Mike Bloomberg Is About to Enter the Highly Dangerous Phase 3 of All Fresh, New Presidential Candidates

Just a quick reminder: every primary features a series of interesting “new” candidates. This year Mike Bloomberg is one of them. If they have anything at all going for them,¹ they typically gain popularity at first when no one really knows anything about them; they peak when the media starts running mildly critical stories about them; and then they decline as the oppo starts and the media starts printing the “investigations” it’s been working on for the previous few weeks. Here is a helpful diagram drawn on the back of a paper napkin:

Bloomberg is at the peak of the mostly nontoxic learning phase and just transitioning into the extremely toxic oppo/investigations phase. Today, for example, the New York Times is running a moderately combative story about Bloomberg’s philanthropy while the Washington Post is running a very damaging article about sexist comments and a hostile environment for women at his eponymous company. Meanwhile, the oppo folks are busily dumping audio of Bloomberg making arguably racist comments about stop-and-frisk. Bloomberg is highly likely to lose some of his support over the next couple of weeks, after which he will either recover or he won’t. It all depends on how well everyone else is doing and how good a job reporters and oppo researchers do in digging up damaging material. In any case, there’s no need to panic just yet.

FWIW, this is also approximately where Amy Klobuchar is at. She’s a little less vulnerable than Bloomberg since she’s been in high-profile campaigns before and probably doesn’t have a lot of skeletons waiting to tumble out of her closet, but this is also the stage where people who are sort of interested in her start to learn more about positions she’s taken that maybe they aren’t too thrilled with. Stay tuned!

¹For example, $50 billion.

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You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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