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2008 race by newly "independentized" New York mayor could make race interesting...
Published on June 22, 2007 By Sean Conners aka SConn1 In Politics
This week, republican mayor Michael Bloomberg announced his departure from the GOP. The speculation is that he is gearing up for an independent run for President of the United States. And Bloomberg's history, despite his public comments, would lead one to think that he is indeed at least strongly considering a run for the nation's highest office.

Before his 2001 run for mayor, Bloomberg, a lifelong democrat, switched to the GOP to avoid spending anything in the primary race by avoiding a crowded field. Now, Bloomberg again seems to be bypassing the primary process by shedding any party affiliation early so he can simply focus on the time and expense of the general election.

Aides close to the mayor confirm that he has been "looking into it" and "laying the foundation" for a good 2 years now. This has been whispered in circles for some time now.

But what might a Bloomberg run for President mean? Let's look at some circumstance and how he might affect those circumstances.

From a strategical point of view, if strategists looking in from a distance are correct, Bloomberg could make a serious impact in his methadology. Keep in mind that Bloomberg is a multi-billionaire who self - finances his campaigns. So his raising 500 million dollars is quite a different process from that of a typical candidate.

The typical candidate must actually go out. He or she must "shake hands and kiss babies" and do all the typical stuff like 1000 dollar plate dinners and beg for funding. Bloomberg simply opens his checkbook, or more likely, calls his personal accountant and directs him or her to write a check for the amount needed when it is needed. There is no effort. There is no "battle fatigue." And there is no chance for gaffes since the events where gaffes happen never happen themselves.

And Bloomberg, where he shares the billionaire status with Ross Perot, who garnered 19% of the vote in 1992, has very little else in common with Perot. Simply put, he isn't nearly as eccentric (to put it nicely) or nutty ( to put it less nicely) as Perot. Where both share a success in business as a credential, Bloomberg, like Mitt Romney, can point to success in government as well. He can show that his business knowledge, wisdom and philosophies can transfer over to a goverment administrative setting where profit isn't the only motive.

And Bloomberg, unlike Perot, and apparantly many other candidates, understands the media. After all, that's where he made his money. Building worldwide communication and media networks. Bloomberg knows how to get his message out. Knows where to spend money most effectively and isn't afraid to invest in long term media strategies.

And when Bloomberg does burst into action, which needen't be until next spring, he will have a tremendous advantage over whomever survives the primary wars in both the respective parties. Like I mentioned before, he won't be plum tired and ready for a little break before the convention. Bloomberg's machine will be tuned up and ready to rock with no fatigue factor whatsoever.

But his biggest advantage will be cash. Even if the battle tired candidates want to actively fight on, the fact of the matter will be that whomever comes out on top will be fairly broke by then. That is the season where they will either have to decide to rev up their fundrasing campaigns again or wait for the federal funding after the convention. In either case, they will not be ready for a full on frontal assault. An assault that the 2 campaigns won't be as prepared for as they were for each other.

But Bloomberg will have his challenges and down-sides as well. Who he picks as a running mate will be critical. If he goes with the speculated Chuck Hagel, or someone who is as equally as well respected of a conservative, he will probably shed away more republican votes than some might think. But if he goes with a more moderate or even left leaning VP candidate, he could end up just taking from one side. And Bloomberg will need to shed votes from both parties, not necessarily their "bases" but people who would typically vote down a party line. Surely he will have more "independent" voters than any previous candidate has enjoyed, an dthat might make his need to shed votes a little less than the conventional wisdom would suggest.

Another "elephant in the room" will be his religion. He is Jewish. That will certainly be a factor whether I like it or not. His bachelor status as well as the fact that he isn't he most "rugged" guy in the race will certainly play in and make for plenty of late night comedy fodder. I can see the jokes now, especially if the race ends up being a battle of 3 New Yorkers, and Michael is the least masculine one in the race.

But insiders say that Bloomberg's ultimate desision will be if he thinks he has a real shot at winning. At overcoming the obstacles of not having national party offices already well entrenched to do the dirty work in a campaign. He says he won't run "just to be a spoiler" a la a Ralph Nader.

But if Bloomberg is intimidated about both democratic and republican voters not being willing to vote for him because of his religion, marital status or machoness, he shouldn't worry too much. In addition to the fact that independent voters outnumber both parties now should be a comfort. But what should be even a bigger comfort is the fact that Rudy Giuliani has lead many polls for the GOP and Rudy has virtually identical views on most social issues. That Mitt Romney leads the rest of the polls on the republican side despite not sharing the faith that christian conservative voters said was "vital" in getting their vote in previous cycles. And on the other side of the aisle, the biggest hawk in the campaign, Hillary Clinton has lead from the get go, and her lead has expanded as the war gets worse. So, obviously, "principle" isn't playing as big a part in many a partisan's desisions as much as the desire to win is.

So, Bloomberg, if he can be shown to actually have a shot at winning, should get at least the consideration from many party loyalists on both sides.

But it would be a really wierd thing to have a legitimate 3 way race for President. It would be even wierder if all 3 candidates were essentially "New York" candidates. And it would be even wierder if the independent won.

But hey, this is America. And anything can happen in America. Even wierd stuff.

on Jun 22, 2007
sorry sean but how did that interview go
on Jun 22, 2007
it went well. i have almost 30 minutes of audio to transcribe and haven't had the chance to do it. at the end, he offered for me to come down and "shadow" him for a day to see what a day in the life is like during session.

i hope to have the article (or 2) done over the weekend hopefully.