First, why Ron Paul’s loss? Because if he doesn’t go 3rd party, somebody will. A perfect storm for a 3rd party candidate is on the radar and all signs point to it turning into a category 5. Especially if the nominees are Giuliani (or Romney) and Clinton.
So how could Bloomberg benefit?
Well, since Paul is definitely going to compete in primaries he won’t win, he may have NO shot at running in those same states as a 3rd party candidate. Reason being are the Sore Loser Laws. You see, in some states, if you run in their primary and lose you can’t run in the general election. That could prove to be an impossible obstacle to overcome and I’m sure Paul knows it.
Here’s more on Bloomberg from WSJ:
As Democratic and Republican presidential hopefuls stumped in Iowa and New Hampshire Monday, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg was in China talking about entrepreneurship. The setting was different, but the goal may have been the same. Those close to Mr. Bloomberg said the 65-year-old billionaire is considering a White House bid, despite his repeated denials. Moreover, friends and advisers said, developments make a candidacy more conceivable.
Shifts atop the polls for both parties in early-voting states suggest uncertainty among some voters about the current crop of candidates, while an increasingly nasty campaign could badly bruise whomever comes out on top, Mr. Bloomberg’s supporters said. Gridlock in Congress could open the door for Mr. Bloomberg’s nonpartisan message. At the same time, national polls show voters worrying more about the economy and less about Iraq — a trend that plays to Mr. Bloomberg’s strengths.
So what are the best possible circumstances for Bloomberg to enter?
One scenario — and the one aides are hoping for — would be a race between fellow New Yorkers Hillary Clinton and former Mayor Rudy Giuliani. Sen. Clinton’s negative rating is the highest in either party, while Mr. Giuliani’s is the highest among Republicans. That match-up could make what supporters see as Mr. Bloomberg’s “above the fray” image more appealing. Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Giuliani are also seen as moderate on social issues, which could mute opposition to Mr. Bloomberg from the religious right. “If the parties nominate polarizing candidates…then there’s plenty of room” for Mr. Bloomberg, independent pollster John Zogby said.
Another scenario that would provide an opening would be if both parties nominate candidates from outside the center — John Edwards on the Democratic side, for example, or Republican Mike Huckabee, who leads polls in Iowa and is surging in national surveys. In such a case, Mr. Bloomberg would seek to appeal to moderates. “The terrain that he would look to run on is dead center of the highway,” said William Cunningham, Mr. Bloomberg’s first-term communications director.
Also, remember that lunch meeting with Barack? That signals to me that if he became the nominee, Bloomberg may not run because their messages of “the system is broken” are more in line with each other. Just a hunch, but that’s probably the case.
Still, could he raise the level of excitement that Ron Paul has done? I highly doubt it. And that may ultimately be Bloomberg’s test for himself. Because with a 3rd party candidate you’re going to need more than money to persuade the nation you’re the right man for the job. You need ideas.
Logistically, he’d probably wait until early summer to launch a candidacy in earnest. That way people will be excited by his ideas, whatever they may be. Also, by that time, people will be VERY tired of the D & R candidates, their ideas and even just their faces. This long campaign season will definitely play right into Bloomberg’s hands.
Interesting times ahead…