Speculation about a potential Michael Bloomberg presidential campaign has been running wild since the former three-term New York mayor filed papers last week to declare himself a Democratic presidential candidate.
Now Bloomberg has officially declared his candidacy for the 2020 presidential election, writing on Twitter that he had joined the race to “defeat Donald Trump and rebuild America”:
Much of Bloomberg’s potential campaign is a bit of a cipher on some of the race’s most hot-button issues, from foreign policy to immigration. We know he’s estimated to be worth more than $50 billion, but the benevolent-billionaire angle doesn’t appear to be working too well for Tom Steyer, who didn’t make much of an impact in the fifth Democratic debate.
Bloomberg may have trouble energizing New Yorkers who regard him unfavorably for his continuation of Giuliani-era city gentrification through measures like stop-and-frisk policing. (Bloomberg has apologized for stop-and-frisk, but that doesn’t necessarily help the disproportionately black and Latinx victims who were targeted by the policy in the first place.)
In a race with no clear frontrunner as of yet, Bloomberg might have to work overtime to distinguish himself. While candidates like Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren are reaching young voters by embracing Medicare for All to varying degrees, Bloomberg’s approach to public health has been more single-issue based; Bloomberg Philanthropies has committed nearly $1 billion during the past 12 years to combat tobacco use worldwide. Bloomberg was a proponent of the sugar tax, but he has been reluctant to embrace Medicare for All, instead focusing on an expansion of existing health care systems.
Some of Bloomberg’s political interests, like gun control and renewable energy, seem likely to win him centrist Democratic support, but a potential snag in Bloomberg’s campaign is his extension of term limits as New York mayor; how will he reach an ardently anti-Trump crowd when he shares multiple qualities—including vast personal wealth and disregard for political norms—with the current president?
Originally Appeared on Vogue