Michael Bloomberg, former mayor of New York and a potential presidential candidate for 2020, announced on Wednesday through social media that he has re-registered as a member of the Democratic Party. Bloomberg has previously run for public office as an independent and as a Republican. In a post on his Instagram account, Bloomberg said that his decision was inspired by the need to restore checks and balances on the power in Washington.
At the moment, the GOP holds both the Senate and Congress. Many experts have observed that partisan politics, especially in the Senate, have hampered any effort to hold the administration accountable. The partisanship became glaringly clear during the hearing and consequent confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s pick for the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh’s confirmation effectively ensured the GOP had a significant control of the Supreme Court too.
Bloomberg said that at various key moments in US history, one of the two parties has always emerged as the bulwark against a threat to the constitution. He added that the Democrats are poised to play this role again saying that they will provide the “checks and balances that our country so badly needs.” The announcement was also published on his Twitter account.
For people who have followed Bloomberg over the last few months, these latest developments are hardly surprising. In fact, the former mayor has pledged to shell millions of dollars to support Democrats in their efforts to take control of Congress in the upcoming midterms. Just this month, a super PAC that was largely financed by Bloomberg spent around $2 million in supporting seven women under the Democratic Party running to unseat House Republicans. The move came barely days after Bloomberg confirmed that he was investing over $80 million to support Democratic Congressional candidates. The New York-based billionaire is also putting up an additional $20 million to support Democrats in Senate races.
Despite this, getting the ultimate ticket to run against Trump in 2020 under the Democratic Party could prove very tricky. Although Bloomberg has stood by a number of important liberal stands including gun control and climate change action, there are a few other issues that may muddy the waters in his efforts to win the Democratic base in the country. For instance, in an interview with the New York Times, Bloomberg was quoted castigating Democrats for pushing more controls on big businesses and banks in the US. He also expressed his support one time for the “Stop and Frisk” policy. The controversial policy has been advocated by president Trump too as a way of dealing with escalating crime in the city of Chicago.
In addition to this, Bloomberg will also have to compete with a tough primary line-up that includes established senior Democratic leaders like Bernie Sanders and others. Many analysts believe that it’s very likely that the blue party will retake control of the House. Although the race for the Senate is a little bit tougher, it’s also winnable, especially after the election of Dough Jones in Alabama earlier this year.