Former Clinton Strategist Says There’s ‘Political Logic’ for Hillary to Run After Bloomberg Joins Race

By Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.
November 11, 2019 Updated: November 11, 2019

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.

Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Biden speaks as Senators Warren and Sanders listen during the fourth U.S. Democratic presidential candidates 2020 election debate at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio U.S.
Former Vice President Joe Biden challenges Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) as Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) looks on during the Democratic Presidential Debate at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, on Oct. 15, 2019. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
Epoch Times Photo
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg at an event on his last day in office, New York City, Dec. 31, 2013. (Samira Bouaou/The Epoch Times)

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.

Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber
Zachary Stieber covers U.S. news, including politics and court cases. He started at The Epoch Times as a New York City metro reporter.