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Assault on America, Day 407: Search for Dem White Knight becomes forlorn recovery mission

Bloomberg Stop and Frisk
“Nobody thinks it will work, do they?”

No. You just described every great success story.”

These immortal words of wisdom from fictional teen kickboxer turned amateur philosopher and hopeless romantic Lloyd Dobler (memorably played by John Cusack in the 1989 movie classic “Say Anything”) are applicable to a host of everyday situations, but they’re particularly relevant to 2020’s Democrat presidential race. This year, a couple white men (from a diverse gaggle of ambitious wannabes) launched seemingly improbable but surprisingly successful candidacies that many “experts” swore would never germinate into thriving and viable political plants -- but nonetheless, they’ve seemingly defied common sense and overcome innumerable barriers to rise above the surface and draw oxygen.

Some likely believe these Democrats’ candidacies are more akin to noxious weeds sprouting through cracks in the pavement, but that’s a story for another time.

The ashes from Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary blowout have hardly reached the ground and already some frantic Democrats are talking about bringing in someone else to lead their pack. With neither Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders nor former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg looking like a particularly strong November contender against the imposing figure of eternal counter-puncher President Donald Trump, media people are talking about which Democrat could potentially supplant the unelectable current leaders to add a little light to the Democrats’ otherwise pitch black electoral outlook.

Leading Fox News liberal commentator Juan Williams thinks there’s still room for former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg to have his time in the sun. Williams wrote earlier this week at The Hill, “[W]hile standing on the sidelines, Bloomberg changed the game by pledging to double his already sky-high spending on TV advertising. According to multiple reports, Bloomberg has spent around $300 million on TV, radio and digital advertising since entering the race in November.

“Bloomberg had one big reason to double down. Joe Biden, the top candidate for centrist Democrats, finished fourth in Iowa. Bloomberg’s ambition got another lift last week when the Democratic National Committee issued new rules for qualifying for upcoming debates. With a donor requirement removed, Bloomberg will be on the debate stage from now on.

“Bloomberg is not known for charisma, one-on-one or on the debate stage. But his money makes him very attractive to primary voters as the answer for the top question on their mind: How do Democrats stop the threat of a second Trump term?”

Lots of things are at play here. Most notably, it’s clear the Democrat brain trust has already written off Joe Biden’s faltering candidacy (not bad, considering Williams’ piece was published the day before the New Hampshire primary when the results weren’t even in yet), which must be more than a “gut punch” to the former Obama veep and up until this point at least, national polling leader for the party. For so long liberals hung their hats on Biden’s supposed electability, figuring every single Obama supporter out there would instantly drop their newfound affinity for Trump to re-hitch their carts to the reconstituted “Hope and Change” bandwagon.

It just ain’t happening that way. Much has been said and written about how Biden’s buddy and former boss hasn’t emerged from a golf course somewhere (or leftwing power-to-the-people organizing meeting) to salvage his presidency’s legacy candidate, but Obama is nowhere to be found. Sure, the two-term American tradition smashing chief executive has occasionally offered input -- he said the candidates were engaging in a “circular firing squad” last April -- but in general, the Big O’s public comments are scarce as a California Condor sighting in the wild. It’s almost as though Obama’s enjoying seeing his vice president thrashing and floundering like a codfish in a waterless barrel. Why else wouldn’t he jump in to rescue his pal from the self-inflicted agony?

Or maybe the contemporary vintage of Democrat voter would only see the gesture as an establishment attempt to deprive their man Sanders of the nomination he so richly deserves (to them) and earned the old fashioned way -- by raising money one welfare check contribution at a time. Much as the party ruling elites might wish it, Obama’s name won’t be on November’s ballot and it’s become increasingly obvious neither will Biden’s

But is Bloomberg really the magic elixir for the party’s gaping wound? In the abstract it’s easy to see how Juan Williams and every other Democrat who’s desperately grasping for a smidgen of hope might think “Little Mike’s” billions could overwhelm the potentially (on paper) vulnerable Trump. Here, again, Democrats aren’t understanding the dynamic of Trump’s popularity. The president didn’t just arrive in the White House by chance. And it wasn’t because the voters detested Hillary more than him, either.

Simply stated, Bloomberg lacks the star power to draw the kind of attention he’d need to win the party nomination and then the presidency. And TV ad after TV ad after TV ad won’t do the trick for him either. Sooner or later people stop paying attention to the electronic drivel and unsubstantiated claims -- or simply change the channel when it airs. The law of diminishing marginal returns kicks in at some juncture and then Democrats would be left with a diminutive soda-snatching, gun-grabbing elitist without much of a distinction from the rest of ‘em.

And since when did Democrats like Juan Williams fall head-over-heels in love with a candidate because he’s got so much disposable dough that he can blow a micro-fraction of it with a wave of his hand to run for president?

