In a column for the Daily Beast, former New York Observer editor Elizabeth Spiers was upfront about the fact that she loathes former New York City Mayor Michale Bloomberg, but praised him above all the Democratic presidential candidate contenders for knowing exactly how to get under Donald Trump’s skin and disrupt his drive for re-election.
Setting the record straight, she wrote that she is “…a 20-year New York City resident who lived through the Bloomberg administration and remembers stop-and-frisk, and Bloomberg’s sexism, and his insistence on a third term for himself, despite his repeated claims that he’d already ‘fixed” the city by the end of his second term. I also believe that no one should be able to buy their way into the presidency and that it’s fundamentally anti-democratic to do so.”
But she wrote, noting that she loathes Bloomberg, “If I put my loathing of Bloomberg aside for a moment, there are things that Bloomberg is doing that I believe are and will be incredibly effective. The worst person has some great points—and they should be internalized by Democrats who want to be effective in 2020.”
After adding, “I’m a Warren supporter and my pollster business partner supports Bernie Sanders,” she wrote, “Bloomberg is smart about messaging, not because he’s a Machiavellian genius, but because he runs a successful multinational media company whose growth and profitability has been built on similar strategies and tactics, and there’s a precedent for their efficacy in the commercial sector that is unrecognized or discounted in Democratic politics. “
“Bloomberg understands the power of saturation, which by itself, can make even mediocre messaging effective,” she explained. adding, “And this flood the zone approach works. It is also very forgiving. If Bloomberg makes mistakes with messaging, or some of it falls flat, it doesn’t matter that much because the campaign will barrage voters with newer and more ads immediately, and in a variety of mediums.”
The columnist also pointed out that Bloomberg’s people are also following the Trump model that got him elected in the first place, in addition to paying his people well to create the messages that have made him become a contender at a much later date than the other candidates.
“Bloomberg’s try-everything approach may be familiar to Republicans because it’s essentially what Brad Parscale, Trump’s digital strategist, and now campaign manager, did in the last cycle. Parscale’s messaging wasn’t sophisticated or even particularly good. But there was a lot of it,” she explained. “Bloomberg is willing to spend big, generally, in a way that Republicans often do, but Democrats typically don’t. There are Democratic organizations, both formally and informally connected to the party, that finance the development of campaign technologies and marketing efforts at the early stages, but usually in increments of $10,000 to $50,000, and when those companies manage to pull together prototypes, there’s often no money for follow-up funding.”
“If any candidate is going to pay a few million dollars to get a decent data set that tells him something new about voters, it’s Bloomberg. His core business is built on acquiring and understanding data. On the Democratic side, paying that much for data (or paying for data at all, in many cases) is unconventional. The value isn’t clear to political operatives because they’ve never seen it utilized in politics the way it is in the commercial sector,” she concluded by once again, hoping that someone else running for the Democratic nomination will follow his lead.
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