Talk of Bloomberg ‘08 Continues

More speculation on a possible Bloomberg independent campaign for President in 2008…

When billionaire Michael Bloomberg became New York mayor shortly after the September 11 attacks, some mocked his dullness and lack of political savvy.

Now the Republican mayor of America’s most populous city doesn’t understand why he can’t quell talk he wants to be president.

“I won’t be running for president (in 2008),” Bloomberg said on his radio show on Friday. “I don’t know why I can’t convince everybody.”

Since taking office in early 2002, Bloomberg—a longtime Democrat who switched parties in 2001 to run in the less-crowded Republican field—has honed his political street smarts and built a niche as a social liberal and fiscal conservative.

Following a landslide re-election win last November, the 64-year-old Bloomberg has been increasingly speaking out on national issues and become one of America’s most prominent mayors, fending off more and more questions about a White House bid.

Such talk reached new heights this week after Bloomberg, ranked by Forbes magazine as the 112th richest billionaire worth $5.1 billion, playfully entertained the idea of running as an independent.

“Bloomberg hints at presidential prospects,” said a New York Times headline. “Mayor’s denial hints at prez run,” said The New York Post. The latest round of speculation was sparked by his comment at a recent political fund-raiser in Connecticut.

Asked if he was running, Bloomberg initially said, “Absolutely not,” before adding: “And anybody who’s running will say exactly that.”

According to the Norwalk, Connecticut-based newspaper The Hour, Bloomberg then said he was too liberal for Republicans and too conservative for Democrats.

“Running as an independent candidate would be a daunting thing,” he added.

UNLIKELY NOMINEE

Bloomberg, who cannot run for mayor again because of term limits, insists he will sell his news and financial-information services company Bloomberg LP at the end of his term to focus on philanthropy.

Political observers say while Bloomberg’s aides are trying to persuade him to keep his options open, his positioning in his own words as “a moderate down the middle” makes him an unlikely nominee for Republicans or Democrats.

“There is really almost no chance he would ever be nominated to run for president, because in America, New York is like another country,” said Steve Cohen, professor of public administration at Columbia University. “And running as an independent is impossible.”

But the latest talk highlights Bloomberg’s evolution from an almost reticent politician to an adept mayor who, now that he no longer has to court Republicans, has spoken out in favor of liberal issues including gun control and gay marriage.

“This (presidency) talk is certainly an indication of how much he has grown as a public figure,” said Cohen. “During his first campaign it was painful even to watch him give a public address. Now he is much more comfortable.”

Political consultant George Artz said Bloomberg, a native of suburban Boston who speaks in a dry monotone, has surprised people.

“People are getting resistant to rhetoric and are not as interested in the great communicator. They like a plain talker they can trust,” he said.

A recent New York Times editorial noted how “the button-down chief executive suddenly became the master of the explosive sound bite,” calling gun control legislation in Washington “God-awful” and intelligent design theory “creationism by another name.”

Then before joking recently how easily he could finance a presidential run, Bloomberg told a Chicago university, “There is nothing, absolutely nothing wrong with criticizing our government.”

Experts say Bloomberg’s financial clout and popularity free him from partisan politics and allow him to speak his mind.

“But we can’t tell if he is really not interested in running for president,” said image and political consultant Mike Paul.

Bloomberg says he is flattered by all the speculation.

“I send some of these articles to my mother and she’s probably pretty pleased about it,” he said recently.

7 Responses to “Talk of Bloomberg ‘08 Continues”

  1. Chris Campbell Says:

    Bloomberg left Democrats not out of ideology, but a “less crowded field”?

    Another example of what we all on here talk about the hoax

  2. Citizens For A Better Veterans Home Says:

    Unity08 was made for this guy!

    “Too conservatives for Dems, too liberal for GOP.” sounds like my kind of candidate!

    “Less crowded field” gee that was Teddy Roosevelt’s nephew (FDR) in the 1920s. I worked for him, AND THE NATION, in the 1930s!

    Let’s take the guy at his word, but insists that he play support for Donald Trump and Lou (CNN) Dobbs in 2008!

  3. Phil Sawyer Says:

    Even though my advice was not requested, I am giving it anyway. Mayor Bloomberg should consider an immediate announcement as a candidate for the Libertarian Party nomination for president in 2008. He is a very good fit for that Party and it would be the biggest news boost for them since their keynote speaker at the 1977 convention was Eugene J. McCarthy. (By the way, Gene McCarthy should have been asked by the Party to be its presidential nominee in 1980. Would not that have been an interesting race? Reagan, Carter, Anderson, and McCarthy?)

    Alternatively, Mr. Bloomberg might consider the Green Party of the United States. As someone who will be voting in the Green Party of California’s Primary Election in June of 2008, I would certainly listen to what he has to say.

  4. Austin Cassidy Says:

    Isn’t Bloomberg one of the mayors that’s pushed all of those smoking bans?

    I think he’d be eaten alive by the Libertarians.

  5. Tony Hernandez Says:

    Trump and Lou dobbs are self serving scammers.
    Unity 08 is a sideshow to sidetrack independents ala Pat Buchanan

    Trump is backing Republican Charlie Crist in Florida to hustle condo deals.
    Dobbs is a book pimp with no intent to leave his cushy CNN gig.

    The independent minded people should not fall for htis hustle.
    Bloomberg has a shot as a straight up independent.

    So does Daniel Imperato based on he ability to self finance ballot access

  6. Paul Says:

    I hope that one of the options that Bloomberg considers is becoming a Centrist powerbroker: Raising money and resources for Centrist Candidates in close races as he is doing with Lieberman.

  7. Robert Says:

    Imperato’s my man. Daniel Imperato is going to be the powerbroker in 2008 for the American people

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