The Democrats’ mega-donor of mega-donors has decided to reverse his previous intentions to not run for President and will be announcing his campaign launch on Tuesday, according to a report from staffers at two of his progressive organizations, Need to Impeach and NextGen America.
Steyer, who has donated more to Democrats over the years than anyone, has had a history of preparing to run for office, then backing out at the last minute. He was supposed to run for Senate in 2016 but pulled out. Then, in 2018, he even recorded a campaign video for a gubernatorial run before announcing to the press he decided against it. Much of his staff learned of the reversal through media coverage.
His latest supposed announcement was to run for President in January, 2019, but his Iowa trip turned out to be about him announcing he was not going to run. But rumblings from the radical progressive billionaire lately have stirred renewed anticipation that he might finally pull the trigger. He has been pleased by Jay Inslee and Elizabeth Warren, but the former has yet to be a blip on the radar and the latter has failed to inspire Steyer. Now, it seems he’ll be taking the fate of the Democratic Party into his own hands.
This is a blow to other Democratic candidates, not just because he’d become their 25th competitor but also because they’ve prized his potential as a financial ally in the nomination fight. Now, it seems that they’ll have to seek other billionaires to court unless Steyer drops out early.
Steyer has arguably been the most vocal private citizen opponent to the President. A self-made billionaire, Steyer has accused the President of not knowing how to properly handle the economy. Yet he has no answers when it’s pointed out how well the economy has reacted to Trump’s presidency. Then again, economic success is often different in the eyes of different beholders. Steyer could be seeing the push away from socialism as a detrimental effect of the Presidents time in office.
The environment is Steyer’s biggest focal point outside of attacking the President, which is what drew him to Inslee. This will play well for Steyer if he does decide to run as the Justice Democrats and their Congressional puppets have all said good things about Inslee’s environmental plan. If Steyer is the “green” candidate who is willing to make the Green New Deal a top priority, he could see an instant boost from endorsements by the radical wing of the party.
Despite the late start, Steyer would be a very quick frontrunner if he puts his fortune behind the early task of boosting name recognition. Currently, four of the five frontrunners – Bernie Sanders, Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg, and Warren – are all vying for the progressive vote with Joe Biden representing the Democratic Establishment vote. Steyer would cut into all five’s voter base and could help whittle the field down by sucking the remaining air out of the nomination room. Those who are running on fumes could find their campaigns completely dry up.
If he actually announces a run this time (and you never know with Steyer until it’s official), the dynamic of the race will change. He could become the primary radical in the race very quickly. It all depends on how well he’s received early on.
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