He could have been a contender. Hardly chastened by the drubbing of his climate kook candidates last November, the Democratic sugar-daddy gave some though to running for Barbara Boxer’s seat next year.
Tom Steyer’s decision to pass on California’s 2016 race gave Democrats a moment of quiet bliss. If you paid close attention to what Democrats said about Steyer in election season, you might have been surprised by this. Last year, Steyer spent $57 million of his hedge fund fortune to elect Democrats to the Senate. It didn’t always work–indeed, it made Steyer infamous on the right, a sort of Bizarro Koch brother – but the sacrifices won him the respect of greens and progressives. His NextGen Climate Action had spent money where Democrats were strapped. In the post-Citizens United world, they had their own rich guy.
They still have him but not as a candidate which also makes the GOP sad.
“NextGen spent tens of millions of dollars against me,” said Colorado Senator Cory Gardner, a Republican freshman who won one of 2014’s closest races. “I hope Tom Steyer stops hiding behind his money and puts himself on the front line.”
A primary against the putative favorite AG Kamala Harris would have been clarifying — spelling out how the symbolism of identity politics triumphs over the aspirations of self-financed white guy. Front line for Steyer. He’s not ready for prime time as last November showed