It appears that the road to the 2016 presidential election will not provide us with a dull week in politics.
On Saturday, Jan. 23, it was revealed that former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg was seriously considering a campaign for presidency in this year’s election. Bloomberg, both a former Democrat and Republican, would be an independent candidate if he decided to run for office.
Bloomberg running for president would throw a curveball into this unpredictable campaign trail, but is it too late in the game for Bloomberg to make a play for the White House?
The most significant factor working against Bloomberg here is time. With less than a year left before elections start, does Bloomberg have enough time to organize a legitimate campaign that can really get people’s attention?
Donald Trump only announced his candidacy in June 2015, but he still had over a year to get his campaign going and get people behind him. Plus, Trump’s massive surge in popularity stemmed from his opportunistic approach of “all publicity is good publicity,” in which massive controversy has made him the frontrunner of the GOP candidates. If Bloomberg formally announced his candidacy sometime in February, he would have a short amount of time to get his campaign going.
Candidates from a third party have bad luck when it comes to winning an election, even with months upon months of campaigning. Bloomberg is doing himself no favors by making this decision now, with the deadline so close.
Outside of the New York area, Bloomberg is not very well-known. Whereas some of the other candidates do not have to worry about getting nationwide exposure, that would be one of Bloomberg’s biggest issues if he decided to run.
At this point, Bloomberg is wasting time pondering whether or not he should run for election, while other candidates have been on the campaign trail and making themselves known to people all around the country. Bloomberg needs plenty of time to travel to cities all across the nation so as to make the voters feel that this is a sincere effort on his part and not a last-minute effort he just threw together.
Imagine if Bloomberg waits until March or even April to announce his running for office. He would have just a few months to build a campaign. I do not recall any president ever getting elected into office with such a brief period of time on the campaign trail.
Speaking of time, you also have to consider the fact that Bloomberg is 73 years old. Just imagine that, by some Hail Mary pass, he wins the presidential election: he will be already be 74 years old. On top of that, he will be pushing 75 by the time he gets formally inaugurated in January 2017. Bloomberg will be nearly 80 years old after a whole term. If he makes it to two terms, he will be nearly 84 years old. The oldest president to take office was Ronald Reagan and he was 69 years old at the time.
Oscar Wilde once wrote, “With age comes wisdom, but sometimes age comes alone.” There are many elderly people who remain incredibly wise in their senior years, but they still grow older with every passing year. Many would take on less responsibility and enjoy their lives when they hit their fifties. The fact that Bloomberg may take on the responsibilities of president at nearly 75 years old is just somewhat unsettling to me. In fact, Trump and Hilary Clinton are both in their late sixties and they are campaigning for president. Bernie Sanders is 74 years old and he is campaigning for president. The fact that so many elderly candidates are running for president is a startling indicator of the lack of younger political officials in this country with the intelligence or desire to take on the task of becoming the President of the United States.
Now, we all need to remember that nothing has officially been confirmed and that Bloomberg is simply considering a run for the presidency. In the months leading to the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, there was vast speculation that Bloomberg would run for president, only for him to deny vehemently that it would happen on both occasions.
However, if I were in his shoes and actually wanted to, I would throw my hat into the ring as soon as possible and go on a media blitz.
Time is absolutely not on Bloomberg’s side in this situation. If he wanted to run for office, he really should have made the decision much earlier than he may end up doing. Though he could get some momentum if he officially announces his candidacy, this situation really comes off as a case of too little, too late.