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Bloomberg’s Billion Bucks

Mike Bloomberg ran the most expensive self-funded campaign in American history, and one of the shortest.

Bloomberg ended his campaign March 4. He ran for 102 days and spent one billion dollars. He won 55 delegates, one caucus (American Samoa) and no primaries. He got pilloried by President Trump and Senator Elizabeth Warren, and sullied his personal and corporate reputation with stories of sexual harassment and non-disclosure agreements. All in all, the Bloomberg for President campaign turned out to be a major bust.

Did I mention he spent one billion dollars? That’s about $10 million per day. There are lots of better ways to spend that kind of scratch. I’ll run through a few of them.

Not that we could have expected Mayor Bloomberg to have foreseen the COVID-19 crisis when he entered the race in November, but to translate a billion dollars into “coronabucks,” here’s what he could have bought the nation’s medical community:

  • 50,000 ventilators. That would have surpassed Governor Cuomo’s original bloated projection.
  • 500 million N-95 respirator masks. That would provide 125 masks to every doctor and nurse in the country.
  • 200 million isolation gowns – 50 for every doctor and nurse.

For the general public, Bloomberg’s billion bucks could have bought:

  • 2 billion rolls of toilet paper – enough to thoroughly wipe out the shortage.
  • 333 million 8-ounce bottles of Purell hand-sanitizer – one for every American.
  • 250 million cans of Lysol – two per American household.
  • 80 million months of Netflix – almost one free month per American family.

Some other things the mayor could have bought for a billion dollars:

  • The Miami Marlins, Tampa Bay Devil Rays or the Kansas City Royals.
  • 500,000 shares of Amazon stock or 165 million shares of GE.
  • 80 million pints of Jeni’s Splendid ice cream (at $13 a pop) or 200 million pints of Talenti gelato – a six-month supply for the Pelosi household.

So you see, Mayor Bloomberg could have put his money to far better use. Instead, he spent five times what Bernie Sanders did and 15 times what the Biden Campaign has spent thus far, with nothing to show for it. Don’t feel bad for Mike Bloomberg though. He’s had an inspiring career, built a great company and amassed an amazing fortune. He was a successful mayor of America’s largest city. He still has about $48 billion. And if he ever wants to run another campaign, there’s always Governor of American Samoa.

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