Former Clinton strategist Mark Penn said that there’s logic for ex-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to enter the 2020 race after billionaire Michael Bloomberg signaled his intention to join the race by filing in Alabama.
“There’s still a couple of days here,” Penn said during a Nov. 10 appearance on Fox’s “Sunday Morning Futures.”
“I don’t know whether [Clinton will] look at the Michael Bloomberg thing and say: ‘The field’s too crowded now. I missed my opportunity,’ or the opposite. ‘Wow the field’s weak, I could come in. I could get 165,000 donors, I’m tied with [Joe] Biden in some of these early states…’ There’s still a political logic there for her,” Penn said.
Penn said “political logic” guided Bloomberg’s entrance into the race.
“Unless this field changed, Biden is a frontrunner, but a weak frontrunner, and a lot of the other candidates are too far to the left,” Penn said. “I think Michael Bloomberg saw that opportunity and made a pretty intelligent decision. For him, it’s now or never in terms of running for president, so why not get in and shake up the Democratic Party.”
Some top Democratic activists and donors have been searching for fresh contenders to enter the primary field, citing doubt about the current contenders. Bloomberg and Clinton were at the top of the list. Clinton last week wouldn’t rule out a 2020 bid, claiming she “would’ve been a really good president” if she had won in 2016.
Bloomberg’s thinking in potentially joining the race—prompting the filing in Alabama before the Nov. 8 deadline there—was that Biden is too weak and other candidates are too radical, according to sources and an adviser.
“He thinks Biden is weak and Sanders and Warren can’t win,” a source familiar with Bloomberg’s decision told the New York Post.
“We now need to finish the job and ensure that Trump is defeated—but Mike is increasingly concerned that the current field of candidates is not well-positioned to do that,” Howard Wolfson, a close adviser to Bloomberg, added to The New York Times. “If Mike runs he would offer a new choice to Democrats built on a unique record running America’s biggest city, building a business from scratch, and taking on some of America’s toughest challenges as a high-impact philanthropist.”
President Donald Trump ridiculed Bloomberg in an apparent reference to his height while speaking with reporters on Friday.
“Little Michael will fail. He’ll spend a lot of money” in the election, but he will ultimately not win the presidency, Trump told reporters. “There’s nobody I’d rather run against than little Michael.”
And White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said that the president fears none of the contenders.
“Whoever the ultimate candidate will be will lose,” she said.