Tom Steyer Loves Tom Steyer

Compares himself to heroic Roman dictator in polling memo

Tom Steyer gives himself a round of applause. (AP)
January 15, 2015

Environmentalist billionaire Tom Steyer wanted to be a big player in the 2014 midterm election, but ended up spending tens of millions of dollars without much to show for it. Steyer was by far the biggest political donor of the cycle, contributing a whopping $74 million to Democratic candidates and outside groups in a futile effort to stop the GOP wave.

Steyer is currently thinking about running for Senate in California in the race to replace Barbara Boxer. He seems pretty serious about it, and has even commissioned a poll that found Steyer would be a "strong contender to win," in part because people in California are obsessed with the environment.

But the green tycoon probably didn’t need a favorable poll to boost his confidence in himself. The polling memo revealed that Steyer and his backers are calling themselves "Team Cincinnatus" after Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus, a humble farmer who became a Roman dictator renowned for his leadership, virtue, and selflessness, and one of several figures to inspire the Maximus character in the film Gladiator.

An aide to Steyer told BuzzFeed that Cinncinatus is "what the internal group has named the idea of Tom potentially running," adding (in sanctimonious fashion): "From plowshares to swords."

The whole thing was a bit much, even for the folks at Daily Kos:

Unfortunately for Steyer, he has already missed out on the coveted Elizabeth Warren endorsement. Warren announced her support for California attorney general Kamala Harris on Wednesday, calling Harris a "smart, tough and experienced prosecutor who has consistently stood up to Wall Street."

Warren will presumably have to use different language in her inevitable endorsement of Hillary Clinton later this year.

For now, Steyer will have to be content with the endorsement of his own ego (seen here).

Tom Steyer as Cincinnatus.