Bloomberg should be in the Democratic talkfest

Mike Bloomberg has run in four contested primaries or elections for mayor of New York City; each time, he debated his opponent twice. We listened to the first one, which was on radio, and watched seven on TV.

Now, he’s eager to debate his rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination.

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But Bloomberg won’t be on the stage tonight in Des Moines, just 20 days before the Iowa caucuses. He’ll be absent because the Democratic National Committee, which should be trying to find the strongest candidate to beat Donald Trump in November, has really dumb debate qualification standards.

The DNC says to make it to the big show, candidates must register a minimum level of support in national and/or early state polls, which makes sense, and collect contributions from at least 225,000 different people, which doesn’t.

The idea is to encourage candidates to develop a broad-based small-donor fundraising operation. But for a wealthy candidate committed to self-funding his campaign, that’s irrelevant.

To see the fallacy of it all, compare Bloomberg, who didn’t make the cut, with fellow self-funding billionaire Tom Steyer, who did.

Both get over the bar in polling. But only Steyer spent millions on social media ads to cadge contributions of a buck or two, just to satisfy the DNC’s silly criteria.

Bloomberg could ape Steyer’s strategy tenfold if he wanted to. He doesn’t, and we say, good for him.

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The DNC is averse to changing the rules in the middle so late in the game, and for a white billionaire at that. We get the political predicament, but the party of gun safety is shooting itself in the foot.

— New York Daily News

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