-class whites—would shift their loyalties to a Wall Street billionaire rather than to one of the other more moderate Democratic candidates, such as Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Kamala Harris, or Amy Klobuchar. […] An unnamed Bloomberg source told Axios, “Mike will spend whatever it takes to defeat Donald Trump. The nation is about to see a very different campaign than we’ve ever seen before.” […]

    Even now, his aides have been careful to say that he is still considering the 2020 situation and hasn’t made a final call. My guess is that when he does, he’ll reaffirm the decision he made in March and stay out. But we’ll have to wait and see.

    New Yorker link