Bloomberg declines to run; aides essentially admit plan to sandbag Sanders

By now, many news-aware folks here have likely heard that Bloomberg is officially declining to enter the 2016 Presidential race as an independent. That’s good news for Team Blue; although Bloomberg’s been a member of both parties over the years, he’s a staunch supporter of gun control and would almost certainly have siphoned more Democratic and Democratic-leaning independents than he would have Republicans. His stated justification is that he’s afraid of enfranchising Trump. But…

The telling excerpt from this NY Times article is a anonymized comment from one of his would-be staffers:

Had both Mr. Trump and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont appeared headed toward victory in the Republican and Democratic presidential primaries, Mr. Bloomberg was determined to run, according to his advisers, several of whom insisted on anonymity to speak candidly about confidential discussions.

Bloomberg’s proto-campaign was always intended as a way to sandbag Sanders. You can view that in any of several ways, depending on whether you’re a Sanders supporter (the establishment fears the Bern!) or a Sanders opponent (proof that the country isn’t ready for a shift left in the Sanders image). But it is what it is, and if we are to run a Sanders-esque candidate in future, we’ll need to prepare for this sort of thing.