first perilous debate for Michael Bloomberg


Mike Bloomberg in Richmond, Virginia, February 15, 2020.
Mike Bloomberg in Richmond, Virginia, February 15, 2020. James H. Wallace / AP

While the Iowa caucus, the first leg of the Democratic nomination contest for the presidential election of November 3, was held on February 3, “Le Monde” launches its campaign logbook. A daily update, first of all five days a week until September, with campaign facts, political advertisements, polls, maps and figures that allow us to follow and experience the most important electoral competition in the world.

Billionaire Michael Bloomberg will participate in his first Democratic debate on Wednesday February 19 in Las Vegas. The former mayor of New York benefited from a change in the selection criteria by the Democratic Party leadership. Until now, nomination contestants had to collect a minimum donation figure from a minimum number of donors to hope to be retained. Because of his self-financing, Michael Bloomberg could not therefore be selected since his entry into the campaign in November.

This fundraising criterion has been removed and the fortune he has spent since that time on advertising ($ 400 million) has enabled him to obtain the necessary voting intentions in a minimum number of polls. His presence alongside other Democratic candidates, who have campaigned on the ground for more than a year, is the first success for the billionaire. Paradoxically, he will be present at the debate organized in Nevada, three days before the caucus set for February 22, when he is not even a candidate there. He will also be present on February 25 at the debate that will precede the South Carolina primary on February 29.

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Michael Bloomberg is concentrating his forces on Super Tuesday which will see fourteen states rule, including two richly endowed with delegates, California and Texas. This unprecedented tactic first raised questions. However, it benefited from a series of unforeseen factors. The Iowa fiasco, the first state to rule, deprived the campaigning candidates of a launch pad. The division of more moderate candidates in their proposals than independent Vermont senator Bernie Sanders has also prevented the emergence of an undisputed rival.

The debate promises to be delicate for the billionaire accused by his opponents ” buy »His election with hundreds of millions of dollars. Michael Bloomberg, 78, since February 14, has so far avoided question and answer sessions with the constituents that make up the primary class. He will have to answer for his facies control policy when he was mayor of New York and for the sexist comments that have marked his career as a businessman.

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