Mike Bloomberg speaks to supporters at a campaign rally in Phoenix, Arizona.

Since former Mayor of New York City and billionaire Michael Bloomberg launched his presidential campaign last November, the state of the Democratic presidential primary has taken a dramatic turn. Once considered an afterthought, Bloomberg is now considered the second leading candidate for the Democratic ticket despite not running in Iowa and New Hampshire.

Bloomberg has put considerable amount of money in his campaign. Bloomberg has spent $233 million on digital and television advertising. Thanks to this spending, 30,000 Bloomberg ads run every minute on Facebook and Google, according to the Washington Post.

I have seen at least a couple of Bloomberg ads, and honestly, I didn’t take them seriously. But after seeing the recent poll numbers, I do now.

Bloomberg is now second place in betting odds to be the Democrat presidential candidate, with 33% according to Real Clear Politics. Bloomberg is running first in Florida and Oklahoma and tied for first in North Carolina and Virginia, according to recent polls.

The fact that a former Republican and loathed billionaire in progressive circles is the runner-up for the nomination should draw attention.

Many people say President Donald Trump changed how you run a presidential campaign. Bloomberg is revolutionizing campaign running and then some.

For decades, the standards for running for a party’s nomination was simple. Enter the race around at least the summer time a year from your party’s nomination, campaign heavily in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, and participate in party debates.

Even Trump, who ran an unusual campaign followed these rules, Bloomberg didn’t follow any of them with the exception of participating in a party debate. Even then, the Democratic National Committee had to change its rules to have Bloomberg on the debate stage.

Thanks to his campaign spending, Bloomberg has been able to go around the norms of political campaigning. I personally don’t see Bloomberg being a billionaire or spending drastic amounts of money into his campaign as problematic as some do. It’s his money.

However, I do find it problematic that Bloomberg is essentially buying his way toward the nomination.

Bloomberg is no better than Trump in terms of character. Bloomberg might not be as bombastic, but his comments suggest he is no different. Past videos of Bloomberg shows him saying damaging statements such as:

  • “There’s this enormous cohort of black and Latino males aged, let’s say, 16 to 25 that don’t have jobs, don’t have any prospects, don’t know how to find jobs, don’t know that the — what their skill sets are, don’t know how to behave in the workplace, where they have to work collaboratively and collectively.” (PBS, 2011)
  • “The of the unintended consequences is people say, 'Oh my God, you are arresting kids for marijuana. They’re all minorities.' Yes, that’s true. Why? Because we put all the cops in the minority neighborhoods. Yes, that’s true. Why do you do it? Because that’s where all the crime is.” (Aspen, 2015)
  • “I could teach anybody, even people in this room, no offense intended, to be a farmer.” (Oxford, 2016)

While Trump changed the game of political campaigning, Bloomberg is outright killing it.