- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 9, 2019

The star of television’s “Judge Judy” began stumping for Michael R. Bloomberg hours after the former New York City mayor took a step Friday toward running for president in 2020.

Judith Sheindlin, the former Manhattan family court judge who has appeared on daytime TV as “Judge Judy” for more than two decades, characterized Mr. Bloomberg during an interview Friday evening as the most qualified candidate to compete next year against President Trump.

“Michael Bloomberg is the only one, and I’m going to tell you why,” Ms. Sheindlin said on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.”

“If you think about it, Michael Bloomberg is the only one who’s running who has executive experience running the biggest city in the United States,” Ms. Sheindlin continued, calling the former New York mayor the only candidate to spend 12 years leading “one of the most diverse places in the world.”

A native New Yorker, Ms. Sheindlin indicated elsewhere during the interview that the Big Apple was a more suitable place to live when Mr. Bloomberg was mayor.

“He’s steady,” Ms. Sheindlin argued. “The schools were better, you felt better about the city, there was a calmness in the city.”

Mr. Bloomberg, a 77-year-old billionaire who served as mayor of New York from 2002 through 2013, filed paperwork earlier Friday to appear on the Democratic primary ballot in Alabama next year, making him the latest addition to a pool of more than a dozen candidates currently seeking the party’s nomination.

Bill Maher, a liberal comedian and the host of “Real Time,” argued that Mr. Bloomberg might not easily make a splash beyond Manhattan, however.

“I don’t see a big city Jew exciting the vote in Alabama, or a lot of the country,” Mr. Maher told Ms. Sheindlin.

Ms. Sheindlin, 77, has hosted “Judge Judy” since 1996. She previously endorsed Mr. Bloomberg for president in an op-ed published by USA Today last month prior to him officially entering the race.

Her endorsement marked the first time Ms. Sheindlin has ever publicly endorsed a political candidate, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“I realize I am taking a personal and a career risk in making such a statement. I have carefully stayed away from politics for 50 years, except to vote. But times have changed in our country, and I believe the moment has come for me to step out from behind the curtain,” she wrote in the op-ed last month.

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