His move to file in the Alabama primary would be a first step toward a presidential bid, which he has not officially decided on.
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is preparing to file paperwork to qualify for the Democratic presidential primary in Alabama, ahead of a Friday deadline. The move would be a first step toward a national campaign, though Bloomberg has not made a final decision to run.
“We now need to finish the job and ensure that Trump is defeated — but Mike is increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well positioned to do that,” longtime Bloomberg aide Howard Wolfson said in an email. “If Mike runs he would offer a new choice to Democrats built on a unique record running America’s biggest city, building a business from scratch and taking on some of America’s toughest challenges as a high-impact philanthropist.”
Bloomberg has engaged in a will-he-or-won’t-he routine for over a decade about running for president, but declined to jump in each time. Earlier this year he was exploring a bid, only to bow out after former Vice President Joe Biden made clear he would run.
Bloomberg will almost certainly not qualify for the next debate in Atlanta on Nov. 20 and he will likely have to spend tens of millions of dollars in the next few weeks to make the debate stage in December, potentially setting a record for campaign spending in a short amount of time. His current wealth is estimated at $52 billion, per Forbes.
Bloomberg and his money have the potential to scramble the Democratic field, where no clear frontrunner has emerged. Asked why Bloomberg changed his mind and whether he was underwhelmed by Biden’s performance on the trail, an aide said that “it’s not about any one candidate.” But the aide added: “He is worried about the state of the Democratic primary campaign and the possibility that we could lose in November. He wants to avoid that more than anything else.”
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