It looks like billionaire presidential candidate Tom Steyer is heading to North Carolina this weekend. Steyer is going to North Carolina Central University to talk about his plan for HBCUs. He’s going to McDougal Terrace in Durham, the public housing complex that had to be evacuated this week because of high levels of carbon monoxide. He’s going to the women’s shelter to discuss homelessness and then to dinner with the Hispanic caucus. On Sunday, he’s going to Goldsboro for Reverend William Barber’s Forum on Poverty.
Steyer is clearly trying to poach Joe Biden’s base of black voters. Most of the events focus on African Americans and from what I’ve heard, he’s reaching out to black elected officials across the state. He’s probably doing the same in South Carolina. He’s been dominating the airwaves in that state and a poll yesterday indicates it’s working. He’s in second place with 15%, though he still trails Biden by 21 points. That will qualify him to be on stage in this month’s debate.
Steyer is really running a vanity campaign. He appeared on the public radar when he launched a campaign to raise awareness about climate change. Many, if not most, of his ads used him as the spokesperson. And of course we should listen to him since he’s a billionaire. When he tired of that campaign, he switched to impeachment, pandering to the left flank of the Democratic Party and calling for impeachment long before Congress should have entertained it. Again, his face was central to the effort. Clearly, the man likes to hear himself talk.
Steyer has no real record of public service. He’s never served in government or run for office. He did make a ton of money, though, and today that seems to be a qualifying trait to serve as president. It’s worked out so well with Trump.
I suspect his campaign will really result in a massive waste of money. Unlike Mike Bloomberg, who is putting much of his money into registering voters, Steyer is only concerned about Steyer. As for his campaign to reach African American voters, he may peel a few off of Biden through big ad buys, but he’s talking to a community that has long watched white politicians swoop in to promise the world and who deliver little or nothing. They’ll stick with Biden because of his track record, not his promises.
Thomas Mills is the founder and publisher of PoliticsNC.com. Before beginning PoliticsNC, Thomas spent twenty years as a political and public affairs consultant. Learn more >