As the Denver Post’s Sam Tabachnik reports:
Presidential hopeful Mike Bloomberg unveiled his plan to increase taxes on the rich Saturday in downtown Denver, touting his effectiveness as mayor of New York and his role in passing gun legislation across the country as he made his case to Colorado voters that he is the man best positioned to defeat Donald Trump in November…
The campaign event came as Bloomberg, who entered the crowded Democratic field in November, has focused on hitting the “Super Tuesday” states, such as Colorado, while eschewing the early voting states where most of the presidential candidates have been camped out for a year.
The 77-year-old has used his vast war chest of personal funds to flood the airwaves with advertisements on the Front Range since entering the race as he builds out the field’s most extensive operations in the state. The new field office on 15th Street and Blake Street marks Bloomberg’s ninth office in Colorado, with more than 50 staffers on the payroll, his campaign said.
Huffington Post’s Ryan Grenoble captures the mood inside Mike Bloomberg’s capacity crowd:
Just after taking the stage at his presidential campaign’s new flagship office in downtown Denver on Saturday, Michael Bloomberg — net worth $61 billion — joked about wanting to find a stand-in so he could instead spend the day at his Vail vacation home.
Instead of alienating the at-capacity crowd in the 5,000-square-foot former Patagonia store, the largely white, slightly older audience gave a knowing laugh.
While Bloomberg’s wealth has drawn scorn from critics who accuse him of attempting to buy the presidency, that concern wasn’t shared by many attendees.
Here’s the crowd as Mike Bloomberg takes the stage in Denver for the opening of his Colorado state headquarters pic.twitter.com/WKgqL2LwSo
— Chase Woodruff (@dcwoodruff) February 1, 2020
So here’s the deal, gentle readers: we’ve been hard on Michael Bloomberg in this space for some years now, and when Bloomberg first announced he was wading into the already-crowded 2020 Democratic presdential primary we were, to put in mildly, unreceptive. With that said, Bloomberg is doing the one thing we would tell every wealthy candidate who wants this fabulously expensive endeavor to actually succeed, which is to go all in.
And Mike Bloomberg is undeniably all in, having already spent almost $200 million since entering the race in late November–an amount of money this early in the race that only be called staggering and unprecedented. By comparison the top fundraiser in the Democratic primary, Sen. Bernie Sanders, had raised only about $34 million at the end of Q4 2019. Bloomberg is reportedly paying several times the going rate for every kind of staffer, from lowly field organizers to campaign management. That’s more money for their time than most rank-and-file campaign workers will ever see, and it’s an offer that many of the state’s best political organizers and consultants simply couldn’t refuse.
The big game is won by buying up the talent, right? That’s the theory.
Bloomberg is targeting Colorado as a Super Tuesday state, which appears to be the main focus of his campaign strategy–sidestepping the earliest races in order to make a strong Super Tuesday showing and calibrate from there. If Bloomberg doesn’t do well on Super Tuesday, it’s likely to be a short campaign. In that event, Bloomberg will have the chance to keep the second part of his promise to Democrats in exchange for consenting to his participation in the primary–to use the massive campaign infrastructure he has built in just a few months to help whoever wins the nomination defeat Donald Trump.
Until then, he’s got the nicest office in town. And we’ll see where this goes.