Does Broder know something we don’t? Bloomberg has said he won’t run, but the beltway insider writes an editorial about it…hmm…
Hagel said that he and Bloomberg have “had some talks” but that neither of them is ready at this moment to form a partnership or stake out a strategy. Like everyone else, Hagel understands that the mayor’s personal wealth would permit him to organize a campaign, starting in the winter or spring, and still have time to gain ballot access in enough states to make him a credible national candidate. But wealth alone will not bring him within reach of 270 electoral votes, and Hagel shares the view that Bloomberg is not interested in being “a spoiler” whose only effect would be to hurt one of the major-party candidates.
So it really comes down to a question of the strength of those tidal forces moving out there in American politics. Hagel’s sense, reinforced by a recent trip to California, where Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger is providing a demonstration of the powerful appeal of “post-partisan” politics, is that “the tide is really moving fast.”
The imperative the public will impose on the next president, Hagel says, “is to lead the country and restore the sense of national purpose.” But the early start on campaigning for the GOP and Democratic nominations, and the prospect that the battles on one side or the other or both could continue right through next summer’s conventions, could make it harder for the survivor to be that unifying figure.
Post-partisan politics. I like that.
But is it going to happen? Well, I do think there’s going to be a lot of fatigue with the Dem and Repub candidates. I also think they’re going to probably be pushing a unity/centrist message, but will still have to appeal to the loyal wings of their party, and will therefore look like hypocrites. So that leaves a vacuum for a ticket that can actually claim the “middle”, which I’d really rather call a third way because the middle always sounds like it’s about compromise over all else.
In any event…will this buzz grow or simply whither away as an interesting historical what if? Thoughts?