Mike Bloomberg’s official entry into the 2020 Presidential race changes the dynamic more significantly than most people may think, especially those who think he doesn’t have a chance of getting the Democratic nomination.
Even if he doesn’t, Bloomberg could become the spoiler who drowns out the noise coming from inside the Oval Office via what could be the most massive political media campaign ever.
So when Bloomberg says, “I know what it takes to beat Trump,” I think he’s using his financial industry roots, and expressing it as a hedge, because either way, Bloomberg cannot lose.
“I spent my entire life buying media and going up against people who were buying more media,” long-time ad man Donnie Deutsch said this morning on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” adding: “There is a reality that if you spend enough money, you’re going to move the needle.”
Noting that if Bloomberg spends just a tenth of his estimated $50 billion-plus fortune -- the equivalent of his interest for just one year -- on the Presidential campaign, “That’s five times what Donald Trump will be spending.”
Bloomberg’s entry will also settle a debate about whether paid media still matters in politics relative to “earned” media.
“What’s going to happen is, you’re going to start to see [Bloomberg’s] numbers move,” MSNBC’s Deutsch said, pointing at that in just a few days after announcing and beginning to advertise massively, Bloomberg went from “zero to 3%” in national polls, putting him on the same footing as Democratic candidates who have been in the race from the beginning.
“This is going to be a good test to see if that formula still holds true,” Republican political media strategist Liz Mair, added on the “Morning Joe” segment. Noting that her practice focuses mainly on the kind of “earned media” that helped get the incumbent elected in the first place, she said, “I’m not sure that earned media that's organic, that's impressions, exactly corresponds and equates to bought and paid media, so we'll have to see.”
She then made a personal observation that suggested it’s not just about the form of media, but the content conveyed by it:
“The other night when we were sitting at dinner eating Thai food watching our local news in Stamford Connecticut, we saw four Mike Bloomberg commercials that were pretty damn good.”
Whatever the outcome of his Presidential bid, Bloomberg could win by being the guy -- who in retrospect -- really did know how to beat the incumbent.