Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Bloomberg, McCain, Schwarzenegger: Waiting for Arnold, Part Four

By Bernie Quigley for The Free Market News Network on 12/19/07

Speculation is high this week that Mike Bloomberg, Mayor of New York, will announce that he will run for President as a third party candidate. David A. Andelman, who worked for Bloomberg, wrote this week in Forbes.com that this time it is for real.

“Folks close to New York City's twice-elected mayor suggest that he's made up his mind to end one of the city's long-running rumors and become an Independent candidate for President,” writes Andelman.

He says he will announce shortly after Feb. 5, directly after Super Tuesday when he would have a pretty good idea of just who would be lining up against his third-party, self-financed billion-dollar campaign. Bloomberg has said that he would put two billion into his campaign.

Who would Bloomberg chose for his Vice President? Quite possibly John McCain.

From the beginning of these rumors which started two years ago, Bloomberg’s gamble can be viewed as playing between two characters: Hillary Clinton and John McCain. First speculation was that Bloomberg would run if party politics became polarized between Senator Clinton on the one hand and George Allen, former Senator of Virginia, slightly to the right of Genghis Khan, on the other. When Allen fell to Jim Webb in ‘06, Bloomberg held on, waiting to see if mischief would develop along the path to ‘08.

And mischief it is, in local and national races. Mischief here, mischief there, mischief everywhere. The Land of the Free in our time is being offered professional wrestlers, TV actors, Appalachian preachers, stand up comedians, strippers, favorite sons and their cousins, aunties, wives and secretaries.

The political commercial that Chuck Norris has done with Mike Huckabee is a hoot. Huckabee is now leading in Iowa and in parts of the South. But this is President of the United States. Huckabee’s article in Foreign Affairs this month may bring to the action and passion of war in Iraq the native sweetness of the Bible Belt man of faith, but the prognostication is in some ways more extreme than any yet conceived even by the Yankee-reared, pseudo-Texan today in the White House. It delivers a sensory feeling which might be called Fascism with a Christian face. If we want out-right fascism, we should go with Rudy. And we might.

Thus, Bloomberg. Hillary is in, and the quiet voices in the parlor long said that if Hillary got the nomination, Bloomberg would consider. And now McCain is out; sent away by the voters in Iowa as straight and narrow as corn rows, and the South as well, where Huckabee’s rustic charm, Bible quotin’ and guitar strummin’ is taking the day.

Bloomberg is passionate about Israel and there is some dark and complex speculation that he is entering the race to pull the Jewish vote from the Democrats as Hillary or Obama cannot be trusted to stay the current course or design a suitable new one. A liberal on social issues and more actual New Yorker than the Clintons, Bloomberg would pull votes from the Clinton nostalgicos in effect, pushing the electorate to a Republican victory, most likely Giuliani. Said speculation claims that Bloomberg can’t win but he can throw the election to the Republicans and can stay the course for Israel.

However, his personal history says that if he can’t win, he won’t run. And his views on Israel are more real world and accommodating than those of the neocons. And passionate he may be, but not beholding. Bloomberg is a New England Jew raised at a time when New England was tribal, as in the movie Miller’s Crossing. It all ended quickly in the early Sixties, but just prior to that Irish Catholics, Jews and other ethnic groups all interacted more or less within their own kith and kin. It might have been a time when everyone knew their place, but everyone had a place. And Yankee fair play with its humane good sense and Constitutional bearings had a place as well. It did not so much conflict as enhance. Irish Catholics may have married within their parish. We ate fish on Friday, but on Saturday it was beans, the ritual practice of the Yankee tradition. It was a day that had its flaws and problems but torture was not one of them. Bloomberg will make his announcement shortly after a likely New England win at the Super Bowl in an era of renaissance of many things New England.

