Why Bloomberg?

Why Bloomberg?


The Dems don’t seem to be too hot on the likelihood of Bloomberg running this year. Especially NY Times economist Paul Krugman…

Seriously, why does anyone think this makes sense? I read a lot of polls, and they suggest that the center of public opinion on the issues is, if anything, left of the center of the Democratic Party. This seems to be a solution in search of a problem.

Ron Chusid of Liberal Values weighs in on what voters REALLY think and why a guy like Bloomberg might make a whole hell of a lot of sense…

The current two party divide might be fine for those who hold one of the two sets of views held by the major parties, but not all of us entirely share one set or the other. In 2004 the Republicans were speaking of a permanent majority and by 2006 they were being voted out. There was not suddenly a decision by a block of far right Republicans that they were wrong on everything and therefore they would become Edwards/Krugman style Democrats, making for a new populist majority as Krugman believes exists.

In reality many people including independents, moderates, and “Starbucks Republicans” realized that the Republican policies were wrong. In a two party system that meant voting Democratic, but that did not mean we all agreed with every position of the Democratic Party. […]

This does not mean we accept big government solutions for all problems. The knee jerk offering of a government program to provide assistance in every circumstance by people like Edwards is just a transparent method of seeking voters and is simply a mirror image of Republicans offering tax cuts we cannot afford to receive the votes of their constituents.

Bingo. The country is trending less red and blue because we believe in social freedoms, economic freedoms and individual responsibility. But the primary system buries those opinions because it’s mostly the faithful who nominate, not the independent crowd. And so the need for a viable third way to expose the majority opinion.

The only issue is that the guy or gal who leads this third way needs to be a credible candidate. Ross Perot was the closest we’ve had in a while, but he was flaky and ultimately lacked credibility for the job of President. Still, he got 19% of the popular vote.

Then you have Bloomberg. New Yorkers, by and large, really like the job he’s doing. And shouldn’t that be enough? If you can run a city like New York and get reelected by over 20% as Republican, you’re doing something right. It’s like Schwarzenegger in California. Arnold has massive approval because he’s doing what he thinks is right, regardless of party affiliation.

So to add to what Chusid said, that’s why Bloomberg makes sense and that’s why I welcome discussion about how he could influence 2008. This two party boondoggle has gone on long enough. Time to muddy things up and create permanent minorities.

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  • http://maverickviews.blogspot.com/ Alan Stewart Carl

    Krugman’s “polls” must be taken within the NYT newsroom. Unless you believe a staggering shift in public opinion has occurred, there’s no way the public is suddenly LEFT of the Democratic party.

    As for Bloomberg, he is not the most qualified to run but he is the richest. And, thanks to our silly system of campaign finance, he can spend all the money he wants on his own bid but could give just a tiny bit to someone else.

  • http://www.liberalvaluesblog.com Ron Chusid

    I’m not certain that Bloomberg is the answer, but Krugman is definately wrong that there is no problem and I will be keeping an eye on this phenomenon. Thanks for the link.

    In response to Alan’s comments above, he get’s Krugman’s column a bit wrong. Krugman was saying that public opinion is to the left of the middle of the Democratic Party. He might still be wrong, but that is quite different from being to the left of the Democratic Party.

    What many such as Krugman really feel is that the Democrats now represent the center. Maybe that is true with regards to Obama (and I’m sure many would disagree even with this). However this is certainly not true of someone like Edwards. If there is a choice between Edwards and Huckabee in the general election there is definately room for other views.

    Another problem with the entire concept of defining the middle is that there are not only two sets of views represented by the Democratic and Republican mainstreams. Many are liberal on social issues and more conservative on economic issues (especially compared to Edwards/Krugman style poplulism). Actually even dividing it between only econmic and social issues also over simplifies this.

    Many of the blogs attacking the idea are mischaracterizing an independent view as taking the views of the Democrats and Republicans and finding the dead center. I doubt that this is what many are actually interested in. It is more a case of seeking a party with views which are not adequately represented by either of the major parties.

