“Now, we’ve heard a lot of talk in this campaign about needing a leader who understands business. I couldn’t agree more. I’ve built a business and I didn’t start it with a million-dollar check from my father. Because of my success in the private sector, I had the chance to run America’s largest city for 12 years, governing in the wake of its greatest tragedy.”
Assuming Bloomberg ultimately runs — and I assume he will at this point — he will presumably do so on this sort of message: I’m a businessman, like the current president. I’m just more successful, more stable and much, much richer.
And if you think that message won’t get to Donald Trump, then you don’t know Trump very well. In fact, we already have ample evidence that Bloomberg gets under Trump’s skin.
(Worth noting: Trump has yet to issue a tweet on the former mayor since the news broke Thursday night that Bloomberg was leaning toward a run for president. The key word there being “yet.”)
Now, simply being able to troll Trump with his wealth won’t win Bloomberg the Democratic nomination. But, it can’t hurt! The more Trump pays attention to Bloomberg, the more he elevates the mayor in the eyes of Democrats — the thinking being: Hey, this guy really gets under Trump’s skin, and that’s good!
And, there is a potentially compelling general election argument that goes like this: You liked Donald Trump’s business background? Well, I have that too! But, I’ve been more successful and am far more competent than the current occupant of the White House.
But, to make that argument, Bloomberg has to make the general election, which is a longshot at the moment.
Whether his candidacy happens and then whether it takes off is a very uncertain. What’s more clear is that the very fact that Bloomberg is seriously considering the race will bother Trump in ways that other candidacies have not.