And by entering in February, Bloomberg will not have been diminished, dominated, territorialized, shaped and formed by Sister Mary Wolf Blitzer and chorus and the very, very few who package and crate the candidates, even flaunting press dominance and candidates submission by asking them to “raise their hands” like school children. In this he stands alone, above the other candidates, above the press and above the Iowa horde which shifts its shape like amber waves of grain. Among the mainstream candidates the most telling moment in the debates was John McCain’s amazement that the other candidates – Ron Paul aside – see nothing wrong with torture in its current use. Our local paper here in the mountains of New Hampshire has made the point in an editorial that any candidate which advocates torture should be discarded out of hand. That speaks to the New Englander in us; Jew, Irish or White Glove Unitarian. Bloomberg’s choice of McCain for VP would retrieve that lost honor.

It should be remembered that it was Bloomberg who put the cash behind Joe Lieberman in his contentious reelection bid against Ned Lamont. And as coincidence would have it, Lieberman just this week endorsed John McCain.

There is, they say, no such thing as a coincidence. So there could be something behind it that this week, when Adam Lisberg of The New York Daily News interviewed Bloomberg, there was a lot of good talk about John McCain.

Elizabeth Benajmin of the DN reports: “Asked for his thoughts on the party-line-crossing endorsement of John McCain by Sen. Joe Lieberman (whom Bloomberg himself crossed party lines to endorse last year back when the mayor was a Republican and Lieberman had lost the Democratic primary), Bloomberg called the development ‘healthy,’ adding:

‘Number one, in all fairness and disclosure, (McCain) campaigned for me. Somebody introduced us before ‘01, and we were just casual friends. And then when I started to run for office, he came up and we walked the streets of Brooklyn. So, I can say nothing but good things about John McCain for that reason.’

John McCain can become here Bloomberg’s Gray Champion, and if the Republicans prefer the Singin’ Preacher or the Mormon who assures us he loves Jesus good as Johnny Cash, although the rituals these guys propose suggest the Spanish Inquisition, Bloomberg will take him as Vice President.

Bloomberg’s third party move is a gamble he is unlikely to take unless there is a good chance of success. And it could in fact resemble more the corporate takeover of a Republican Party fallen into poor management practices which have undervalued its stock more than a random third party run like Ross Perot’s; a buy out and a shake up, putting new management at the top and leaving the rest to dangle.

That new top management would indeed include Mayor Mike’s best bud, the Governator of California. Lisberg asked about his friendship with Arnold Schwarzenegger and Bloomberg replied:

“Number one, I had dinner with him on Saturday night. And number two, he couldn’t be vice president. The Constitution is clear. You have to be able to be president to be vice president. I don’t know where that story came from, but the law would not allow it. Incidentally, he’s a great guy. He’d make a great vice president…This guy’s a substantive guy who really is serious about governing, and I think California - he’s going to be term-limited out - California’s going to miss him, because he really has made a difference in his term in his office. But Saturday night’s the answer to your question, and I had steak a la stone.”

No, Arnold would be Secretary of State in a Bloomberg Triumvirate. And as VP, McCain would be too old to follow in Bloomberg’s footsteps as POTUS. But a Bloomberg Presidency as successful as Reagan’s or Eisenhower’s – and we are at such a turning; and Bloomberg has the abilities - would give him and Arnold the real possibility of changing the Constitution so foreign-born Arnold could follow in the Presidency by ’12 or ’16, giving the Bloomberg/McCain/Arnold Triumvirate a 16-year run of governance.

We are today in a state of management crisis that finds a parallel in the mid-1800s and the fall of the Whigs. Today, a successful Bloomberg Presidency could well put one of the two existing political parties out of business for good. My guess is that it would be the Democrats who have descended into a Northeastern Clinton Personality Cult and have failed to address the needs of the South, the Southwest and the Midwest as population and economy have shifted to those parts.

The Democrats had in any case lost their purpose when the country lost its proletariat and working class to a varied economy; when ethnic Democrats moved to Reagan and when the Democrats went Lace Curtain and married Wall St. with the Clintons. The Republicans as well lost their way when the talisman of the English-speaking tradition, habeas corpus, was traded in for the Bible and the waterboard.

