At the end of April last year I wrote a column predicting Pete Buttigieg would win the Democratic nomination for president. Now that we have results from Iowa (mostly) and New Hampshire, that prediction seems to be prescient.
In that column, I noted, “Buttigieg has been mayor of South Bend, Indiana, since 2012. He’s a veteran of the war in Afghanistan, a Harvard graduate, and a Rhodes Scholar. But, his main claim to fame in progressive circles is being openly gay and married. He’s the cool guy in the Democratic race. No one else, so far, has as much potential to skyrocket to the nomination as Mayor Pete.”
Even though Buttigieg was only a small blip in the polls last April, media and pundits had already begun comparing him with 2008 candidate Obama, and some even with a young JFK who broke the Catholic ceiling barrier to win the Democratic nomination and the presidency in 1960. Buttigieg is poised to break through another ceiling if he goes all the way.
In the last ten months more than 20 candidates have entered the race for the Democratic nomination, and speculators and pundits have wondered whether other pop culture icons like a certain former first lady might enter the 2020 contest. Apparently Michelle Obama has ruled out running.
Speaking of pop culture icons with national name recognition, billionaire Michael Bloomberg is now surging in the polls. According to Rasmussen Reports, the latest “national telephone and online survey finds Bloomberg with 26% support when Likely Democratic Voters are asked which candidate would best represent the party and make the best candidate against President Trump in November. Biden is a close second at 22%. Sanders is next with 18% of the Democratic vote.” Didn’t see that coming last April!
Now, if the DNC ran fair primaries (think 2016) Buttigieg would still have a reasonable shot at winning the nomination. But, the DNC establishment historically has had more influence over who won the nomination than the voters. Can Bloomberg buy the nomination? Certainly. Can he buy the election? According to anonymous Democratic sources, only the Russians know.
Bloomberg’s campaign strategy is brilliant! The slate has dwindled from more than twenty candidates to six or eight from the original pool who are still campaigning. They are predictably beating each other up over platform policies, and each one of them has already lost a caucus or a primary. Next up are Nevada and South Carolina after which more candidates will lose and drop out.
Bloomberg is the only candidate in the Democratic race who hasn’t lost anything yet. All of his opponents have lost at least one state contest. He set up his campaign so he couldn’t possibly lose before Super Tuesday, March 3. Fourteen states will hold primaries on that day. Of the 3,979 pledged delegates in the Democratic primaries, 1,357 will be decided on Super Tuesday. In other words, any of the candidates left in the race could take a commanding lead in one day.
If things weren’t interesting enough, the New York Post, CNBC, and a few other news organizations have reported Bloomberg is considering Hillary Clinton as his running mate! Seriously? The Bloomberg campaign is tamping down those reports.
Who knows? Nevertheless, voters and politicians should be careful what they wish for, and Mike should keep his bodyguards close beside him 24/7.
Daniel L. Gardner is a syndicated columnist who lives in Starkville, MS. You may contact him at PJandMe2@gmail.com.