Trump’s instincts about politics are so good, but his instincts about people are so bad. So it’s confusing…
And we’re afraid we’re getting too hung up on Bloomberg ourselves, after devoting an entire piece to him late last week, despite the fact that he’s only showing a smattering of popular support so far. But that was before Trump zeroed in on the former New York mayor in a series of weekend Tweets.
And this may also be our last chance to write about something other than Trump’s trial for a while. Or maybe not! That’s if the trial goes only a couple of days, as according to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s lickety-split plan released late Monday. Meanwhile, Trump’s just split for the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, a gathering he’s repeatedly disparaged (actually, correctly in our opinion) and even once snubbed, but now he’s off to like he hasn’t got a care in the world. “We are now NUMBER ONE in the Universe, by FAR!!“, he asserts in his take-off Tweet.
So let’s stick to Trump’s musings about Democratic candidates. If you riffle through his Tweets of late, you’d probably come away with the impression we did: he’s most afraid of Bloomberg, least afraid of Bernie Sanders.
In fact, over the weekend, on Twitter, those were the only two Democratic candidates he mentioned at all. (Of course he may have had other things on his mind. See impeachment.) But nothing even about Elizabeth Warren; usually a favorite target. Nor Mayor Pete, though Trump normally relishes making fun of his appearance. Nor Amy Klobuchar, who frankly Trump doesn’t spend much time Tweeting about anyway, but you’d think maybe he would after she was co-endorsed for the nomination this weekend by the New York Times, along with Elizabeth Warren. Which is completely ridiculous, and actually seems to us to bode well for Trump: if the New York Times editorial board can’t set their differences aside and settle on a single, agreeable nominee, how do they expect Democrats to without splintering or a whole bunch of non-voters again because they didn’t get the nominee they wanted. It really doesn’t set a very good example. On the other hand, who cares about newspaper endorsements anymore anyway? That has nothing to do with fake news. Just that people no longer look to their favorite editorialists for guidance on whom to vote for we don’t think: they go to Google, and Twitter, and Facebook. Hell, maybe even TikTok, who knows?
So getting back to where we began: what makes us think Trump at least, might be afraid of Bloomberg? Because he says he’s least afraid of “Mini Mike Bloomberg”, and that Bloomberg’s ads questioning the President’s achievements and touting his own are “Fake, just like him!“. And accusing him of not taking the debate stage with other Democratic candidates because:
Which means if nothing else, Trump’s paying very close attention to Bloomberg’s campaign. And particularly his strategy, and particularly his timing, and particularly his money. Or at the other extreme, he’s worried Bloomberg could beat him if he gains enough momentum. Maybe even at his own game.
Trump often says he’s least concerned about the things he’s most concerned about. Just as he says he really wants his people to testify at his impeachment trial while at the same time blocking his people from testifying at his impeachment trial.
What makes us think he sees Bernie Sanders as his least threatening potential opponent? His insistence that Sanders is being treated unfairly by the Democratic party, and the primary process is rigged to keep him from being the nominee. How? By deliberately manipulating the scheduling of Trump’s trial to a time Sanders should be out on the road with many key caucuses and primaries coming up. Senators are required to stay at their desks and in Washington for the duration of the trial. Rendering Trump’s whole impeachment, according to Trump, just a ploy to keep Bernie Sanders off the campaign trail and hand a huge advantage to Joe Biden, who doesn’t currently hold office:
Sanders had a great response:
But sounds like Trump would mind much less having Sanders than Bloomberg as an opponent. Unless, of course, that’s what he wants you to think and is counting on his “support” for “crazy Bernie” driving voters away, or at least driving the Democratic field into further disarray. If he’s trying to accomplish the latter, he may be on point. The former, not so much: because hard-core Sanders supporters don’t get driven away any more easily than do hard-core Trump supporters.