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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, January 26, 2016

 
Who will break the gold ceiling first, Trump or Bloomberg?


by digby

















It's so exciting. With the announcement that multi-billionaire Michael Bloomberg may be getting into the race, the prospect of a true history-making campaign is upon us. Who will be our first billionaire president? I wrote about it for Salon:

Shockwaves ran through the political world over the weekend as the New York Times reported news of yet another billionaire throwing his hat into the presidential race:
Buoyed by the still unsettled field, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is growing increasingly enchanted with the idea of an independent presidential bid, and his aides are aggressively laying the groundwork for him to run.
Oh sorry, my mistake. That was the earthquake of January of 2008, when the New York Times reported that Bloomberg had his aides aggressively laying the groundwork for him to run. This is the article from this past weekend:
Michael R. Bloomberg has instructed advisers to draw up plans for a potential independent campaign in this year’s presidential race. His advisers and associates said he was galled by Donald J. Trump’s dominance of the Republican field, and troubled by Hillary Clinton’s stumbles and the rise of Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont on the Democratic side. […]
Bloomberg, 73, has already taken concrete steps toward a possible campaign, and has indicated to friends and allies that he could be willing to spend at least $1 billion of his fortune on it, according to people briefed on his deliberations who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss his plans. He has set a deadline for making a final decision in early March, the latest point at which advisers believe Mr. Bloomberg could enter the race and still qualify to appear as an independent candidate on the ballot in all 50 states.
Yes, former mayor Michael Bloomberg is threatening to enter the presidential race to give America a real choice. Again. After all, the only people running are a billionaire Bond villain from New York, a handful of current and former governors, a gaggle of former and sitting senators, and a former secretary of state. A super-billionaire former New York mayor is sorely needed to save us from this motley offering.
Bloomberg is obviously anticipating a billionaire throw-down with his fellow plutocrat Trump but it appears he is also sending a warning shot to the Democrats to be very careful with all this socialist talk or he might have to hit their candidates with a few hundred million dollars in attack ads.
(This is how the minds of our brilliant would-be presidents think these days. They are willing to spend millions to save themselves hundreds of thousands.)
If it comes down to a portfolio measuring contest, The Donald comes up very short. His fortune is nothing to Bloomberg’s:
According to an average of estimates provided by two independent firms, Bloomberg is worth nearly nine times Trump. Forbes estimates place Bloomberg’s net worth at $36.5 billion, making him the ninth richest man in America. Wealth-X, the independent research firm, puts his net worth at $42.1 billion.
Trump’s wealth is a little more contentious. Forbes says he’s worth $4.5 billion, while Wealth-X pegs him at $4.4 billion. Bloomberg News, which does not tabulate Bloomberg’s wealth, tallied Trump’s net worth at $2.9 billion.
In July, that calculation prompted Trump to say the organization vastly undercounted his fortune because the former mayor was “jealous.”
Not that the The Donald believes that Bloomberg’s as rich as everyone says either:

He claims to be thrilled to welcome Bloomberg into the race, but it’s obvious that would create yuuuuge problem for him. After all, his entire rationale for running is that he’s the best man for the job because he’s so rich and so successful. If there’s another guy in the race who is (at least!) nine times richer and also has political experience, well it’s going to be pretty hard to make that claim. Wouldn’t that guy be nine times better at making America great again?

I won't be long before all of our candidates are billionaires.  This is America. They have a dream. More at the link...

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