Eleanor Clift is a Washington correspondent for the Daily Beast reporting on the White House, Congress and the diverse personalities who make up the capital’s power structure. While a contributing editor for Newsweek, Clift was a key member of the magazine’s political team and in June 1992 was named deputy Washington bureau chief. She played a key role in Newsweek’s Special Election Project, assembling a behind-the-scenes chronicle of the 2000 presidential campaign, Hillary Clinton’s run for the U.S. Senate, and in 2008, Barack Obama’s historic victory, documented in the Newsweek book, “A Long Time Coming.”
Her homepage is found at eleanorclift.com
NOVEMBER 28, 2019
Bloomberg Better Have a Pretty Super Tuesday or He’s Cooked
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said it himself many times: that he didn’t think the electorate was looking for a “short, Jewish, divorced billionaire.” Every four years for the last two decades, Bloomberg has assembled the best talent available to assess his chances to become president, and he has always passed in the end, fearing his bid would backfire and he would become a spoiler, electing the candidate he least preferred.
“In God we trust, all else bring data,” he would say, and the data persuaded him there was no realistic path to the White House as a third-party candidate. At age 77, it’s unlikely he’s allowed himself to be sweet-talked into a bid for the Democratic nomination by ambitious aides and consultants. This is his decision to own. But now he’s done it, and the strategy he’s decided on is a risky one.
No one has ever successfully skipped the first four states on the primary calendar. New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani tried it in 2008, launching his campaign in Florida, where he went down to a humiliating defeat. It is remembered as one of the biggest miscalculations in campaign history.
It would be a first if Bloomberg could break the stranglehold that Iowa and New Hampshire, two of the whitest states in the union, have on the nominating process in a party that is increasingly diverse, and where black and brown voters are a core constituency.