The New York Times reported on 7 November that billionaire Michael Bloomberg "is expected to file paperwork this week in at least one state with an early deadline", adding, however, that the businessman had not made the final decision to run yet.
Commenting on Bloomberg's potential entry in the race, US President Donald Trump predicted that "little Michael will fail" while at the same time inflicting more damage to Joe Biden, the Democratic presidential frontrunner.
"He’s not going to do well but I think he’s going to hurt [former Vice President Joe] Biden actually", Trump said. "There’s nobody I’d rather run against than little Michael".
The reports about Bloomberg's presidential bid came amid the impeachment inquiry against Donald Trump, propelled by the House Democrats as well as growing scrutiny of Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joe Biden, and his role in the Ukrainian gas company Burisma Holdings.
On 6 November, Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo asking him to find out whether a consulting firm hired by Burisma had used Hunter Biden, the son of then US Vice President Joe Biden – who was tasked to oversee Ukraine, "to gain access and potentially influence matters at the State Department".
Joe Biden Out, Michael Bloomberg In
According to Daniel Lazare, a journalist, and author of three books – "The Frozen Republic", "The Velvet Coup", and "America's Undeclared War" – Bloomberg's apparent decision to run for the presidency "shows that Donald Trump has already racked up a major victory by knocking out 'Sleepy Joe' Biden out of the 2020 presidential race".
Lazare highlights that the Democratic Party's attempts to impeach Donald Trump over his alleged effort to convince Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to investigate Hunter and Joe Biden have ultimately backfired on the Democratic presidential frontrunner, whose activities appeared to be "blatantly self-serving" when his son "sought to enrich himself at Ukrainian expense".
"Support for Biden began draining away almost immediately", the journalist says. "Bloomberg's decision to enter the field indicates that his very viability is now at stake and that the struggle for control of the Democratic centre is now wide open".
However, Lazare expresses doubts that Bloomberg's decision to join the race will bear fruit either for him or for the Democratic centre.
"Unfortunately for Bloomberg… the centre is shrinking by the day", the author notes. "With an estimated wealth of $52 billion, Bloomberg is the eighth richest person in the world. Once upon a time, this might have counted in his favour. But much has changed since the 2008 financial crisis… The spectacle of a media magnate essentially trying to buy the presidency, which is what a Bloomberg candidacy represents, just rubs salt in the wounds".
According to the journalist, Bloomberg's entry is a victory not only for Trump, but also for Democratic progressives like Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, who tweeted recently: "The billionaire class is scared and they should be scared".
The billionaire class is scared and they should be scared.— Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) 7 ноября 2019 г.
"It's an indication that the centre is disappearing and that the field is increasingly polarised", Lazare says. "Billionaires are losing the political battle, and Bloomberg will only make matters worse".