In this Feb. 26, 2019, file photo, former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg speaks at a news conference at a gun control advocacy event in Las Vegas. Bloomberg has opened door to a potential presidential run, saying the Democratic field 'not well positioned' to defeat Trump. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

Bloomberg team admits it

The Democratic presidential campaign of former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is new, but that didn't keep its campaign manager from saying last week what other candidates won't — that they're all looking up at Donald Trump.

Kevin Sheekey, the candidate's right-hand man, said the race is about six states: Arizona, Florida, Michigan, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

"That's the whole general election," he told CNN. "And right now Donald Trump is winning. He is winning that election. It's very tough for people who don't live in New York or California to understand that, but that is what's happening." Bloomberg thinks Trump is "on a path to victory, and he's getting in [the race] to alter that dynamic."

Sheekey noted that New York Times/Siena College polls showed the president beating candidates such as U.S. Sens. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, and Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, in many of the six states he mentioned.

However, the campaign manager didn't comment on the controversial recent decision by Bloomberg News not to investigate any of the former mayor's rivals for the nomination because it planned to "continue our tradition of not investigating Mike (and his family and foundation)." However, the paper said it would continue to investigate President Donald Trump "as the government of the day" but might re-evaluate if Bloomberg wins the nomination.


Not ready to Obama-nate

Former President Barack Obama has been famously cool about whom he might support as the Democratic nominee for president in 2020, but a new profile in Politico discusses a few candidates he's not likely to support.

A close adviser said an exception to Obama staying out of the race might be if U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, appeared to be leading. "But I don't think that's likely," the adviser said. "It's not happening." Another close Obama adviser said, "Bernie's not a Democrat."

Advisers said Obama's relationship with U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts, is also complicated. When she was considering running for president in 2015, when Obama was still in office, her talk apparently sounded as if her plans would be a repudiation of Obama, the article said.

Neither has Obama's vice president, Joe Biden, received much love. Biden has written that Obama suggested he not run in 2016, and Biden supposedly said he didn't want Obama's endorsement this time around. Obama, meanwhile, allegedly told Politico that Biden "doesn't have it."

As to other candidates, the former president is no fan of South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg. "Obama was deeply skeptical about the prospects of [Buttigieg]," an advisor said. And he isn't sure U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-California, would have the right appeal to African-Americans, according to the article.


Out and proud of ... Warren

The Democratic presidential clubhouse leader in support from LGBT voters, according to a YouGov and Out magazine poll, is ... not South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, who is gay. Instead, it's U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts.

She has the support of 31% of the 816 likely Democratic primary voters surveyed. Second is ... not Buttigieg but U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, with 18%. Former Vice President Joe Biden is third with 16%, and Buttigieg is fourth with 14%.

Not surprisingly, 77% of those surveyed identified as very liberal or somewhat liberal, some 20 points higher than the percentage of overall Democratic voters. Since Buttigieg is seen as more moderate, at least among Democrats, the LGBT voters are looking away from their brethren.

Out magazine attributed Warren's popularity to her statement that she would prioritize LGBT issues, including mixed prisons and "gender-affirming health care."

As if that weren't enough, she thanked drag queen Shea Couleé for representing her campaign at RuPaul's DragCon in September.


All good if you pay

More than a third of millennials want to see the Christmas holiday tradition of "Secret Santa" gift-giving banned, according to a recent study by the online British job board Jobsite.

Such a tradition causes anxiety, the study says.

On the other hand, 67% of millennials surveyed said gift-giving is "good for morale." But they have a suggestion. If their employers foot the bill for their gift-giving, it would make things much better.

"A significant proportion of young workers feel like the business should shoulder the burden — rather than adding to the pressures of individual employees," the report said. "Millennials in employment particularly agree, with 24% asking for dedicated company budgets to avoid chipping in."

And if the employers want to chip in for housing, food and transportation, that would be OK too, the millennials no doubt would have added.