Americans opposed to the New York billionaire occupying the White House may soon have the choice of another one: Michael Bloomberg.
The former New York mayor and founder of the eponymous financial information company this week took another step towards a well-choreographed run for the presidency by re-registering his party affiliation as a Democrat.
Mr Bloomberg, who has flirted with White House campaigns before, had already whipped up anticipation by pledging $80m to Democratic candidates for next month’s midterm elections, since topped up to $100m. “That’s a hell of a lot of IOUs,” remarked one former staffer who, like other Bloomberg intimates, believes a presidential run is a foregone conclusion.
Just this week, Mr Bloomberg was in Florida, campaigning alongside Andrew Gillum, the Democratic candidate for governor, for whom he cut a $250,000 cheque. It was one stop in a globetrotting travel schedule that aides expect will have an increasingly domestic focus.
Mr Bloomberg will be 78 in 2020 and this would almost certainly be his last chance at the White House. Donald Trump’s presidency has increased the sense of urgency for a man who worries about the impact of global warming and has expressed disgust at Mr Trump’s embrace of rightwing nationalists.