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Eric Reads The News is a daily humor column which skewers politics, pop culture, celebrity, shade, and schadenfreude.


After rolling up on the Democratic primary with the same energy of the friend who shows up late to the club, insists on bottle service, and then says huffily, “Fine, if you’re going to be weird about it, I’ll just pay!”, Michael Bloomberg has taken his half-finished magnum of Cristal and gone home. After a disappointing showing in the Super Tuesday primaries, Bloomberg announced he was suspending his campaign. Some would say this puts the nail in the coffin of his presidential ambitions, but he assured supporters he was not gone; he’d simply stepped into another room in his 22,000-square-foot house.

Having dropped a cool half a billion dollars, Bloomberg tweeted that he was leaving the race for the same reason he got into it: “to defeat Donald Trump.” Ah, yes, much to be inspired by here. This is a tactic from the Force Majeure school of politics. He’s like “I wasn’t running away from the avalanche; I was running toward the other side of the avalanche.” Whomst among us hasn’t spend the GDP of Tonga to achieve the opposite of what we set out to do? Mike Bloomberg’s like “I said I wanted to be president but I also never said I didn’t want to be president. Anyway, I gotta go dust my wine cave.”

I will say, I feel it’s a grave injustice that Bloomberg’s campaign ended before he got to my state because I was very interested in attending one of his rallies with catered food and an open bar. Would I have voted for him? Not if he was the last billionaire on Earth. But, like my icon JLo in Hustlers, I will let him buy me cocktail and throw dollars at my feet. This is America! Alas, the former mayor tried to buy his way into the White House but found himself blue-lined into another neighborhood.

My thoughts today are with the people of American Samoa who gave Bloomberg his only first place win. One must truly admire the deep chaotic energy of the U.S. territory that was like “You won’t give us any electoral votes? Fine. Scrooge McDuck is your president. No take backs!” One does wonder, however, how Bloomberg earned 175 votes in American Samoa and Tom Steyer earned none. What does a billionaire have to do to get some respect around here? Perhaps things would have been different if Steyer hadn’t backed that azz up into private life last week. But now we’ll never know.

Instead we have the rise(?) and fall of Bloomberg’s quixotic campaign. A campaign, we should remember, that included a million-dollar ad buy during the CBS show God Friended Me in which the candidate addressed the nation on coronavirus, despite the fact that he had no additional knowledge of nor administrative authority over the response to this particular public health challenge. Bloomberg stood in a sunny, Oval Office-esque room, perhaps from the set of Scandal, and reminded the public of his past successes in mitigating crises and, reader, I came away reassured. “What a good president,” I said to the person next to me in line to buy one gallon of Purell, 10 gallons of Ben & Jerrys, and one Emergen-C. “It seems he has everything under control in whatever fictional universe this is. So glad I can relax for a bit and go back to complete dissociating.”

Truth be told, I want more cosplay from our presidential candidates. Yes, we futilely demand that they seem sage, commanding, wise, personable, life-like, and apparently male all at the same time; yes, we require that career politicians travel the campaign trail doing half-hearted Bill Pullman in Independence Day impressions. But what if we opened up the field a little bit? (After all, as the beginning of Independence Day tells us, Bill Pullman’s approval rating was abysmal.) Aim higher, pretend presidents! We need a presidential candidate who will spend half a billion dollars pretending to be Rihanna! We need a presidential candidate who will leave private life in the quest to convince the public they are actually Lin-Manuel Miranda as Alexander Hamilton! We need a presidential candidate who will do a Primary-long Snatch Game performance as Dolly Parton, the only billionaire who can truly bring our country together. This is the American way!

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