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How Will Bloomberg Strategy Play in Texas?

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Texas Tribune
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Michael Bloomberg prepares to bring campaign to Texas.

The Super Tuesday Democratic Party primary presidential race is just a shade less than a month away.

On March 3, Texans will get to vote for who should be the next Democratic nominee for the presidency. The Texas ballot is going to include a name that’s been missing from ballots that will precede this huge political event.

Michael Bloomberg is the man of the hour. Or at least he wants to be the man of the hour – or the man of the primary – at the end of that quite important election.

I am trying to assess whether Bloomberg’s strategy of staying out of the early primary states while concentrating initially on Super Tuesday.

Democrats are going to select a significant majority of their convention delegates that day. Bloomberg wants to gather up most of them. Will his Super Tuesday strategy pay off?

My wife and I watch a good bit of TV during the day in our Princeton home and we see and hear millions of dollars’ worth of ads touting the candidacy of Bloomberg, the former three-term New York City mayor. The latest round of ads includes a spot that features former President Barack Obama saying nice things about the leadership qualities that Bloomberg has exhibited while running the nation’s largest city.

Oh, wait! Joe Biden, the former president’s “brother from another mother,” also is running for the presidency this year. Obama hasn’t endorsed Bloomberg. He also hasn’t endorsed his good friend and former political partner (Biden served as vice president for eight years during the Obama administration). The former president is staying out of the nomination fight. He’ll likely endorse whomever his party nominates this summer.

Bloomberg is opening 11 more campaign offices in Texas. He is hiring hundreds of political workers. He is setting up what they call a “ground game” here. What I’m trying to grasp as Bloomberg’s date with Super Tuesday draws closer is how his platform will play here.

He talks about gun control. He speaks in support of a woman’s “right to choose” whether to remain pregnant. Bloomberg wants to amend the Affordable Care Act, not toss it aside. From what I’ve witnessed in Texas is that (a) Texans don’t want to mess with the Second Amendment, (b) Texans are mostly “pro-life” on the issue of abortion and (c) Texans don’t think much of the ACA.

Michael Bloomberg, though, needs to demonstrate that he’s a real Democrat, as opposed to some sort of faux Democrat who changes his party affiliation to suit the political mood of the moment. I mean, he once was a Republican; then he became an independent; now he’s a Democrat.

What’s more, Hizzoner also once declared his intention to stay out of the 2020 presidential campaign. Now he’s all in.

But … is he? All in?

John Kanelis, former editorial page editor for the Amarillo Globe-News and the Beaumont Enterprise, is also a former blogger for Panhandle PBS in Amarillo. He is now retired, but still writing. Kanelis can be contacted via Twitter @jkanelis, on Facebook, or his blog, www.highplainsblogger.com. Kanelis' blog for KETR, "Piece of Mind," presents his views, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of KETR, its staff, or its members.

Kanelis lives in Princeton with his wife, Kathy.

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