At a press conference in Los Angeles on Monday, former New York City Mayor and Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg announced that California would serve as a model for running the country should he become president.
“I think that California can serve as a great example for the rest of this country,” said former Mayor Bloomberg at the opening of his campaigns Los Angeles headquarters.
Bloomberg noted that California’s efforts on climate change, gun control, and criminal justice reform were second to none, and that the rest of the nation should follow their lead.
Bloomberg did mention the housing crisis and the homeless crisis, as well as other issues California is currently trying to solve. But Bloomberg insisted that overall California works and that the Golden State is “something the rest of the country looks up to.”
“Bloomberg was a late entry into the Democratic race, so he didn’t get a foothold in states like Iowa and New Hampshire,” explained former political strategist Casey Larkin. “California is his line in the sand and he’s going all in on it, similar to how Rudy Giuliani always started with Florida in previous Republican primaries.”
“He’s saying this simply as a way to get California voters on his side. Notice how he specifically praised California’s gun control and their stance on global warming. He may personally believe it, but he mentioned the issues the resonate the strongest among California democrats who live in major cities. That’s who he’s going for. It’s a New York City strategy to target urban areas and miss the rest.”
“He’s also going after the bases of the other candidates, all of whom aren’t here. They’re in Iowa mostly. He wants to get a lot now to make it a surprise when they get back here and make it an early shock with to carry momentum. So it’s also a play from George McGovern’s ’72 playbook.”
Bloomberg’s efforts also directly attack President Trump, who has been vocal in his criticism of California policies including climate change and environmental issues.
Bloomberg will continue his sweep across California in the coming weeks. He has opened up several campaign offices already in places like Los Angeles and Riverside, with many more to come. He has also poured millions of dollars into a TV advertising blitz targeting people who may not know who he is.
“It’s California focused all the way,” continued Larkin. “And he’s sucking up to California. But if he does well here and goes on to campaign in other states, what will they think about his California comments? What would Southern states think of his backing of California’s gun policy? What will factory heavy states think of California’s environmental standards?”
“This is a gigantic risk pushing California’s policies on a pedestal like this. He could get California, but at the risk of a lot of other states.”