The Bloomberg-bashing’s already started among his fellow Democrat presidential candidates, too. At last Friday night’s debate, for example, Elizabeth “Pocahontas” Warren and Bernie Sanders took turns teeing off on the influence of money in politics. Warren was mostly making a point, once again, about Buttigieg and his fondness for soliciting big checks from deep pocketed contributors (no talk of wine caves this time, however), but the same line of argument just as readily applies to Bloomberg. Warren said only she and “Amy” don’t take PAC money, which apparently provides them with an additional basis for why they should be president! They’re pure as the New Hampshire fallen snow!

It's a good thing Biden didn’t have to answer for his PAC stash… or he wouldn’t be able to afford the bus ride to his campaign events and/or the party debates.

Buttigieg offered his standard validation for accepting large contributions from rich guys and gals, namely that he’s a young and poor man who isn’t worth anything (in a net worth sense) and therefore is compelled to go groveling to the famous and successful for their superfluous scraps to fund his campaign effort. But don’t pity Pete too much! The further he goes in the Democrat race the larger the royalties from the books he’ll most certainly write about being the youngest ever to win the Iowa caucuses! Imagine the three-ring circus atmosphere at this summer’s Democrat convention as anticipation builds for Butt(i-gieg)’s primetime speech!

Here’s thinking Bloomberg won’t even receive an evening slot when the moment arrives… but maybe he’ll just buy a TV network and feature a nonstop stream of his ads instead. There’re the aforementioned reasons for doubting him, but there’s also the fact no one’s ever skipped the early voting states and suddenly risen from the ashes on Super Tuesday like a Phoenix in ancient mythology. While it’s true, as Say Anything’s Lloyd Dobler indicated in the above quote, that every great success story was doubted and counted out (Donald Trump, the moon mission, circumnavigating the globe, anyone?) by someone, Bloomberg has too many practical barriers to surmount.

As Williams candidly admitted, Bloomberg isn’t charismatic. With him, there’s no connection with the audience, gift for flowery oratory, or, as in Trump’s example, a reputation for busting the status quo. The former NYC mayor isn’t particularly renowned for anything except his money and media empire, which certainly won’t endear him to the young leftists taking over the Democrat party from the outside. Do you think Warren or Sanders would take back everything they’ve ever said about the top 1 percent just to join “Little Mike” to oust Trump?

If it happened, Bloomberg’s ascension would split the Democrats even further apart than they are now. The rift between the “moderates” and lefties would intensify. It’s safe to say Bernie doesn’t like many of his fellow candidates and wouldn’t be caught dead raising a toast to any of them, but the Green Mountain State senator positively despises Bloomberg. The contempt is written all over his (Bernie’s) face whenever the subject is broached.

It's only natural that Democrat voters are intrigued by Bloomberg, his vast wealth and his eleventh hour “savior” candidacy. For months they’ve been served a steady diet of Sanders, Warren, Buttigieg, Biden and Klobuchar, none of whom is especially noteworthy, likable or exceptional. In contrast to the incredibly deep 2016 GOP field (which offered attractive outsiders Trump, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina, as well as young and articulate senators Ted Cruz, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio and accomplished governors Scott Walker, Chris Christie and John Kasich), the Democrats are either too old (Sanders, Biden and Warren) or too young (Buttigieg) or too… milquetoast (Klobuchar?) to get the base amped.

No wonder there’s a drive for a “white knight” to rescue them. It just won’t be Michael Bloomberg no matter how much pundits like Juan Williams insist that his money conquers all. In fact, Democrats are bracing themselves for the growing probability of a brokered convention. Jonathan Easley wrote at The Hill, “The centrist vote is deeply divided at the moment between Buttigieg, Biden and Klobuchar, who is getting a burst of momentum heading into Election Day after raising $2 million in the hours after the New Hampshire debate.

“Sanders appears to have galvanized the left, but Warren has a lot of money, a top-notch organization and an energized base of supporters eager to see the first woman elected to the White House…

“’There’s a real possibility of a brokered convention and that in itself may be enough to serve as motivation for some who might have otherwise dropped out, to hang around longer to see if they can’t have a place in this thing and play a part in determining the nominee,’ said Jim Demers, a veteran Democratic strategist in New Hampshire. ‘Resources will be key.’”

Easley’s article reiterated the type of financial clout Bloomberg represents, but again, it isn’t all about what a candidate does on TV. The New Yorker will be on stage with the surviving contenders at the next debate and if history is a guide, Johnny-come-lately candidates, such as Texas governor Rick Perry in 2011, don’t tend to meet their lofty expectations.

Excitement builds for newcomers only to have people see the candidate and think to themselves, “He’s what everyone’s talking about? No way!”

It might be different if Bloomberg were a proven communicator in the Trump or Reagan mold, but he’s not. It’s almost as though the only “White Knight” with any chance of making a splash this year is, gulp, Hillary Clinton. Will she get in? Can ‘ol Crooked Hill keep her ego in check? If not Clinton, who?

Logic says Democrats’ dissatisfaction with their presidential field will continue until party voters settle on a frontrunner, but that’s not likely to happen as long as the candidates are as divided as they are now. With no “White Knight” on the horizon, the party’s hopelessness will only intensify. Trump is looking terrific by comparison.

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