Presidential hopeful Michael Bloomberg is reportedly considering Hillary Clinton as his running mate, a prospect that evoked laughter from pundits Saturday who called it a terrible idea.
“Choosing Hillary would be the worst possible choice Bloomberg could make,” said Republican strategist Mike Dennehy. “Picking a two-time loser who represents the past will ensure his defeat in the primary.”
Jason Schechter, communications director for the former New York City mayor’s presidential campaign, said in a statement to the Herald, “We are focused on the primary and the debate, not VP speculation.”
But speculation that Bloomberg would tap the former secretary of state to join his ticket ran rampant Saturday after Drudge Report cited a source close to the campaign saying the former mayor was eyeing Clinton as a running mate.
Two New Yorkers — Clinton calls Chappaqua, N.Y., home — on the same ticket could create a potentially tricky situation in the Electoral College.
But Bloomberg is reportedly considering changing his official residence to homes in Colorado or Florida to avoid the issue.
Still, Clinton remains unpopular among some factions of the Democratic Party.
The latest University of Massachusetts Lowell poll of likely New Hampshire Democratic primary voters showed just 47% of survey takers viewing Clinton favorably and 38% viewing her unfavorably in a state where she beat President Trump in 2016.
“Clinton’s favorables are quite low even among Democratic primary voters,” said John Cluverius, a UMass Lowell political science professor and former political operative. “There’s a sense that primary voters — as much as they have staked a lot of arguments in 2020 as rehashes of 2016 — the last thing they want to do is re-fight 2016.”
Cluverius questioned whether Clinton would even accept an offer given their policy differences, and said the report Saturday seemed “like a publicity grab more to me than anything else” after days of negative coverage about Bloomberg’s stop-and-frisk policy and his alleged previous comments about female employees at his company.
Bloomberg tweeted Saturday after a Washington Post article resurfaced allegations against him, “I would not be where I am today without the talented women around me. I’ve depended on their leadership, their advice and their contributions. As I’ve demonstrated throughout my career, I will always be a champion for women in the workplace.”
Still, Cluverius said, “A ridiculous Bloomberg story is probably better than a negative Bloomberg story.”
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