Bloomberg quits; endorses Biden

March 4, 2020 • 9:32 am

More good news for Biden-philes, and something that gives Uncle Joe even more momentum going into the next primaries. In light of Bloomberg’s poor showing yesterday, he’s quit and endorsed Biden.

This is from HuffPost, as I couldn’t find it in a reputable site (click on screenshot to read):

A brief excerpt:

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is dropping out of the 2020 presidential race and endorsing former Vice President Joe Biden.

“Three months ago, I entered the race for President to defeat Donald Trump,” Bloomberg said in a statement Wednesday. “Today, I am leaving the race for the same reason: to defeat Donald Trump ― because it is clear to me that staying in would make achieving that goal more difficult.”

Bloomberg noted that his poor showing on Super Tuesday made the delegate math “virtually impossible,” acknowledging “a viable path to the nomination no longer exists.” Bloomberg only won the American Samoa Democratic caucus on Tuesday, failing to win any other primaries.

Bloomberg said Biden has the “best shot” to defeat Trump.

Maybe he’ll throw some dosh at Biden as well. . .

And, unlike Warren, he knows how to cut his losses and unify a party. Warren could still affect the future by dropping out now and endorsing Sanders, but it seems she won’t do that. She finished third in Massachusetts, for crying out loud!  I still am baffled by that, but take it as a sign that Massachusetts voters are level-headed and know who can really beat Trump in November.

61 thoughts on “Bloomberg quits; endorses Biden

    1. There’s a running joke in Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72 in which Hunter Thompson wrote memos to then Democratic Party Chairman (and later NBA commissioner) Lawrence O’Brien, in which Thompson claimed that O’Brien had promised to have him appointed governor of American Samoa (and Thompson had purchased a closet-full of white sharkskin suits in anticipation of the posting) if George McGovern were to win the 1972 presidential election.

      I thought of that last night when Bloomberg was announced the victor in the Samoan primary (a victory apparently attained solely on the strength of the billionaire’s having packed the island with billboards bearing his likeness and written in the native Samoan language).

    2. Is Samoa state? I thought it was just a ‘territory’ like Puerto Rico, some kind of ‘colony’.
      If not participating in the presidential or senate elections (don’t they?), why do they vote in the primaries? I mean, great gesture, but is it just a gesture?
      As an outsider I’m a bit puzzled.

      1. American Samoa is a US territory, as is Puerto Rico, Guam, the US Virgin Islands, and a few others. These territories have primaries (or, in the case of the USVI, caucuses) by which they select delegates to participate in the quadrennial Democratic National Convention, although the citizens of these territories do not get to vote in the US presidential election or have any representation in the US congress.

        Go figure.

      2. Don’t call it “Samoa” people. Samoa is a separate country. American Samoa is the one attached to the US, obviously, and is different from just Samoa.

      1. I’ve lived there. It’s not that pretty. I don’t know why, but it’s not nearly as beautiful as places like Hawaii.

  1. It seems to me that the majority of Warren’s supporters would likely support Sanders if Warren drops out. That means that by staying in, she would deprive Sanders of that support, which would be more good news for Biden supporters.

    1. I don’t think you’re right. My sample size is small, but my wife and I have both been Warren supporters but will likely vote for Biden in March because of the behavior of Sanders’ base supporters. It is important to make clear to them that the election isn’t being “stolen by elites”.

      1. I agree that it’s important for Sanders supporters to feel like Biden won fair and square (if, in fact, he does), so that they are not alienated in the way that they were in 2016.

        1. The alienation comes from people thinking they have no voice. Feeling cheated is not nearly as bad as thinking that your values have been repudiated by the electorate.

          The rest of the Dems understand this as well. That’s why 2016 is constantly framed in terms of Russian cheating on Trump’s behalf rather than as a repudiation of Clinton by enough voters in enough places to matter. Trump’s rotten values are closer to the average American’s than Sanders and that is so goddamn depressing.

      2. “Morning Consult” polls have Bernie as the clear second choice for Warren voters, by a large margin.

        There is intense pressure on Warren to drop out, at least looking at Twitter. If it doesn’t happen, I except her staff to start leaving her in droves and donations to dry up, but who knows. A Sanders-Warren ticket might be announced soon, to both of their displeasure.

