This should be a happy time for former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Right now, his ads are drowning the airwaves in the 14 states that will vote on Super Tuesday, March 3, while in most of those states, the campaigns of his non-billionaire opponents for the Democrats’ presidential nod have barely begun.
As the campaign rolls on, however, Democratic voters will learn more about Bloomberg’s actual record. The mass incarceration in black and brown communities that resulted from police practices he put in place as mayor; the pre-emptive arrests he authorized of people who sought to protest the 2004 Republican convention in New York (for which the city had to pay hefty fines for false arrests); his defense of Wall Street bankers in the wake of the 2008 financial panic (he termed the fines levied against banks for misconduct “outrageous”)—these are just some of the many Bloomberg policies and positions that should give Democrats pause.
Bloomberg’s interest in China is also financial. As Josh Rogin has reported in The Washington Post, Bloomberg LP doesn’t only sell its terminals there, but through the Bloomberg Barclays Global Aggregate Bond Index, it enables U.S. investors to buy Chinese bonds. Last year, Rogin noted, “the index began a 20-month plan to support 364 Chinese firms by directing an estimated $150 billion into their bond offerings, including 159 [companies] controlled directly by the Chinese government.”
The normally fractious Democrats have been nonetheless united in recent years against the growing control that money exerts over our politics and democracy. Bloomberg’s candidacy has seduced some Democrats away from that consensus in the hope that at least he can defeat Donald Trump.
Stray no more, Democrats. He can’t.