Bloomberg Is In? Inveterate Foe of Sugary Drinks Considering Run for President
Sodas everywhere, beware! Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg — the man who embodied the term "nanny state" by trying to tax, limit, and ban the use of food stamps for sugary drinks — is considering a run for president in 2020.
Fans of soda will read with dread the New York Times report that Bloomberg has sent staffers to gather signatures in Alabama to get his name on the presidential ballot in that state — which has an early filing deadline.
The billionaire businessman and inveterate foe of sugary drinks has not yet decided to impose his nanny state policies on the country, but he's thinking about it. Bloomberg is weighing a 2020 presidential run, an adviser said. He is expected to file campaign paperwork this week.
Bloomberg is likely to run as a (comparative) moderate in the Democratic field. With Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) rising in the polls and open "democratic" socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) standing steady — even receiving the endorsement of socialist darling Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) — a terrified Wall Street would likely welcome the billionaire. (Coca Cola could not be reached for comment.)
Of course, this might make Bloomberg anathema to the rabid progressive base. He also has other liabilities in the Democratic primary: The
Democrat, I mean Republican, I mean Independent, I mean Democrat seems unable to decide what party he'd like to represent. He has also expressed doubt about the #MeToo movement.
The personal Armageddon of soda is unlikely to appeal to any Republicans, either. In addition to his nanny state assault on sugary drinks, Bloomberg started a radical anti-Second Amendment group — Mayors Against Illegal Guns. A former member of the group — Phoughkeepsie, N.Y., Mayor John Tkazyik — outed the organization to the New York Times, saying its purpose is "to promote confiscation of guns from law-abiding citizens." Sure, he's no fan of sanctuary cities, but that's hardly a consolation for his other liberal stances.
Bloomberg may be unable to convince Democrats in the primary or Republicans in the general, just as he was unable to convince New York to tax, ban, or restrict access to soda.
The New York mayor tried and failed to tax sugary drinks. He tried and failed to ban the use of food stamps to buy soda. He tried to limit the size of soda cups to 16 ounces, but a state Supreme Court judge struck down the ban as "arbitrary and capricious."
Sure, Bloomberg's not a socialist, but does any red-blooded American really want this man to supervise the FDA? The Democrats must be desperate indeed to run this nanny state billionaire.
Follow Tyler O'Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.