    2. If we wanted to put a Machiavellian spin on it, staying in the race might be Warren’s way of refraining from pissing off Bernie supporters (by dropping out without endorsing Bernie) while keeping open her option of eventually accepting a possible offer for the VP slot on a Biden ticket.

      ¿Quién sabe?

  2. Perhaps Warren is staying in hoping to collect enough delegates to be “kingmaker” in the event neither Biden nor Sanders gets a majority. And, of course, she becomes the winner’s VP.

    1. There have been occasions where a candidate came from well behind to eventually claim the nomination. Obama did this against Clinton, and McCain against Gulliani (of all people).

    2. Biden picking her as VP might be smart, if he’s worried about the liberal wing staying home or registering a protest vote instead of trying to vote Trump out of office.

      OTOH if he’s more concerned about carrying midwest Obama-Trump voters (and their states), she’d likely be a terrible choice.

    3. I wonder if she’s staying in to split the progressive vote too. Not only will she ensure Bernie doesn’t get enough delegates to win, she may make sure an actual Democrat will win.

      Further, she’s far more likely to get a top job in a Biden administration that a Sanders one. There’s no way Sanders could make her his VP even if he wanted to. Biden is unlikely to either, but she is a better choice than Bernie if he wants to make a nod to the progressive wing of the party. She’s much better at the job of senator than Bernie is for a start.

      1. I agree. Also, unless she wins some states, she is unlikely to be a VP choice. Why would you choose as a running mate someone who couldn’t win her own state? I wonder if she thinks she needs to stay in the race in the hope of redeeming her political clout. In the end, she can always going back to the Senate.

        It is a shame Warren that did not do better. Although her politics does not appeal to me, she is an intelligent energetic candidate, and she should have done better. Of course, so should have Amy Klobuchar, my favorite. It looks as if this is not the year of the woman.

  3. The day is still young. Warren may also drop out by the end of the day. After all, who’s going to give her money to continue after such a poor showing? If she stays in, she’ll see her vote percentages go even lower as no one wants to vote for a loser. Endorsing Biden or Sanders is a different kettle of fish.

    1. “Warren may also drop out by the end of the day.”

      If I was a betting man I would put some money on your prediction.

      1. I agree about her tenacity but those who might supply the money allowing her to “hang in there” will no longer. She will also risk voters thinking that she’s hurting Sanders and that she’s a poor loser. I suspect realism will trump her tenacity.

        1. Staying in long enough to come in third in her home state has effectively doomed her political future. She might have had a shot in 24/28 if she’d ducked out sooner.

  4. He’s not much of a fighter, is he? I’m not sure I would call that a “run” for the presidency.

  5. On Warren’s poor showing in MA, I can provide a few possible (non-exclusive) explanations. The first is that Warren isn’t particularly exciting or responsive as a Senator (Ed Markey seems much more in touch with the electorate).

    The second is that voters registered independent in MA can vote in one party’s primary (given the lack of credible opponents to Trump in the Republican party, there’s no reason for such people to vote in the Republican primary), and there exist Trump supporters who are registered independent and who may have voted in the Democrat primary for the candidate least likely to appeal to them and other Trump supporters; they might perceive that person to be either Biden or Sanders.

    I haven’t looked in detail at the primary result raw numbers (percentages don’t mean diddly if overall turnout is poor). It may be that some significant number of people who favored one of the early dropouts (or who just didn’t want to go out in the rain) stayed home.

        1. Sorry, a bit of a cheap shot.
          Warren seems to have pandered to the woke left of the party and alienated some centrist voters.

    1. Massachusetts didn’t want her to run. It took a long time for the Boston Globe to endorse her, and it was reluctantly. They wanted her to concentrate on the state. It’s not so much that they don’t like her, it’s that they want to keep her there.

  6. What happened here is that the moderates suddenly coalesced around Biden, not because he is the best candidate (he isn’t), but because he won SC big. We don’t get the best candidate, we get the candidate who happens to win a state at the right time. We really need a national primary with ranked choice voting (instant run-off).

    1. I think Biden won big on Super Tuesday only partly because he won SC. By winning SC, he confirmed that he’s the most viable moderate candidate. After that, the groundswell of “Never Bernie” was overwhelming. Politicians, pundits, and voters were all saying that they hoped someone would beat Bernie as he’s too radical and too likely to lose to Trump. Even if he beat Trump, he would hurt the Dems in down-ballot races. Biden’s win in SC served only to determine that he was the one to get the not-Bernie vote.

