• Dan Rattiner

Shinnecocks Sink Bloomberg

On Monday, Michael Bloomberg, a resident of Southampton and a candidate running for the nomination of the Democratic party for President was asked what he would do for Native American Indian tribes if he became President. This was his reply.

“There’s a Native American tribe right near where I live, the Shinnecock Nation. It is just a disaster. There’s all sorts of problems. I will help them as well because we just can’t have a group where there’s all the domestic violence and drugs and alcoholism. We’ve just got to do something.”

Bloomberg lives on a thirty five acre estate in the Tuckahoe section of Southampton. He drives by the Shinnecock Reservation whenever he comes out east.

It was such an unfortunate and insensitive thing to say and was so widely disseminated that it almost immediately drew a response from the tribe.

In it, they noted that they do have problems, much like many other communities around the country, but after 10,000 years living on their land they had in recent years made great strides in education, health, child care, business, culture, the arts, nutrition, organization and administration and if he, Bloomberg, had taken the time to stop by on his way coming and going, something he hadn’t done in the more than ten years he had been living in town, they could have showed him all the progress they had made. They also pointed out that with all his billions he had never made a single contribution to help the tribe along its way.

This exchange, which carried over on its viral social media trajectory into Super Tuesday, surely put a dent into Bloomberg’s vote total in spite of the fact that he had spent an unprecedented half a billion dollars on marketing and advertising leading up to Super Tuesday.

Bloomberg had intended to spend an additional half a billion on the rest of his campaign, but on Wednesday, he met with his advisors and afterwards announced he was suspending his Presidential run.

Did the Shinnecock Nation just destroy Bloomberg’s campaign for President? Not likely. But it could have been the last straw, the one that broke the proverbial camel’s back.

The result of this, among other things, is that Michael Bloomberg will no longer be spending the additional half billion dollars he intended to spend in the media going forward promoting the rest of his run for President. The media would be disappointed about the loss of that income, but the truth is they get lots of money from many other sources and will get over this loss.

So what will Bloomberg do with all this money he saved? He owes the Nation an apology. Might he do something else? Like pay them a visit? Shake a few hands? Anything else come to mind?


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