Thank You, South Carolina. And When Should Obama and Bloomberg Endorse?

The spirited give and take of last night’s debate helped clarify my positions.

My support for Biden has strengthened, my hopes for Bloomberg died.

While there is no outstanding candidate among the contenders, Joe Biden brings a vast trove of experience along with a warm and accessible personality. It matters.

Bloomberg managed successfully the affairs of New York city, but Biden has been in the thick of many critical national situations and earned the praise of president Obama for his performance as vice president.

I am thankful for all the philanthropy that Bloomberg has supported and for his willingness to back many people running for office. But I do not think that he, himself, has the personality traits that can motivate voters. I thought he might, but his debate performances have shown me otherwise. Debates are important.

My hope is that Bloomberg will continue to play a most important role in this election, providing needed funds to counter Trump’s large reserves, which grow steadily while democrats spend in the primaries.

Bloomberg would do well to step down now and save his money. The democratic cause, to which he has pledged his allegiance, will need it. He ought to do so quickly, preferably before the big contest on March 3rd, but vanity is a powerful force. The expectation that he’ll have delegate votes to shuffle around at a democratic convention with no clear winner may help fuel the vanity, but not the cause.

I heard Biden say that, after March 3rd, there will be only two candidates standing, Sanders and him. I think he’s right.

Buttigieg has had his moment in the sun and so has Warren, but they will fight on, regardless, just in case an unexpected event changes the possibilities. Both front runners are older men.

Tom Steyer would do well to give it up now, save his money or give to a charity, and endorse one of the other candidates.

Amy Klobuchar has not risen sufficiently in the standings, but I have been impressed by her character, her pluck, her consistency and equanimity. I think she would make a fine vice president. So I think she should continue to campaign as long as her funds allow.

Should Obama step in at this stage and endorse a candidate?

I think he should.

He should because it ought to be clear, that Sanders has no chance to beat Trump. No matter how many polls the Vermont senator cites as evidence that he can beat Trump. He will not.

Obama’s endorsement of Biden, before Big Tuesday (March 3rd), will likely push Biden ahead of Sanders and put him in the lead of delegates, which will increase the likelihood of a clear winner going into the convention.

If Sanders has such a strong base as he boasts he has, then it won’t matter that Obama endorses Biden.

As to vice presidential choices, Biden should pick a woman. Should she be white or black?

Biden may be tempted to go with Kamala Harris but I don’t think that is a good idea.

He already has the black vote in a contest against Trump. Why ignore someone with the substance and tenacity that Amy Klobuchar has shown?

Kamala Harris dropped out. Klobuchar has fought on and will continue to do so until she’s flat out of cash. She’s got scrappy written all over her. That feistiness and commitment needs to be rewarded. Not doing so sends the wrong signal to voters.

Can Biden beat Trump?

I don’t know.

Trump is strong, younger, charismatic, pugnacious, will do or say whatever he must to get his votes, has been campaigning non stop, holding rally after rally during his entire presidency, eager as he is to redeem himself for not having won the popular vote and to erase the haunting suspicion that Russian interference elected him. He is hungry for the attention and power and has loyal supporters. His is a train running full speed ahead.

So I don’t know if Biden can beat Trump. But he will put up a hell of a fight. Biden will do that.

Those forthcoming presidential debates between Trump and Biden will be memorable because both men will be swinging at each other from the get go. Both men aiming for a knock out, both fighting desperately for their political lives.  

So, Obama and Bloomberg, are you hearing? Be bold and endorse Biden now.

The Las Vegas Debate Last Night

Much anticipated and much revealing, it was a fiery, gloves off contest, where everyone got to have a moment in the sun.

Barring a major embarrassment, however, we have seen enough to begin to firm up our opinions. The traded punches have begun to seem familiar.

Was there a surprise?

Yes, and it was Bloomberg.

The expectation, going in, was that he would be trounced, ripped apart, by the rest of the field.  He was not. Instead, he took it on the chin and came right back. He was the newcomer with a chance to shoot right up to the top and he was given that importance. He wore it well.

He was steady throughout, acknowledging his mistakes but pressing on. He was unapologetic about his wealth. And he now is giving it away, he said. Mind you, he has a long record of philanthropic efforts so this is not something that started last month.

Is the man politically correct? No. Is the man charismatic? Not either. Is the man flawed? Yes. But can the man learn? Yes. Can he lead? Yes.

Bloomberg doesn’t make you move to the edge of your seat when he speaks, he doesn’t dance with flowery statements, but he clearly conveys a sense that he can steer a ship to safe harbor. ‘We need a manager in the White House,’ I recall him saying, and we don’t have one.

Sanders was reveling in his front runner status. It won’t last. And even if it does, it will be for naught. He cannot beat Trump.

