Editor’s Note: Arick Wierson is an Emmy Award-winning television producer and former senior media adviser to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He currently advises political and corporate clients in the United States, Africa and Latin America. You can follow him on Twitter @ArickWierson. Bradley Honan is the CEO of Insights & Strategy, a Democratic polling and analytics firm. He was formerly a senior executive at the political consulting and polling firm Penn, Schoen and Berland, which conducted polling for Bloomberg’s mayoral campaigns. Follow him on Twitter @BradleyHonan. The views expressed in this commentary belong solely to the authors. View more opinions at CNN.
There will come a day when Donald J. Trump is no longer the President of the United States. For hopeful Democrats, that day can’t come soon enough; for the millions of Americans who comprise Trump’s base, he deserves to be President for two full terms – if not more.
While no one can predict how long Trump remains in the Oval Office, it’s safe to say his successor will face a challenge unlike any other in the modern era.
As the country careens towards impeachment, the US faces a pivotal moment in history. Even if the Republican-controlled Senate does not vote to convict and remove the President, the proceedings will inevitably stretch our country’s political divide into a gaping chasm in ways we have not seen for generations.
Michael Bloomberg – the no-nonsense businessman who righted New York City after the September 11 attacks – is reportedly weighing whether to throw his hat in the ring. While Bloomberg may choose to enter the Democratic presidential primary with less than one year to go until Election Day 2020, he is precisely the elixir that America needs to heal itself in a post-Trump world.
Who fares a better chance at uniting the country than a man who has registered as a Democrat, Republican, and Independent? What candidate is better positioned to restore faith in the media than someone who founded a global news organization that is seen as politically neutral? Who else has both the serene disposition and the courage to take on big global issues with bold moves?
Although impeachment might be a unifying force among Democrats and some independents, Americans are still largely split along party lines on whether to impeach and remove President Trump. And more than a third of all Americans approve of Trump’s job as President.
Bloomberg has plenty to offer Americans on both sides of the aisle.
For those enamored with the mirage of Trump as a successful businessman – enter Bloomberg, a man whose net worth vastly outnumbers that of Donald Trump’s. For those craving a progressive candidate, Bloomberg has long supported gun control and taken bold strides to fight climate change. And for those looking for a leader who will stop picking silly fights that might endanger the global economy, look no further than the man who brought global financial markets into the digital age.
After Watergate, America opted for a little-known politician from Georgia named Jimmy Carter. As a former Navy vet and peanut farmer, Carter represented an honest everyman, and voters wanted a caretaker who could mind the country while it licked its wounds from the Nixon era.
With an eye on winning the 2020 election, many Democrats are hoping to swing the political pendulum to the left by bringing in a radical firebrand to undo the Trump Administration’s legacy and propel the country in an entirely new direction. But after a chaotic presidency, the country may be yearning for a return to normalcy.
What we need is a leader like Bloomberg, who can resurrect America’s standing in the world, reaffirm our long-held alliances, and get government to work. After Trump, Americans could do with a leader like Bloomberg, who can dignify the role of President of the United States while making tough calls in the Situation Room. Above all, America will want a President whose integrity is unimpeachable and whose ethics are beyond reproach. We both worked closely with Mike Bloomberg for nearly a decade and saw first-hand how this self-made billionaire-turned political leader not only brought New York out of the ashes of 9/11, but oversaw the great 21st century cultural and economic renaissance of America’s largest and most complex city.
Bloomberg is the antidote to President Trump; while Trump always finds new ways to lower the bar, we are confident that Bloomberg will bring a sense of élan and grace to the most powerful office in the world. Trump is famous for surrounding himself with dubious characters and then throwing them under the bus when things get too hot; Bloomberg is known for elevating those around him, hiring the best and most competent leaders, and empowering them to do their jobs. And unlike Trump, Bloomberg sees his wealth as a vector for philanthropy and giving.
He may not be as flashy as Trump, or as buoyant as Elizabeth Warren, but America doesn’t need another showman – we need someone who can restore faith in our democracy and our place in the world. They want someone at the helm who will keep the ship on course. They want to know everything will be OK.
It appears Mike Bloomberg may be preparing to run for President of the United States – and that could be what America will need most once Trump leaves the national stage.