By Molly Jong-Fast
Perhaps Matt Ford put it best when he wrote in the New Republic: “Though he’s mirroring the language of Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and other candidates who are running on themes of inequality and corruption, it’s unclear whether a hedge-fund manager with no experience in elected office is the best evangelist of that message.” In fact, a hedge-fund manger running on the idea of taking money out of politics and committing to use $100m of his own money to get there sort of reminds me of a real-estate “billionaire” who ran for president to represent the forgotten men and women of West Virginia.
One might have thought that someone as successful as Tom Steyer would have been troubled by the many, many people across the internet saying what a terrible idea his presidential run would be. You’d think that the fact that a USC Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll last month said that “71 per cent of voters nationwide who said they would take part in a Democratic primary said they would prefer a ‘DC insider, with national-level political experience’ over an ‘outsider with no political experience’” might dissuade the billionaire. You’d think the incredibly frosty reception that former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz got might have made Steyer think twice, even, but no. Not even the fact that Schultz actually postponed his campaign gave him pause.
No, Tom Steyer has decided that the Democratic party desperately needs yet another white man to fix the problems caused by a white man, and he feels he is just the white man for the job. So he’s planning to blow $100m of his own money to do it. At a time when the Democratic party seems completely uninterested and unimpressed by rich white men, this rich white man has made the calculation that what the Democratic party is greatly lacking in its enormous candidate pool is another rich white man specifically put his riches front and center.