Ron Paul has opened a new path for the Republicans. Or better, Paul has articulated and clarified a direction the Republicans had only been slouching toward these past 20 years. The Paul phenomenon is certainly the most important new awakening of this Presidential cycle thus far. It will have long-reaching consequences.

Ron Paul could bring in one path. Bloomberg another. And for the Clintons, Hasta La vista, baby.

But would Arnold want the job as one of Bloomberg’s Three Celestial Ones?

I am now from 25 to 30 percent that Arnold, frustrated with a convention-bound American system which seems immune to creativity and rewards incompetence, will look back to Austria where he still has the option of being chief. I used to joke with a German friend that when the euro awakens it will really be a deutschmark. France and Germany are binary parts - the core center of a New Europe; Sarcozy, it should be noted, has Prussian gentry lines and has crossed those lines to marry France with Germany; the euro has pulled 35% from the dollar in its six years of life and the Pope (Latin Mass! Old School!) is a Bavarian. If Arnold went back to Austria today he would bring a mythical dimension to New Europe and the EU and Austria would be its center.

But the other 70% says no. Arnold is as American as apple pie, Glock 9s and hydrogen cars. And in our time and in his way, perhaps no other speaks better to the essence of the American condition. If Bloomberg brings him along, he will go.

5 comments:

MP from Idaho said...

Being a supporter of Mike Bloomberg's candidacy it was a pleasant surprise to find your Blog. As 'libertarian' as many of us in the west are, we are patiently waiting for Bloomberg. We're fed up with the polarization of US politics. His candidacy will forever send the Reps and Dems to their extreme idealogical corners.

That said I was intrigued by your comment that, instead of a Perot like third party run, Bloomberg could effecively "high-jack" the dysfunctional Republican Party instead. Please respond in a future article describing how this might be done.

Thanks.

Bernie Quigley said...

Thanks for nice comment. There are at the moment two opportunities for a Bloomberg/McCain/Arnold Triumvirate. McCain could win in NH - he is flat even right now and I see nothing but McCain signs in the north country. If he does, the Republican Party could come to its senses and give him the nomination. This week Joe Lieberman suggested Bloomberg would make a great VP for McCain. Indeed, he would. And McCain would bring his bud Arnold in for certain; possibly Sec. of State. So either way, Arnold is destiny and Bloomberg is quite possibly in there too. Some of the other Republican candidates are actually just foolish; if one of these appears to be getting the nod Bloomberg will throw in his two billion in Feb. to restore the party and possibly restore the republic. When I first caught wind of Bloomberg's threat to enter several years ago now I saw it as an act of responsibility and patriotism. Boston and New England people may be gnarly but we are patriotic and responsibility-bound; the better word the Hindus use is dharma.

MP from Idaho said...

Just returned from feeding our horses in the snow to find your response - thanks.

With several friends and relatives in New England we understand the 'rugged individualist' personality. A few years ago we drove Hwy 16 on a fabulous fall day. Back to the point ...

While I would be OK with the McCain led ticket you propose, I don't believe it likely due to the hold on nominating delegates by the extreme factions of the Rep party - sad but true. As I remember, in the NH primary, centrist or independent voters may vote in either party primary, which is not the case in most other states.

I believe it's far more likely that after Feb 5th no single Rep candidate will dominate and the results will vary widely with the geographical location of the state. Further we could see a situation where no one has the required delegates going into the convention - somewhat like the distant past. It's probably wishfull thinking but wouldn't it be great to have primary voters from both parties complete the write-in with 'none of the above' or 'unaffliated.' If I had the money, I'd run a national ad campaign advocating this.

I read your other posts after finding the above. Regarding Hillary the Scary, I expect she will wind up being the nominee for a variety of reasons including how lousy are her opponents. But neither myself nor my many friends and acquantances in the Pacific NW are too concerned she will be elected - for another set of reasons too long to list here. The one exception would be a Rep candidate like Huck or Romney and no Bloomberg. Now that realization is really scary.

Best Regards.

Andrew MacRae said...

Who Makes Up Your Moderate Dream Team?

As this comes together, my hope for America is being restored!

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