His rapid rise in the polls has brought Michael R. Bloomberg a spot on the Democratic debate stage Wednesday in Nevada, a state where he is not even on the ballot. It seems each day now another ghost from his past is unveiled by his rivals.
This is not what the billionaire Mr. Bloomberg, the man who has poured towering piles of cash into liberal causes and candidates for more than a decade has come to expect from prominent Democrats.
Tonight’s debate and the outcome of the March 3 Super Tuesday primaries in California and 13 other states should show how effectively Bloomberg can respond to those allegations about his past when he is confronted with them in person, without a script and before a television audience of millions.
There are a lot of stories out there about him being widely circulated, whether it is his history with ‘stop-and-frisk’ policies, sexual harassment allegations against his company, racist attitude against suspected crimials, gun control policies, and “redlining,” which is discriminating against borrowers in poor, typically minority, neighborhoods. it is somewhat shocking he still polls as strong as he does in the face of all this.
Since he entered the presidential race in late November, Bloomberg’s quick climb in polls has been built on relentlessly inundating voters nationwide with carefully sculpted advertisements and spending unlimited amounts of dollars in those ads.
The debate marks his debut as a candidate competing on the same terms as his rivals, for a night at least. One thing for sure, his opponents don’t lack for material to use.