Thursday, March 29, 2007

Mike Bloomberg’s Third Party Run

by Bernie Quigley for The Free Market News Network on 3/29/2007

Several days ago, The Washington Post had a long front-page article about Mike Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City, considering a run for President as a third party candidate in ‘08. That Bloomberg is considering this is old news. What is new is that MSM is reaching toward him now, bored perhaps with the current line up of candidates.

Today, in The New York Sun, there is an article about Bloomberg suddenly taking a position on the war in Iraq; a position in direct opposition to Senator Hillary Clinton’s. In the wake of the recent Post article, it appears that Bloomberg is stepping forth into the public arena, perhaps as a Presidential candidate in ’08.

As Jill Gardiner writes in the Sun article, Bloomberg is inserting himself into the central debate of the 2008 Presidential Campaign, casting the legislation Democrats are backing in Congress to set a timetable for withdrawing troops from Iraq as irresponsible.

From the beginning, Hillary Clinton has supported the war on Iraq as forcefully as George W. Bush and Senators John McCain and Joe Lieberman, but she is now shifting her position to support the Democratic-sponsored legislation that would start a withdrawal of troops in the next four months, with a goal of having all troops out of Iraq by the end of March, 2008.

Gardiner says that Bloomberg called the legislation in Congress "untenable" and said it is not in the country's interest to declare a date to withdraw troops.

She writes: “Political analysts say that coming out against the timetable also allows him to reserve a spot for himself on the national stage should he opt to run for president as an independent in 2008. They say his stance against the timetable is not only significant because it is yet another policy area where he is moving beyond the scope of issues that directly affect the five boroughs, but also because it could play into his political strengths as a non-partisan technocrat if he makes a bid for the White House.

An interesting note at the end of Gardiner’s article: Bloomberg, although critical of Senator Clinton, says he thinks Bill Clinton would make a good Mayor of New York once he leaves the post.

Bill Clinton is far too vain to be Mayor of NY and the Yankee hat has never fit. (What’s the matter with Jimmy Breslin, Pete Hamill or Nora Ephron? Donald Trump?) Bill sees himself in a much larger container (Leviathan, maybe).

But Mayor Bloomberg is clever enough to recognize that comparing Mayor of NY to President as equal management tasks doesn’t promote Bill to Mayor so much as it promotes Bloomberg to POTUS.

Nevertheless, Bloomberg might be on the right track. Both parties are moribund; like the Whigs in the mid-1800s, reaching their last days perhaps; sending third-tier movie actors, preacher politicians, absentee Senators and kin of former Executives up to a primary season which promises to match American Idol.

With a Trickster like Libertarian Bill Weld, former Governor of Massachusetts, as Vice President and Arnold Schwarzenegger as Secretary of State, Bloomberg would have a nice package.

It has been said that after 9/11 New York City became part of America. I think what was suggested by that statement was that much red state/blue state contention was resolved in tears. Jim Webb, the new Senator of Virginia, made a similar statement. He said regarding long-time sour feelings he harbored toward Bostonian John Kerry that after 9/11 all his anger fell from him.

Former Mayor of New York Rudi Giuliani is sent forward to the Presidential race today by a deep need in the American psyche to restore New York to its primacy after 9/11 and nothing else. Bloomberg would do that as well but is a more attractive manager.