Mike Bloomberg: Success Story or Radical Rich Guy?

Briana Strader, Staff Writer

Pervasive, to-the-point, and pompously moral, Mike Bloomberg’s presidential campaign was tirelessly hard to avoid. On YouTube, on television, and on billboards, his face is everywhere, balanced with the familiar reassurance that he is what our country needs.

   But has Bloomberg worked hard enough to prove that to voters? Young voters wouldn’t say so. 

  His dependency on spending might win him the votes of uneducated, malleable television watchers. However, it is actually working to drive away voters that might otherwise be interested. Chaturika Bandara (11), a member of the speech and debate team, commented in an interview that “his face is everywhere,” a statement that most other politically-engaged students claim to be true as well.

   Overcoming the obstacle that is Bloomberg’s platform, however, Lindsey Kim (12) identifies some of the key errors in the candidate’s campaign strategy. “[He] is the epitome of ‘buying your way into the race.’ … It’s ironic because people like Bloomberg are exactly who the other candidates are openly speaking against — thus the Bloomberg pile-on on during the debate.” And, looking back to the most recent Democratic debate, Kim has a point. The factors of his campaign that make him stand out—in opposition to both the voting and running majority—are the same factors that have propelled him forward.   

Though money and a quick race to the top characterize his campaign, there are other factors to consider in his vying for the public’s vote. Specifically, his record against women. Kim was also quick to point out how it has affected her opinions of him, arguing that his record of sexual harassment “is disappointing, but unfortunately not very surprising.” Continuing, Kim offers the supporting argument that “His comments concerning ethnic minorities in the past — “stop and frisk” — are signals that tell us that Bloomberg is seriously out of touch with reality, especially so when we consider that the Democrat voter base is the haven of the racial minority voter.” Bloomberg’s history is tattered with discrimination and disgrace in pursuit of money, something which clearly holds him back in the eyes of young voters.

   Sympathizing, Cynthia Ge (12) acknowledges the remaining highlights of his campaign, suggesting that there was no need for the group-attack on Bloomberg in the recent debate and that “his late entry into the race doesn’t bother [her] that much. Ge respects the time he has taken to consider his positions and decide whether he had enough support to win. Of course, Ge’s opinions were accompanied by a clear disclaimer that she strongly disagrees with his seemingly desperate approach to target uneducated and minority voters through over-spending.

   Now, Bloomberg’s run has recently ended after a dismal Super Tuesday result, but his campaign speaks to the power of the top 1%, as well as the strength of a democracy that has proven that the presidency can’t just be bought off.