Nov 25, 2019 - Politics & Policy

What Mike Bloomberg is thinking as he kicks off his 2020 run

Mike Allen
Mayor Bloomberg in 2004
In 2004, Mayor Bloomberg shows off the open-office "bullpen," then revolutionary, that he brought to City Hall. Photo: Ramin Talaie/Corbis via Getty Images

Ignoring early states and refusing donations, Michael Bloomberg is trying an unorthodox route to the Democratic nomination that's based on skipping the usual slog and running a national campaign against President Trump from Day 1.

The big picture: Polling shows a daunting road, but Bloomberg insiders tell Axios the 77-year-old billionaire calculates that he has room to grow rapidly, since his backstory as a businessman, philanthropist and successful New York mayor isn't well known.

Details: One of the tabs on Bloomberg's website, which went live yesterday, is "Getting Stuff Done." The plan is to show him as the antithesis of Trump: programmatic, disciplined, focused.

  • But voters want an emotional connection, one of Bloomberg's challenges.

First look ... Bloomberg today will announce a hot surrogate: journalist and author Tim O’Brien is becoming a senior adviser to the campaign, leaving his role as executive editor of Bloomberg Opinion.

  • The former N.Y. Times reporter and editor got to depose Trump after the mogul sued him in 2006 over O'Brien's biography, "TrumpNation: The Art of Being the Donald." The case was tossed in 2011.
  • From the forthcoming release: "O’Brien will advise the Bloomberg campaign on strategy, policy, and messaging, and serve as a surrogate."

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