The former mayor of New York City, Michael Bloomberg, has entered the race to be the next President of the United States, but will he be able to ‘buy’ a presidential term?
As one of the world’s richest men – Bloomberg is reportedly worth $51.4 billion – many have concerns regarding his campaign, which already has a record-breaking budget. Yet with issues including climate change and gun control high on his agenda should we be really be looking at the amount of money being spent promoting Bloomberg?
Each presidential campaign appears to have more money spent on it than the previous campaign, and this is evident with both the Bloomberg and Trump campaigns.
However is having more money than your competitor enough to secure a win?
Not always. It is worth remembering that Hillary Clinton spent around twice as much money as President Donald Trump did in their 2016 campaigns, showing money cannot always buy the White House.
One of the fall outs from Trump’s win was the question of what Clinton actually received for the extra money spent, with many supporters wondering whether the campaign’s staff are capable of budgeting their campaigns efficiently.
But surely the main aspect to any winning election campaign is to persuade voters that you are more passionate about subjects the public care about than your competitor.
In 2016 Trump ensured all his rallies drew large and passionate crowds, especially in the primary process. This action has been credited as being one of the main strategies that helped him win the presidency. Passion is a huge draw to any campaign, as Bloomberg will soon find out.
Regardless of the amount of money a candidate may have, if there is no passion, poor issues and a lack of credibility, a campaign will struggle to gain the momentum required to be a success.
This is not to say that Trump would have still won on passion alone. Every campaign requires a monumental amount of cash spent, which is why fundraising is so important. Although Trump was also able to fill his rallies thanks to the staggering amount of free publicity he received, mainly through news outlets around the world reporting on both him as a person as well as how his campaign was fairing against previous campaigns.
However when voters are asked to give cash to a political campaign it is easy for them to believe they are being asked due to the campaigner believing they are essential to their campaign, when in fact the candidate is merely more persuasive than the alternative party.
With Bloomberg joining the campaign for 2020’s presidential election, it is easy for him to dismiss fundraising worries, thanks to his ‘bottomless’ money supply. However unless he can become more passionate and more persuasive, filling his rallies will be difficult.
His official video announcing his campaign clearly shows he is yet to find that spark that will encourage voters to back him for president and it appears that both Bloomberg and his staff believe they can win the campaign without any passion necessary.
In his announcement Bloomberg also criticized Trump’s administration, saying, “I’m running for president to defeat Donald Trump and rebuild America. We cannot afford four more years of President Trump’s reckless and unethical actions. He represents an existential threat to our country and our values. If he wins another term in office, we may never recover from the damage.
The stakes could not be higher. We must win this election. And we must begin rebuilding America. I believe my unique set of experiences in business, government and philanthropy will enable me to win and lead.”
Many Democrats are capitalizing on the anti-Trump feelings that are currently growing across the country, even more so thanks to his current impeachment hearing, but is this enough to land them the top job? Have they – and Bloomberg – made a credible enough case as to why you should vote for the Democrats rather than the Republicans?
Democratic Party rival Senator Elizabeth Warren has already slated Bloomberg’s campaign, accusing him of trying to buy the White House, and therefore American democracy:
“Michael Bloomberg is making a bet about democracy in 2020. He doesn’t need people, he only needs bags and bags of money.”
Senator Warren continued, “That’s exactly what’s now in play in 2020 – which vision, which version of our democracy is going to win? If Michael Bloomberg’s version of democracy wins, then democracy changes.”
Mr. Bloomberg, speaking at his first campaign event in Norfolk, Virginia, declined to answer her remarks however he did discuss the use of his wealth for his campaign:
“For years I’ve been using my resources for things that matter to me. I am going to make my case and let the voters who are plenty smart make their choice.”
Whichever way the voters decide to go, it is clear that the campaign for the Democratic candidate – and the next presidential administration – should be an interesting journey.