Former New York City Mayor Micheal Bloomberg held his first Presidential campaign rally at the Sheraton in Midtown, Manhattan Wednesday night. The event marked the launch of the “Women for Mike” campaign, Bloomberg’s push to mobilize females in his 2020 bid to defeat President Donald Trump.
“All of my success in life, everything I’ve done, is thanks to the women around me,” Bloomberg said in his opening remarks. The global business icon thanked his late mother and partner Diana Taylor, who gave a brief speech on his behalf, for being the first “Women for Mike”, and supporting his campaign back in 2001.
“A lot has changed in those two decades,” Bloomberg smirked. “Back then, Donald Trump was just a failed businessman who desperately wanted to be on TV.”
“Well, I guess not much has changed, actually,” he said.
Several women spoke as a buildup to Bloomberg, including actress Lorraine Bracco, Fatima Shama, a former New York City official who is working for Bloomberg’s campaign, and Shenee Johnson, the mother of a teenage boy who was killed by gun violence.
Former Manhattan Borough President C. Virginia Fields, who also spoke, encouraged all 1,000 attendees to chant “defeat Trump”.
Each ‘Woman for Mike’ aired their discontent for the current president, followed by why they think Bloomberg can beat him, and finally, why every woman should support him. Specifically, they discussed the former mayor’s record on issues important to Democratic voters, including education, climate change, and gun control.
Although the evening was intended to highlight the importance of female voices in politics, every speaker ultimately gave the floor to blast Trump.
Bloomberg doesn’t hide the fact that his campaign is a direct response to the Trump phenomenon. The philanthropist was introduced by climate activist and student Amee Kapadia, who grew up near a coal plant that wreaked havoc on her health. The crowd cheered as Amee discussed how her experience contributed to Bloomberg’s action to end American reliance on coal and combat the climate crisis.
Last week, on Jan. 9, Trump held a rally in Toledo, Ohio, during which he mentioned the same topic in a different light. “While every Democrat running for President wants to shut down our coal mines, we are putting our miners back to work,” Trump boasted.
Bloomberg is seemingly unaffected by criticism. The push to involve women in his campaign comes as Bloomberg navigates lawsuits that accuse him of making crude remarks at work in the 1990s and fostering an uncomfortable work environment for women. Bloomberg has denied the allegations, as well as women’s requests to be released from non-disclosure agreements.
Rather than focus on the past, Bloomberg has promised actions he said would benefit women, including working with Congress to codify Roe v. Wade, which legalized abortions, supporting funding for Planned Parenthood, and an initiative to improve maternal health, especially among women of color.
Bloomberg’s wealth and connections have almost allowed him to transcend the primary election altogether. He can’t take part in primary debates because Bloomberg’s presidential campaign is self-funded, and the DNC requires a certain number of individual donors for a candidate to qualify.
The extravagant ‘Women for Bloomberg’ event represents the beginning of what could look like a “tale of two campaigns”; Bloomberg vs. Trump.
“When we defeat President Trump in November,” Bloomberg ended, “I know it will be because women rose up to say, ‘Enough.”