The rumors were true. Billionaire hedge fund manager Tom Steyer is running for president. He joins the already overcrowded field of candidates one day after Eric Swalwell became the first contender to end his campaign, and as Joe Biden watches his lead shrink following a gaffe where he praised two pro-segregation senators.
In a campaign video and a series of tweets, Steyer, who financed a petition campaign and participated in a poorly attended speaking tour to convince Democrats to impeach President Trump, exhorted 'the people' to vote for him in order to take the country back from the special interests and the people who have rigged the system.
Steyer also railed about how politicians have placed 'getting reelected' over 'doing what's right.' Cutting taxes for businesses has "corrupted our country" Steyer said. And he's taken on corporations and won.
It’s true. I’m running for president. pic.twitter.com/u8x2lZah7Z— Tom Steyer (@TomSteyer) July 9, 2019
There's a breakdown in Washington DC, and I don't mean just Donald Trump. I'm talking about corporate money and our broken political system.— Tom Steyer (@TomSteyer) July 9, 2019
Through the important work of @NextGenAmerica and @Need2Impeach, which I will continue to support, I've focused on registering & turning out the #youthvote, and pressuring Congress to hold this president accountable by beginning impeachment proceedings.— Tom Steyer (@TomSteyer) July 9, 2019
But it's not enough.
Our country has been corrupted––openly––while politicians put corporate profits over the needs of their constituents, and focus on getting re-elected over doing what’s right.— Tom Steyer (@TomSteyer) July 9, 2019
I’ve taken on corporations and WON by going directly to the people. And I know we can do it again.
When we come together, we can never be defeated.— Tom Steyer (@TomSteyer) July 9, 2019
We can fix our democracy, and make sure it works for ALL Americans.
We can elect new leaders at the local, state, and federal level.
We can take back the Senate.
But we can only do it together.
Let’s take our democracy back from corporations and special interests, and give it to the people––the way it was always intended.— Tom Steyer (@TomSteyer) July 9, 2019
I'm excited to meet you on the campaign trail soon. Join us at https://t.co/jXtstPHDwJ
Not only is Steyer's message extremely trite and unoriginal, it's also difficult to believe. Steyer is a billionaire hedge fund manager. Not exactly the picture of a populist icon.
Steyer has reportedly decided to invest $40 million of his personal fortune in his campaign, and since Mike Bloomberg and Mark Cuban have opted not to run, Steyer has become the only billionaire in the race (though that could change). But that doesn't make his campaign any less doomed.
Thanks to his financial largesse, Steyer will be able to stick around long after many of the other second-tier contenders have dropped out. So expect his campaign to endure at least through Iowa, which will give us plenty of opportunities to watch embarrassing footage of Steyer ranting to a nearly empty room.