The Democratic Party is in trouble. Not only did it have difficulty organizing what used to be simple caucuses in Iowa, the party risks repeating that debacle in Nevada on Saturday.
If that weren’t enough, party rules have changed allowing former New York City mayor and former Republican, former Democrat, and currently Independent Michael Bloomberg to take the debate stage, as he did Wednesday night.
Bloomberg may be ready to replace Joe Biden as the most gaffe-prone of the remaining Democratic presidential candidates.
Bloomberg appears to be imitating President Barack Obama’s “apology tour” by regularly expressing regret for a “stop-and-frisk” policy in minority neighborhoods. Supporters of the controversial policy claimed it was effective in lowering the crime and murder rate in NYC, though data would come to prove otherwise, numbers showing that stop and frisk was ineffective.
But Bloomberg kept pushing it. “I believe the practice needs to be mended, not ended, to ensure that stops are conducted appropriately, with as much courtesy as possible,” he said.
The former mayor is spending gobs of money on TV ads that claim “Mike gets it done” while simultaneously displaying the kind of elitism Democrats and the media used to denounce in Republicans. During the 1988 presidential campaign George H.W. Bush asked for a “splash” more coffee at a New Hampshire truck stop.
Elitists in the Democratic Party and major media mocked him for that, as well as for his home in Kennebunkport, Maine, and his supposed ignorance of bar codes on supermarket items, something that was later found to be an erroneous story, but never mind.
New videos of Bloomberg making outrageous statements have emerged. These include one from 2016 in which Bloomberg claimed he “could teach anybody to be a farmer” because all one has to do is dig a hole, drop in a seed, cover the hole with dirt, water it and voila, up pops a field of corn. Apparently, he is not aware of entire schools of agriculture that exist to teach real farming.
He then pointed out the difference between workers in an agricultural economy and today’s information economy. “You have to have a different skill set, you have to have a lot more gray matter.” That sound bite should play well in Republican TV ads in farm belt states.
Let’s not stop there with Bloomberg’s parade of elitist, condescending, and even sexist and racist remarks. Another video features Bloomberg saying, “There is an enormous cohort of Black and Latino males, aged let’s say 16 to 25 that don’t have jobs, don’t have any prospects, don’t know how to find jobs, don’t know what their skillsets are, don’t know how to behave in the workplace where they have to work collaboratively.”
Let’s see how those remarks look in TV ads in South Carolina, which has a large African American population that has traditionally — but possibly not this time — voted for Democratic candidates. Given the strong rise in employment numbers for African Americans, perhaps solidarity with Democrats won’t be as automatic as in the past.
Any one of these affronts would have knocked out a candidate with less money, but this one should finish the job. The Washington Post reported last week (edited X-rated language to follow):
As Mike Bloomberg celebrated his 48th birthday in 1990, a top aide at the company he founded presented him with a booklet of profane, sexist quotes she attributed to him.
A good salesperson is like a man who tries to pick up women at a bar by saying, “Do you want to f—? He gets turned down a lot — but he gets f—— a lot, too!” Bloomberg also allegedly said that his company’s financial information computers “will do everything, including give you [oral sex]. I guess that puts a lot of you girls out of business.”
Let’s see if any of the others running for president bring up these comments as Bloomberg takes the stage.