February 19, 2020
Could Hillary Clinton Become Bloomberg’s VP?
By Buck Sexton
America has hit the stage of the Democratic presidential primary where almost anything is possible. The Democratic establishment is in disarray.
Bernie Sanders, an open socialist who took his honeymoon in the Soviet Union, won the most votes in in the Iowa caucuses and eked out a victory in the New Hampshire primary. The Nevada caucuses this Saturday will be a tight contest, and if Joe Biden doesn’t get a first-place finish in South Carolina after that – he’s finished.
The Democrat field is fractured. That means there are three or four candidates who have a realistic shot at winning the whole thing.
Take Mike Bloomberg. By turning on firehoses of cash around the country, buying hundreds of millions of dollars of TV and digital media ads, Bloomberg has put himself in the top three candidates in national polls. Despite his late entry into the race, he has managed to qualify for the Democratic debate this week in Nevada.
It’s almost as though Mr. Bloomberg is running an experiment to finally answer the question, “Is it possible to buy the presidency?”
Bloomberg’s secret sauce is his essentially unlimited checkbook. While there are billionaires who have run for the presidency before – and the current occupant of the White House is one – nobody before Bloomberg has been willing to self-fund a campaign to the tune of billions of dollars.
And he is also the beneficiary of a political civil war playing out within the Democratic Party. Bernie Sanders is an unapologetic socialist who has energized the Hard Left of the Democratic Party. Until now, the expectation of Democrat Party elites has been that Joe Biden would be able to avert a socialist takeover. “Blue Collar Joe” isn’t getting it done, however. That’s where Bloomberg has stepped in.
What is the former Mayor of New York City missing? What does he have to do in order to become the standard bearer of a Democrat Party seeking to unseat an incumbent President Trump… who has a roaring economy and a unified party behind him?
Mike Bloomberg needs to be able to answer that age-old political question “Why are you running?”
Sure, he can count on the anti-Trump vote to come along and vote for him – or any Democrat – out of sheer animus against the current commander in chief. All the deep-blue Democrat states will go for Bloomberg, if in fact he is the nominee. In a general election, convincing those independent voters in the major toss-up states – notably Ohio, Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin, and Nevada – to come out and support a condescending billionaire from New York City who once banned large, sugary drinks as mayor may not be that easy.
That’s where the right vice president on the ticket could make a difference. Historically, vice presidents aren’t all that important after the election – and most polling show that people don’t care who the VP is when they are casting their vote. But for a Bloomberg ticket to bring together the Democrat base with the kitchen-table-issues voters of the Midwest, the right name on the bottom of the presidential ticket could pull it all together.
Enter Hillary Clinton. Her name has already been publicly floated as a possible VP candidate over the weekend, with various news outlets claiming that the Bloomberg camp has crunched the numbers and liked the early indicators. Madame Secretary could very well be back in the mix.
Unlike some of the other names bandied about as entirely speculative “what if” candidates to step in late for the Democratic nomination – Michelle Obama and Oprah come to mind – Hillary wants to be in the game. Those who fiercely support her and those who adamantly oppose her agree that she still harbors hopes of becoming president, however improbable such an outcome may seem.
Hillary Clinton teaming up with Bloomberg would create a clear narrative for the Democrat electorate.
Much of the left wing base believes that Hillary, who received 3 million more overall votes than Trump in 2016, actually won that election. Whether they think the Russians stole it from Hillary or that the electoral college is an anachronistic scam, much of the Democrat base believes that Hillary was robbed. While it would only be a consolation prize for Hillary to be on the 2020 ballot as a VP, anti-Trump voters would view it as taking steps to set right the debacle of the last election. It would also be a historic first – the first woman to ever be vice president.
Whether Bloomberg will make the offer remains to be seen. He will be running as a pragmatist and a return to a more normal political tone than what we have seen in the Trump era. If his army of highly paid political consultants looks at the data and says that Hillary Clinton could help solidify the party behind him and make his bid to unseat Trump more formidable, Bloomberg appears likely to unite his brand with the Clintons.
So would Hillary take a VP slot on a Bloomberg ticket? Nobody would really know until the ask is made – perhaps including Hillary herself. But with decades of bare-knuckle American politics behind her, the only thing that can match up with Hillary’s ego and ruthlessness is her lust for power.
Hillary-Bloomberg 2020 could happen. We just have to wait and see.
Now here are some of the stories we’re reading…
The Buck Sexton Show: Will Crooked Hillary Join Mini Mike?
Hillary Clinton could join Mike Bloomberg as his VP running mate, there’s a new war against milk, the latest on the coronavirus, and can Republicans be friends with Libs anymore?
Confirm Judy Shelton: She’ll Arrest Obtuse Groupthink at the Fed
Shelton will greatly improve an institution and an economics discussion that’s degenerated into the wildly silly, and that can’t hurt. Her existence will surely trigger some on the left, and that can’t hurt either.
Why stocks keep moving higher. And higher. And higher.
“I think the stock market is just under this belief that no matter what comes our way the Fed is going to save us,” he told me. “I honestly believe it’s as simplistic as that.”
And let us know what you’re reading at [email protected].
Executive Editor, American Consequences
With P.J. O’Rourke and the Editorial Staff
February 19, 2020