NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Michael Bloomberg has re-registered as a Democrat, the latest step in a carefully orchestrated campaign to make himself a possible contender for the presidency.
As CBS2 Marcia Kramer reported Wednesday, maybe the fourth time will be the charm for the former New York City mayor.
“Our country and our people are being hurt by current government policies,” Bloomberg said back in 2008.
He was 10 years younger, but the words Bloomberg used the very first time he mulled running for president could be used in a campaign commercial today.
And they just might be, because on Wednesday the 76-year-old billionaire took the next step in his latest flirtation with the White House. He re-registered as a Democrat, making the announcement in pre-dawn social media posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, where he has over 3 million followers.
And he wasn’t coy about his ambitions, saying he did it “because we need Democrats to provide the checks and balance our nation so badly needs.”
“Using social media is very smart. It immediately takes away the age question and puts him more in line with younger people,” political consultant Hank Sheinkopf said of Bloomberg. “He instantly got the message across.”
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At key points in U.S. history, one of the two parties has served as a bulwark against those who threaten our Constitution. Two years ago at the Democratic Convention, I warned of those threats. Today, I have re-registered as a Democrat – I had been a member for most of my life – because we need Democrats to provide the checks and balance our nation so badly needs.
As Kramer reported exclusively back on June 26, the former three-term mayor is carefully laying the groundwork for a presidential run. And unlike his efforts in 2008, 2012 and 2016, it appears 2020 may be the year he is finally ready to show he can kiss babies, eat hot dogs and press the flesh with the best of ’em.
Becoming a Democrat to challenge President Donald Trump is just Bloomberg’s latest step in putting his considerable fortune into the effort. He’s also spending $80 million to help Democrats take control of the House, picking up political IOUs across the country, shelling out $150 million on climate change initiatives and working on an immigration reform initiative with publisher Rupert Murdoch.
Sheinkopf said Bloomberg might be an old rich guy from New York, but he has a real shot at making 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. his next home.
“In 2016, a bunch of people sat around and said there’s a guy who lives on Fifth Avenue, his name is Trump and he has a big building. He can’t win. Guess what, he did. Anything can happen and Mike Bloomberg may be the anything in 2020,” Sheinkopf said.
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The people he may one day represent at the highest level seem to want him to take the plunge.
“I love Michael Bloomberg. Please God make it happen. We couldn’t ask for a better man,” said Andrew Sherman of Great Neck.
“In the circles I travel in Michael Bloomberg is known as ‘Mayor Pepper Spray’ because he’s responsible for completely dismantling one of the most important protests in the history of New York City, which is Occupy (Wall Street),” one person said.
“I think the United States needs somebody whose less of a partisan,” added Fred Danbeck of Riverside, Connecticut.
“Could be beneficial, but then again here we go, another billionaire,” said Kwasi Pecou of Mays Landing, New Jersey. “How in touch is he really with the people, the common man?”
“I think it’s a great idea. I’m a great fan,” Jane Friedman added.
“I have no opinion on it, but good luck to him,” another person said.
“It would be great for the Democrats and I’d love to see it happen,” Bud Lindman of Scarsdale said.
Sheinkopf has a suggestion that could give Bloomberg an edge: If he runs, pick Caroline Kennedy as his running mate.