    2. We really need a national primary with ranked choice voting (instant run-off).

      Agree. So much undemocratic craziness in the primary system (that 15% cutoff, etc.). We need to fix our electoral system but the Dems need to lead by example and get their own system redesigned with a sense of rationality. The Dems need to show that a properly designed electoral system is worth transitioning to.

      The Dems could have a one-day primary (just as you describe with ranked-choice), select their candidates, and sit back and watch the GOP muddle through the current archaic system.

    3. Surely you’re not implying that the Democratic Party should elect its nominees via a process that is democratic. Well having everyone vote all at the same time might avoid months of vicious infighting and irreparably splitting the voters, but what would it do the TV debate ratings?

    4. The good thing about have a long primary season is that we get to see how candidate react to good and bad events. Someone might seem good but falter under the pressure. Someone (e.g. Biden) might come up strong after early defeats.

      I prefer the extended pressure cooker to a one off vote of any type.

      1. That’s a good point. But we could have an “extended pressure cooker” and still have a proper democratic (most votes win) system.

      2. I’d prefer to have the contest over in 3-4 Super Tuesday style contests held a month apart (and taking place on Saturdays), so that no individual state gets too much attention. Looking back on it, who the hell cares about what happened in Iowa. The hyperfocus was absurd, as was people staying up into the wee hours to find out who won a dozen delegates. The cost to productivity of these elections must be non-negligible, as workers come in the next day groggy, and half of them upset. I’m sure we’ve all been there. Heck, I’m there today.

      3. But other countries have much shorter primaries and do just as well in electing incompetent decision makers.

        1. The UK doesn’t really have primaries at all. The party leaders are usually elected by the membership of the parties i.e. those people who have registered and paid a subscription to the party in question.

          And we’re doing great…

          … oh, wait.

    5. We don’t get the best candidate, we get the candidate who happens to win a state at the right time.

      I doubt the outcome would’ve been much different had Klobuchar and Buttigieg stayed in. It’s hard to imagine Klobuchar getting any delegates outside her home state, given she only cracked the 15% requirement for delegates in 7 districts up to that point. Buttigieg might have gained more, but probably not enough to attract the funding he’d need to continue campaigning.

      I expect that had they not conceded and endorsed Biden on Sunday, they would’ve joined Bloomberg in doing so this morning (Wednesday). Bernie might have “won” Texas had they done that, but the Kobluchar+Buttigeig+Biden delegates would’ve still outnumbered his.

      [Which brings me to an aside – is anyone else really annoyed at how the press focuses on the “winner” by state? Delegates are PROPORTIONAL. The primary isn’t first past the post, dipsticks.]

      1. YES. I wish the NY Times map wouldn’t color the states purple or teal depending on the winner, but would stick a pie chart inside the state and that’s that. I would feel somewhat less depressed today.

    1. Everyone should thank Warren for effectively taking out Bloomberg. We’ll still have to see what his real motives are. He was trying to “buy the presidency” and that’s not a good look for democracy.

      1. I think Bloomberg was pretty clear on why he ran. He was afraid that the Dem candidate would be one of the progressives, Warren or Sanders, because of their unfriendliness toward business and trade and their presumed weakness against Trump. Biden’s strength on Super Tuesday, and his own weakness, has caused Bloomberg to abandon this strategy in favor of helping Biden.

  7. Better that Warren stays in the race that to drop out and endorse the old very angry guy. Dividing the woke and the farther left may be a good in the long term for uniting the party.

    1. I think that would very much be a disaster for Democratic voter turnout in the general, and would trigger a Demexit to the Greens for a large fraction of Bernie’s base, against his wishes and everyone else who is sane, but nevertheless that would be the expected outcome. I can’t imagine Liz would wanna risk that, and I’m a bit surprised she hasn’t announced her dropping out yet for precisely this reason. As long as Bloomberg was still in, Liz staying on seemed at least kosher (if not ideal from a Sandernista perspective) due to the symmetry of the situation. I imagine she will be getting pressure even from the establishment to leave, unless I am severely underestimating their willingness to gamble with Bernie’s base.

      The contest needs to be 1 vs. 1 at this point to be considered fair by all sides. Centrism vs. socialism. Whichever side wins rightfully gets the nomination, and the vast majority of left will concede the loss as a fair fight.

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