When former Mayor Michael Bloomberg dropped out of the presidential race in March, he was expected to continue pouring huge sums of money into the effort to defeat President Trump.
Almost five months later, he's done little to support Joe Biden.
About two weeks after his concession speech, Bloomberg abruptly dropped plans to create his own Super PAC and laid off hundreds of staffers who’d been promised jobs through November. Several of them filed lawsuits.
Instead, Bloomberg donated $18 million and office space to the Democratic National Committee. He’s also given more than $11 million to the House Majority PAC in support of House Democrats. And his gun reform group, Everytown for Gun Safety, announced last week it was spending $15 million in eight key states, but mostly on legislative races.
Mostly, Bloomberg has been spending his energy — and money — on the COVID-19 response. Bloomberg Philanthropies has spent $331 million on the effort. Bloomberg's support of New York's contact tracing program earned him praise from local officials, even longtime antagonist Mayor de Blasio.
"Really appreciate that my predecessor, Michael Bloomberg, is stepping up in such a big way for New York City and New York State,” de Blasio said in April.
There’s no questioning Bloomberg’s support for Biden. In his concession speech, he called Biden a friend and “a great American."
"I’ve known Joe for a very long time. I know his decency, his honesty, his commitment to the issues that are so important to our country,” Bloomberg said. "I endorse Joe Biden, and I hope you will join me in working to make him the next President of the United States of America."
In May, Bloomberg invited Biden to address his weekly gathering of mayors from around the country. Earlier this month, he wrote an opinion piece touting Biden’s clean energy plan, but after spending more than $1 billion in the space of barely three months on his own failed presidential bid, it is striking that Bloomberg has yet to open his pocketbook on Biden’s behalf.
It’s unlikely he’ll remain on the sidelines for long. Bloomberg could open the spigot at any moment and unleash a torrent of pro-Biden ads — just as he saturated airwaves across the country with his own ads last winter.
Assuming Bloomberg does put his immense wealth to work helping Biden, there are questions of when, where, how and how much. If the Bloomberg team has answers, they aren’t sharing them publicly for now.