Trump + Business Savvy + Political Craft = Bloomberg

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in at 8/01/2016 05:11:00 PM
The guy in the middle has far more more stature than the one in the red cap.
What's the world coming to when one of the United States' main political parties has nominated a xenophobic, Islam-bashing failed businessman with four bankruptcies being his most notable entrepreneurial achievement? His lack of business savvy is only matched by his status as a political neophyte, having never held elected office before. Plain and simple, this guy is a loudmouth braggart with very little to show for in either business or politics.

And so it came to pass that one Michael Bloomberg made a speech at the Democratic National Convention hitting Trump exactly on these points. Unlike Trump, Bloomberg has wealth far in excess of what Trump (dubiously) claims. Bloomberg has also held office--successfully, by any reasonable evaluation--as the mayor of the United States' most economically important city in New York. If Trump would be envious of anyone, it would be Bloomberg:
In many ways, Bloomberg is what Donald Trump wants to be: a very rich guy who runs a media company and who converted that wealth into political power. Of all of the rich New Yorkers involved in the 2016 campaign, Bloomberg is the richest, worth some $40 billion, four times what Trump says he's worth and 13 times what Bloomberg (the media company) estimates Trump is actually worth. (Hillary Clinton, by contrast, is a lowly millionaire.)
Bloomberg is an ideological centrist in a way that now seems almost quaint, and his endorsement of Clinton on Wednesday night was more an anti-endorsement of Trump. He hammered Trump, questioning his actual wealth, calling him a con man and a hypocrite, and suggesting that Clinton deserved votes because she is "sane" and "mature."
Tweeter (the medium preferred by hucksters for obvious reasons) Trump thus struck back with fallacious put-downs of Bloomberg. But as many have pointed out, Trump used to have all sorts of compliments for Bloomberg when he was mayor of New York.

Trump's refusal to release his tax returns and provide evidence of all his wealth--casts his boastful claims into doubt:
The interest in Mr. Trump’s case is particularly high. He is running for the White House partly as a business wizard, but is he really as rich and talented as he boasts? Is he as philanthropic as he claims with his reputed billions? Has he truly no conflicts of interest in Russia, whose computer hackers he has bizarrely invited to spy on Hillary Clinton, his campaign rival?

These questions are of Mr. Trump’s own making, and a timely release of his tax returns would provide some answers. “There’s nothing to learn from them,” he tried to insist in May, arguing that he would not make the returns public until after an Internal Revenue Service audit is complete. But the I.R.S. says Mr. Trump is free to release the returns at any time and to defend their accuracy, just as President Richard Nixon did while he was undergoing an audit. In the past, Mr. Trump has not hesitated to attack the I.R.S. as “very unfair,” but now he stands before the voters using the agency as a shield against disclosure.
The bottom line is that Michael Bloomberg would have been a far better presidential candidate, harboring moderate, pro-enterprise views. Unfortunately, sane people holding such views do not necessarily do well in US presidential elections. (See Bloomberg's musings on this point.) Unlike Bloomberg, Trump is neither a business mogul nor a politician of stature.