Across the Aisle: Michael Bloomberg at the DNC
Michael Bloomberg, Briefly
Michael Bloomberg was a household name in the early 00s. While most people will know him for taking up the reins of New York as mayor right after 9/11, many people have a vague idea that the guy's pretty rich. Bloomberg has an immigrant background and he grew up in Boston, but moved to New York after college and has stayed there ever since. Bloomberg founded the financial trading logistics and analytics company Bloomberg L.P. in 1981 and today it's one of the biggest of its kind. Bloomberg L.P. now has a workforce of nearly 20,000 and revenue of nearly 10 billion, it has since expanded into media and technology services. Michael Bloomberg himself has been famous for being politically ambiguous, he ran on a Republican platform in his first term as mayor, later switching to an independent platform for his second. Bloomberg takes a socially and morally progressive stance on gun control, abortion rights, and same-sex marriage. However, he is fiscally conservative shown in his advocacy of free trade, small business, and a balanced budget. With his wealth and the amount of public philanthropy he's done and the status he had as New York's mayor, it's no surprise Bloomberg's name and his word carries a lot of weight in political theater. It might have come as a surprise, however, that Bloomberg chose to endorse Hillary instead of a fellow businessman, Trump.
The Full Transcription of Michael Bloomberg's 2016 Speech can be found here.
What He Said:
Here are a few key quotes from the speech:
"to explain why I believe it is imperative that we elect Hillary Clinton as the next President of the United States. "
This quote's simple. Michael Bloomberg does not beat around the bush very much, in the first two paragraphs he gives the speech's motive and direction. He makes it clear that even though he isn't a staunch democrat he isn't going to pull a Ted Cruz and make a big splash by speaking against Hillary Clinton.
"I don't believe either party has a monopoly on good ideas or strong leadership ... I look at the candidate, not the party label ... not many people in this room can say that, but I know there are many watching at home who can... "
This is a very important part of the speech. It's all too easy for independent voters who haven't made up their minds to look at the speeches given by hot-blooded and passionate actors and celebrities at the RNC and say that "they don't know what they're talking about, they'll blindly follow Trump/the Republican party". It's also all too easy for those voters to look at the speeches given by government insiders and Hillary's 'pet generals' and say "they'll vote for Hillary no matter what, those in power tend to want to stay in power," But here's a man who doesn't hold any public position anymore, who's extremely smart and has proven to be a man who votes on principle. He's directing this speech not really towards Democrats or Republicans, but the undecided roughly 15-20%.
"Now, we've heard a lot of talk in this campaign about needing a leader who understands business. I couldn't agree more. I've built a business, and I didn't start it with a million-dollar check from my father ... I've often encouraged business leaders to run for office because many of them share that same pragmatic approach to building consensus... I'm a New Yorker, and New Yorkers know a con when we see one! Trump says he'll punish manufacturers that move to Mexico or China, but the clothes he sells are made overseas in low-wage factories. He says he wants to put Americans back to work, but he games the U.S. visa system so he can hire temporary foreign workers at low wages. He says he wants to deport 11 million undocumented people, but he seems to have no problem in hiring them. What'd I miss here?!"
Bloomberg further appeals to Independents and some Trump voters by saying that he understands the appeal of a businessman for president. He transitions it quickly and seamlessly to a poke at Trump, much to the applause of the crowd. He then builds up a little bit of criticism of Trump and then drops the line that defined his speech. "I know a con when I see one" He calls Trump out on the one thing that many have neglected to and on the one thing where he can't really respond to his hypocrisy.
"Over the course of our country's proud history, we have faced our share of grave challenges, but we have never retreated in fear. Never...America is the greatest country on Earth... this election is not a choice between a Democrat and a Republican, It's a choice about who is better to lead our country right now: better for our economy, better for our security, better for our freedom, and better for our future. There is no doubt in my mind that Hillary Clinton is the right choice this November."
Bloomberg ends his speech off strongly and takes some more subtle jabs at Donald Trump, stating that America is (still) the greatest country in the world and calling attention to his fearmongering and giving examples as to how it is against the American spirit to raise fear. He then rounds the whole thing out by giving some reasons why Hillary would be the best choice for America.
The Full Speech
What Bloomberg Did
Bloomberg targeted a number of demographics with his speech and it is just what Hillary needed to boost her campaign to the next level.
"Let me thank all of you for welcoming an outsider here to deliver what will be an unconventional convention speech."
- Bloomberg's speech was a break from the norm of Washington insiders, veterans, and powerful generals. He isn't a Democrat or a Republican, he's just a man like you and me.
"When I enter the voting booth each time, I look at the candidate, not the party label."
- Bloomberg states straight out that Hillary Clinton is the candidate for him and that it's imperative that you join him in voting for her, this draws in the Independents and 3rd party voters.
"I'm a New Yorker, and New Yorkers know a con when we see one!"
- Bloomberg says, with humor and some truth that he knows a con when he sees one and Donald Trump is a conman who manipulates his voters. People don't like being lied to and this calls out to the more open-minded Trump voters to see what the man they're voting for is really like.
"There is no doubt in my mind that Hillary Clinton is the right choice this November."
- He wraps the speech up by endorsing Clinton in very clear language yet again and urges the voter to make the "right choice" this November, whether you have to cross party lines or get registered to do so.
Bloomberg knows and knows that many know that neither Hillary nor Trump is perfect, but has realized that from his perspective, if it's the choice of a dishonest and rather sleazy war-centric Democrat who is running on a progressive platform VS a dishonest and rather sleazy businessman "Republican" who is running on the "trust me I'm a billionaire" platform, it would be an insult to him as a businessman and a billionaire to elect Trump. It also appears that many people agree with his pragmatic and rather unbiased look at things. On the 27th, the day when Bloomberg spoke, Trump was 7% ahead in an USC poll. By the 28th Rasmussen had Hillary up by 1%, by the 29th Reuters had Hillary up by 5% and by the time I uploaded this Hub every single large general election poll was in Hillary's favor.
I guess it takes a businessman to beat one.