Bloomberg is an interesting guy. Democrat turned Republican out of convenience, seemingly beholden to no “party line.” Arguably the most popular and effective mayors NYC has seen in decades. One of the most successful financial news entrepreneurs in modern times
Now more chatter among the politerati about an independent 2008 presidential run. “Ross Perot with a resume,” as Al Sharpton puts it.
A close friend who has spoken to Bloomberg about the pros and cons of a presidential campaign said that “it is still on his mind.” But the friend, who spoke on the condition of anonymity out of respect for Bloomberg’s privacy, said the mayor would have to be convinced that there is a compelling rationale for him to run.
“If he felt that the candidates were likely to be such that it gave him the opportunity, he would do it,” the friend said. “It’s a long shot, but not 100 to 1.”
And yes, you’d see a campaign that would most likely be completed self-financed…
At No. 142 on the Forbes list of the word’s richest people, Bloomberg is worth at least $5.5 billion. He controls a private company that provides real-time financial data to money managers and others around the globe. And he has built a news-gathering organization that employs more than 1,000 reporters.
A generous philanthropist, Bloomberg has pledged to eventually give away his fortune and has constructed a building around the corner from his East 79th Street townhouse to provide the headquarters for his charitable foundation. Political observers say he has enough money to blanket the country with television ads for months if he becomes a candidate.
“He’d be a candidate almost in the progressive tradition,” said Hank Sheinkopf, a New York political consultant. “He could make the argument: ‘A pox on both their houses.’ He’s a celebrity by definition because he’s a billionaire.”
That begs the question…could an independent president get anything done? I think yes, because while the whispered message would be “a pox on both their houses,” the public one would most definitely be “let’s build bridges because there’s no scar tissue here.”
Plus, I think that if you truly want to start an independent 3rd party in this country…it’s going to have to come from the top down, with Dems and Repubs switching affiliation to some other designation. That’s honestly the only realistic way I see it happening. Libretarians have been trying for how many years to gain a foothold?
One last thought from Bloomberg…
Bloomberg could help fulfill that goal. But in conversations with friends, he has been realistic about his chances for success: “How can a 5-foot-7, divorced billionaire Jew running as an independent from New York possibly have a chance?” he has asked.
Considering our current political climate and discontent with the two party system?
Yes Michael, you’ve got one hell of a chance.