Is he running? Is he not running? How much would he spend if he runs? Would he really take a 3rd party track?
Inquiring minds want to know mainly because he’s the real deal, he’s not a nut (cough*Perot*cough), he’s actually been running one of the biggest cities on the planet since 2001 and he’s much more popular and effective than Giuliani ever was.
Oh the questions…
The Bloomberg team is studying the strategies of Mr. Perot, the Texas billionaire whose 1992 presidential campaign helped President Clinton to win the White House with 43 percent of the popular vote.
“Mike has been meeting with Ross Perot’s most senior people about how they did an independent run in 1992,” the Bloomberg business adviser said on condition of anonymity so as to avoid appearing to speak for Mr. Bloomberg.
Talk of Mr. Bloomberg as a third-party candidate comes as Republican voters are deeply divided over their top-three declared candidates — Arizona Sen. John McCain, former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney — and are casting longing glances at former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich.
“Some of the people on McCain’s [presidential campaign] staff have been calling me to see if Mike is running because they are ready to leave the McCain campaign, which is a biplane on fire and spiraling down,” the Bloomberg adviser said.
Oh, and about that potential campaign war chest…
Republicans who say they are girding for a Bloomberg entry note Mr. Bloomberg has a 68 percent share of his privately owned company, Bloomberg LP. The company is worth $20 billion (and about $30 billion if put on the block for public bidding) and earns $1.5 billion annually in after-tax profits.
“If Bloomberg runs, he could have more money on hand than either of the two major party nominees,” said Mr. Toner, the former FEC chairman. “It would be the first time that happened in the modern era.”
What this means, in the end, is he’s not beholden to any special interest but his own and the ideas around him that make the most sense. And that seems like a welcome change in politics.
More as it develops…