Is Bloomberg buying the election? Of course not.

He’s not buying my vote, he is earning it.

But many will continue to accuse him of doing so.

A candidacy like Bloomberg’s is unprecedented.

Can we have enough sense to see it for what it is?

No one on that stage, other than him, has a chance to beat Trump. No one on that stage has a chance of persuading ambivalent Trump supporters, dissatisfied with the president’s performance, to come over to the democratic side. No one on that stage has the ability to outspend Trump.

That Bloomberg was once a republican becomes a plus. He has been on the other side.

That Bloomberg brings a combination of strong commitment to social causes along with excellence in business is a huge asset.

We can choose to ignore this and keep believing the rant that he’s buying the election, but we would be passing up on a unique opportunity.

There’s that old saying that nations deserve the leaders they get.

There’ much truth to it.

If the many mistakes leading up to Trump’s elections hadn’t been made, he would not have become president. So, yes, we deserve Trump. But can we learn from it?

In Bloomberg we have a candidate who, while not perfect, represents an opportunity for the nation to right its present course.

We can, however, in the face of the evidence, stop our ears, close our eyes, stomp our feet in desperation while believing Sanders when he says that billionaires should not exist, implying that, instead of making his money, Bloomberg should have been doing missionary work to save the poor in our land.

If we don’t wake up we’re going to miss this unique chance. Let us not do that.

One last thought. Amy Klobuchar performed very well. She has been consistent throughout and is good at defending herself with restraint and substance.

She would make a terrific vice presidential choice, and a good president soon.

So here’s my choice for the democratic ticket. Bloomberg – Klobuchar.

I may have a bumper sticker printed out.

One final thought. Dearest America, think, please, think.

Bloomberg Rising

It certainly looks like it.

When I first heard that he had made up his mind to jump in, I thought it was too late. But no longer. Instead, he appears very well organized (see MikeBloomberg2020) and his plans of action are likely to appeal to the mainstream of the electorate. As such, he will likely draw from ambivalent Trump supporters, particularly those who do not want to see the recent gains in the economy jeopardized by a radical democratic candidate.

Bloomberg brings to the table considerable experience as a three term mayor of New York. New York, mind you, not South Bend, Indiana.

Bloomberg also has a record of extensive commitment and support to liberal causes, not like Mr. Trump whose foundations had questionable finances and whose Trump University had to close under a cloud.

What scandal has been ascribed to Bloomberg? None that I know. Compare Trump.

Experience matters. Character matters.

A man gifted with exceptional business savvy coupled with a commitment to public service is a rare find, indeed. Why waste it?

Is Bloomberg coming forward to enrich himself some more? Absolutely not.

He is coming forward at a very important juncture in our history because he genuinely feels he can make an important contribution. One that is sorely needed at a time when our relations with longtime allies are being frayed, a time when immigration is under attack not only here in the US but in the world at large, a time when climate changes are being ignored by Mr. Trump.

At this crucial moment, Bloomberg is putting himself on the line and saying, ‘I am willing to serve the nation whose institutions and opportunities made possible my success’.

Men or women who have had the chance of savoring success because of their own efforts, are men and women who are generous. And because they are it is then reflected in their broad-minded ideas. Compare the stinginess and narrow mindedness of Mr. Trump.

Is Bloomberg buying the election?

Nonsense. People who say so are not thinking.

Bloomberg is saying that he can finance his campaign, that he does not need any contributions because he can afford it. That does not mean he can buy my vote. Or anyone’s vote.

In the court of public opinion, Bloomberg has to make his case for public support and compete with every candidate in the race.

I, for one, will not hold his wealth against him. That would be silly.

Why rebuff a highly capable and intelligent man because of his billions?

Which brings me to this next point. I have no doubt, that Bloomberg will not hesitate to show his tax returns. Compare Trump. So tell me, who would you then deem to be more trustworthy?

Remember the saying ‘don’t look a gift horse in the mouth?’

That’s where we are, folks.

We have a gift horse in the race and we ought not look him in the mouth.

Let us examine his plans, let us subject him to the greatest scrutiny, please. But let us not rule him out because he has been enormously successful.

Will he be able to go up against Trump? I think so.

Am I ready to vote for him? No.

I need to first see him in a debate. I need to see him under fire. But from what I’ve seen so far, I like Mike.

One final point. Bloomberg has good ideas on immigration. Still, I favor my proposal that we have a National Referendum on Immigration Reform. The issue is complex and should be decided by all Americans. Let us not be afraid of looking at who we are on the subject. We need Borders not Walls. With a National Referendum we will have Borders we will stand by United.

Disclosure: I do not know Bloomberg nor anyone in his circles.