OK, that headline might be a bit of an exaggeration, but the most recent filing from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) exposes just how much of a disaster Mike Bloomberg’s failed presidential run really was.
While it was clear Bloomberg had been contemplating running for president at least since 2016, and considered entering the current campaign as a Democrat as far back as 2018, he came late to the party for the 2020 race. The anti-gun billionaire filed as a candidate for the Democrat nomination in late November 2019, after more than two dozen Democrats had already launched campaigns, and several debates had come and gone.
Undaunted, or simply out of touch with reality, Bloomberg forged ahead with what would become one of the most spectacularly failed campaigns in US history. In a little more than three months, according to the FEC, he spent more than $1 billion dollars, all out of his own private account. And what did that get him?
First, he bought his way onto the debate stage, in spite of not qualifying until the rules were changed in a way that favored him. His premier was in Las Vegas, where he had one of the worst performances on stage that town has ever seen.
Next came Super Tuesday, when his name first appeared on state Democrat Primary ballots. After having spent several hundreds of millions of dollars to flood the airwaves and clog computers with his ads, Bloomberg finished no higher than third in any state. He did, however, win the American Samoa Democratic Caucus, netting him four delegates out of the 1,991 needed to be the nominee.
The next day, Bloomberg quit.
So, after spending over $1 billion dollars of his own money, far more than any individual has ever spent in US history, the former New York City Mayor never exceeded third place in any state where he was on the ballot. His only victory was in American Samoa; a territory whose annual budget is less than half of what Bloomberg spent in roughly three months.
Democrats may have rejected Mike as a viable candidate to take on President Trump, but he did seem to qualify under one particular political trope; the fiscally-irresponsible politician. At least his embarrassing campaign only put a tiny dent in his own substantial wealth, rather than soaking the taxpayers should he and his policies have ever made it to the White House. For that, perhaps we can all be grateful.