Sunday, February 16, 2020


Mike Bloomberg seems like a savvy guy, but apparently no one ever told him that if you want to run for president, you should first do opposition research on yourself. Find all the things in your life your opponents will use against you, and be ready for the attacks -- or perhaps stay out of the race if there's too much dirt in your past.

Or it's possible that Bloomberg has done the research and believes he can win despite bad publicity. Yesterday The Washington Post published a thorough report on Bloomberg's long history of sexist remarks, many of which came from a booklet published as part of a celebration of his birthday in 1990. Bloomberg might believe this is old news -- after all, he survived stories about the booklet in his first mayoral race. But when I Googled this, I noticed the dateline on the first story that popped up: September 7, 2001. By the time of the general election two months later, no one in New York cared that Bloomberg had said such things as “If women wanted to be appreciated for their brains, they’d go to the library instead of to Bloomingdale’s” and “I know for a fact that any woman who walks past a construction site and doesn’t get a whistle will turn around and walk past again and again until she does get one.” We New Yorkers had other issues on our minds. In Bloomberg's subsequent mayoral races, the story really did seem like old news.

But they won't be old news to American voters if Bloomberg is the Democrats' presidential nominee this year, nor will his remarks on such subjects as stop-and-frisk and redlining. We need to keep in mind that if Bloomberg is the nominee, Trump will run against him by posing as the champion of black and female voters.

Remember Trump's Super Bowl ad?

It focused on Alice Johnson, a 63-year-old black great-grandmother who was serving a life sentence on drug and money laundering charges, and who was granted clemency by Trump. Trump invited her to the State of the Union address and praised her while discussing the First Step Act, a criminal justice reform bill he signed in 2018.

We know that Trump believes he can increase his share of the black vote, which was 6% in 2016, according to Pew polling. Even a tiny increase could help him in states such as Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Florida. Do you think he won't use Alice Johnson and the First Step Act to portray himself as less of a racist than the man who praise stop-and-frisk as recently as 2018?

Do you think Trump won't trot out Ivanka, Kellyanne Conway, Stephanie Grisham, and alumnae Nikki Haley and Sarah Huckabee Sanders to claim that, as a boss, he treats women better than Bloomberg? Do you think he won't drag female Trump Organization employees back into the limelight?

Trump countered the Access Hollywood tape by seating a group of women who'd accused Bill Clinton of sexual misconduct in the audience at a debate with Hillary Clinton. Trump is shameless enough to attack Bloomberg from the left on race and gender. I wish I could be certain it wouldn't work.


UPDATE: Remember 2016...

(Via joan_mediator.)

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