Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Tuesday he will not run for president in 2020, concluding he could better use his considerable resources on political activism than on a campaign in an ever-expanding Democratic field. His team has been preparing a massive data-driven effort to help defeat President Donald Trump.
The former NY mayor won't be traipsing around Iowa. "Should I devote the next two years to talking about my ideas and record, knowing that I might never win the Democratic nomination?" But aides said internal polling suggested Bloomberg's path to the Democratic nomination was narrow, particularly if Vice President Joe Biden - who shares some of Bloomberg's moderate positions - decides to run. He switched parties to Democrat and independent during his tenure, but has typically supported more liberal social causes.
Bloomberg urged Democrats to unify behind a candidate who had a realistic chance in 2020 to beat the incumbent, and fellow New York City billionaire, in a thinly veiled reference to the far-left positions of most of the current Democratic Party's declared candidates.
Bloomberg has flirted with a White House bid before, including weighing whether or not to run as an independent in 2008 and 2016.
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He said he was mindful of the difficulty of prevailing in the Democratic Party nominating primary process, especially given the leftward turn the party has taken in recent years.
"Bloomberg, the former New York City mayor who joined the Democratic Party past year to crusade against President Trump, has decided not to challenge Mr. Trump as a candidate in the 2020 election", reports the New York Times. But Bloomberg also warned, "We can not allow the primary process to drag the party to an extreme that would diminish our chances in the general election" and give Trump four more years.
Bloomberg, the United Nations secretary general's special envoy for climate action, is expected to play an active role in the 2020 election from the outside.
And he insisted that "I will launch a new, even more ambitious phase of the campaign - Beyond Carbon: a grassroots effort to begin moving America as quickly as possible away from oil and gas and toward a 100 percent clean-energy economy". It will probably overshadow the parallel withdrawal from the 2020 race by OR senator Jeff Merkley, and may even compete in the hierarchy of headlines with the definitive denial of a 2020 candidacy by Hillary Clinton, for the benefit of the 10 OR 15 people ignorant enough to think she might actually run.