Michael R. Bloomberg, a billionaire and former mayor of New York City, is jumping into the presidential race only if he can win, and he is ready to commit a minimum of $1 billion to the effort – a development in the US presidential race that has left many contenders reexamining their position while political analysts have new factors to contend with.
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According to The New York Times, aides reveal 73-year-old Bloomberg is galled by developments seeing Donald Trump dominate the Republican camp while Hillary Clinton fumbles in the face of Senator Bernie Sanders rise within the Democratic field.
But one thing: Bloomberg is contesting on a third-party ticket as an independent; something he’d attempted before and then pulled out when the stakes appeared to be against him. Now he is only trying again because there appears to be an opening for him given the recent developments in the race.
Bloomberg is said to have said March 2016 as the deadline for making up his mind about running – a time when he would have been certain of his chances after seeing how things lie with the other contenders on the race. March is also a time when his advisers believe he could enter the race and qualify as an independent contender across the US.
In December 2015, Bloomberg ran a poll to evaluate his chances against Trump and Clinton, something he might still do again after the primary in New Hampshire on February 9. To this extent, his aides are currently rolling out a series of campaign plan that includes policy speeches and TV ads that will introduce Bloomberg to the US people as their problem-solver.
It must however be pointed out that Bloomberg will face some high challenges, and the major one among these is the fact that no independent candidate had ever become a US president; and his strong views on gun control and abortion rights among other things related to Wall Street may work against his presidential bid.
“Mike Bloomberg for president rests on the not-impossible but somewhat unlikely circumstance of either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz versus Bernie Sanders,” said Edward G. Rendell, former governor of Pennsylvania and past chairman of the Democratic National Committee. “If Hillary wins the nomination, Hillary is mainstream enough that Mike would have no chance, and Mike’s not going to go on a suicide mission.”
Bloomberg would not speak at the moment about his 2016 presidential interests because this is not made public yet and he is still studying things and making moves. Subsequent events will determine whether he runs or not. And Hillary Clinton’s team would not also comment on the impact of Bloomberg’s bid on the Clinton’s race.
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The only thing that Trump would say on Saturday in Iowa is that he “would love the competition” of having Bloomberg run, even though “He’s the opposite of me in many ways. Opposite on guns, opposite on numerous issues.”