If he sees an “opening”, Mayor Michael Bloomberg may decide to run for President.
Bloomberg flirted with running as an independent in the 2008 race, and to me, it has become increasingly clear that Bloomberg is itching for a new challenge.
Sure enough, my thoughts were confirmed over lunch recently with a top NY political consultant on Team Bloomberg who said “Bloomberg wants to run.”
Of course under normal circumstances an independent candidacy wouldn’t have much of a chance at all, but these are not normal times, and you already know the rest of the sentence, Bloomberg is not a normal politician.
When he flirted with running for Mayor in 2000 the same thing was said, that he could not win. I was one of the very few journalists that predicted he could win the race for mayor. I was ridiculed for having such thoughts about Bloomberg. I’m telling you—if he enters the race don’t sleep on this guy.
Also, it’s worth repeating the same thing that was said in 2007, Bloomberg is not the type of guy that would enter the race to influence the debate, or to be a spoiler like Ralph Nader, Bloomberg would be in the race to win.
These are not normal times in America. The “opening” may be there.
Look at the recent progress of the country. Granted it came for a major political party, but the election of President Barack Obama. Let’s be honest. There were very few of us though out the country that thought we would ever see the election of an African American as President in our lifetime.
Obama was the special candidate. The right person at the right time. But now, the President’s job performance rating is hovering around 50 percent, and most people say the nation is on the wrong track. Unlike his days in the Senate, this time around President Obama has a record opponents can focus on. The correct “opening” could be painting Obama to the left, and Republicans with the Tea Bag crowd to the right. That most of America, the center of the electorate, is unhappy. There’s the opening. Just observe what is happening politically in America. The anti-incumbent mood has put Senate Majority leader Harry Reid of Nevada and Barbara Boxer of California on notice.
Getting on the ballot in every state would be a daunting challenge, but perhaps not for Bloomberg.
Bloomberg could easily spend 1 billion dollars. In 2007, Bloomberg told people privately that he'd be willing to spend $500 million or more to finance an independent, third-party presidential campaign — to collect the signatures needed to get him on the ballot in all 50 states, to buy ads and to pay for staff.
-There is also the possibility Bloomberg could be aliening himself with a candidate to be on a major party ticket. (As was recently pointed out by the dean of the City Hall Press Corp, David Seifman in the NY Post regarding the mayor’s cozy relationship with Geb Bush)
If history is an indicator, of course Bloomberg will not publically confirm he’s looking at running, but here is one sure tip and signal in the coming months that he may be serious about this. Well, look at what he did before.
-Bloomberg tried to seize a national platform. (on gun control, & the environment)
If he starts again with the national platform and the traveling that comes with it, it’s not because he’s bored as a three term mayor, it’s because Bloomberg is weighing his options.
Like every other major politician in America, he will also be closely looking at the results of the mid-term elections. The party that controls the White House typically takes a big beating in the president's first midterm elections, and it has become an increasingly difficult political environment for Democrats.
Bloomberg never stopped looking at national office. It’s just 2008 did not present the right opening. Is 2012? Timing is everything in politics.