Tom Steyer, the other billionaire who had decided, for some reason known only to him, to run for president became the first victim of Joe Biden’s blow out victory in South Carolina. According to Fox News, Steyer explained his reasoning to a crowd of supporters.
“We were disappointed with where we came out. I think we got one or two delegates from congressional districts, which I thank South Carolina for. But I said if I didn’t see a path to winning, that I’d suspend my campaign. And honestly, I can’t see a path where I can win the presidency.”
One woke billionaire down, one more to go, maybe.
Steyer promised that he would remain involved in politics and suggested that any of the other Democratic candidates (even Bernie Sanders!) would be better than President Donald Trump. Thus, after spending $250 million on what many thought was a long-shot campaign for the presidency, Steyer got a third-place finish in South Carolina, a state which he had set store in for jump-starting his campaign.
Steyer got a typically contemptuous sendoff from President Donald Trump, the billionaire who actually won the presidency, on Twitter.
“Tom Steyer who, other than Mini Mike Bloomberg, spent more dollars for NOTHING than any candidate in history, quit the race today proclaiming how thrilled he was to be a part of the Democrat Clown Show. Go away Tom and save whatever little money you have left!”
The Hill noted that the day before the South Carolina Primary, Steyer made his case at Allen University, a traditionally black college, in what turned out to be a vain attempt to peel off some of the African American votes that Joe Biden enjoyed. After the speech, the rapper Juvenile performed “Back that Azz Up” to which Steyer danced in what most observers noted was a cringe-worthy spectacle. The display suggested the desperation the candidate was feeling as the polls kept suggesting that he was going to fall short.
Tom Steyer had an unusual pitch for his campaign for the presidency. He made his billions as a hedge fund manager, investing in, among other things, the coal industry and private prisons. At some point in his life, he became woke as the millennials say, and divested himself from the more problematic industries and tried to reinvent himself as an environmentalist and a progressive.
A local Denver TV station interviewed Steyer about his agenda. He is in favor of something resembling the Green New Deal in which he advocated eliminating the fossil fuel industry by government fiat. He admitted that he used to be in favor of hydraulic fracking, but now has turned against that oil and gas extraction technique as well.
Steyer, like Bernie Sanders, also favored a wealth tax, even though it would prevent future generations from building successful businesses as he did. The proposal opened himself to accusations of hypocrisy. He was, in effect, proclaiming, “I got mine, but you can’t have yours.”
Yahoo News noted that Steyer also came out in favor of slavery reparations. The idea, which has gotten some traction in recent years, suggests that the descendants of slaves in America are owed some form of compensation for the suffering of their ancestors. The idea is similar to reparations that were paid to Japanese Americans who were imprisoned in concentration camps during World War II by the United States government.
Slavery reparations remains a toxic, fringe issue for several reasons. First, no one living today in the United States has been a slave and no one has owned slaves. People who had never owned slaves and likely did not have ancestors who owned slaves would be asked to cough up money to people who may or may not have slave ancestors. How such a system could be set up and managed is a matter of contentious debate.
Many political pundits suggested that Steyer was engaged in pandering, attempting to garner more African American votes. The attempt, noting the results of the South Carolina primary, was in vain.
What Steyer will do with himself going forward is a matter of speculation. He could use his wealth to support the eventual Democratic presidential candidate, or he will not if that man in Bernie Sanders since he has repudiated support by billionaires.
Meanwhile, Mike Bloomberg, the other woke billionaire, remains in the race and shows no signs of stopping.