  • http://rosecityrumblings.blogspot.com pdx632

    Because I want solutions to problems and neither the Dems or GOP seem capable of doing that.

  • david d

    Agree with pdx632.

    The Dems are usually too conservative for me… However, I see Bloomberg as a straight-shooter. I don’t feel that about any Dem or GOP candidate.

  • Alan Stewart Carl

    Ron: yep, I carelessly read that line. I still don’t think he’s right but it’s not as ridiculous a statement as I originally thought.

  • http://itsthe21stcenturystupid.wordpress.com/ Jim S

    Why Bloomberg? Because with his financing he can do an even better job than Nader did of drawing off potential Democratic voters. Let’s be honest. In most parts of this country moderates have abandoned the GOP because there’s really nothing left for them in it. You couldn’t find a moderate Republican running for any position in the state of Missouri. Not one. So if Bloomberg represents himself as the voice of reason how many votes would come from the Republican side? Darn few, if any.

  • http://rosecityrumblings.blogspot.com pdx632

    Don’t you think that if Bloomberg runs on the concept that since he is financing his campaign, he won’t be selling his soul to special interests? That seems like an idea that could resonate with voters.

  • http://wpblog.ohpinion.com/ S.W. Anderson

    “The knee jerk offering of a government program to provide assistance in every circumstance by people like Edwards is just a transparent method of seeking voters . . .”

    That’s pure neocon propaganda. It’s lame stereotyping and complete nonsense.

    A big feature of the political divide is a basic philosophical difference about whether the federal government should ever help individual Americans, should ever invest in individual Americans, at least the nonwealthy ones. Republicans say no. Democrats say yes.

    Helping people can mean helping the poor, many of them elderly, with the high and rising cost of winter heating. Investing in individuals can mean providing a worker who’s lost a decent-paying job to outsourcing get retraining, so he can continue being a self-supporting participant in the economy and a taxpayer instead of a benefits collector. Neither form of assistance breeds loafers who are forever dependent on government handouts, obviously.

  • http://wpblog.ohpinion.com/ S.W. Anderson

    “Unless you believe a staggering shift in public opinion has occurred, there’s no way the public is suddenly LEFT of the Democratic party.”

    If you’ll go back and study the polls, you’ll find that since George W. Bush started running for president in 2000, a clear majority of Americans disagreed with his positions and preferences on a bunch of policy matters. Many voted for Bush anyway, some because they really didn’t get what a hardnosed conservative Republican president would be like, many because they found him likable and no doubt others because they didn’t like Gore. Plus, of course, Bush had solid backers where it mattered most: the Supreme Court.

    So, there’s been no staggering shift in public opinion. The public is much less conservative than it has been made out to be in recent years.

  • http://wpblog.ohpinion.com/ S.W. Anderson

    Regarding Bloomberg going after Ralph Nader’s well-deserved reputation as The Spoilerator.

    Anyone who thinks wealth makes for a great president need only review the presidencies of Bush 41 (lackluster) and Bush 43 (worst in U.S. history).

    Anyone who thinks being an OK mayor of New York City is a terrific qualification for the White House should take a close, critical look at Rudy Giuliani.

    Anyone who thinks someone who changes party affiliation to suit his latest political ambition is grounded in a superior political philosophy had better think again — carefully.

    Last but not least, consider that since the great majority of Americans likely to contribute to a campaign and actually vote in an election are either Democrat or Republican, the notion of a groundswell of support for someone whose major calling card is that he’s the non-Democrat and non-Republican — after having been a Democrat and a Republican — seems fanciful, to put it mildly.

  • http://wpblog.ohpinion.com/ S.W. Anderson

    “Let’s be honest. In most parts of this country moderates have abandoned the GOP because there’s really nothing left for them in it.”

    Heck, let’s be accurate. The GOP has spent the last three decades running moderate Republicans out of office and out of the party. The neocons in charge neither like nor trust moderates, even moderate Republicans.