Bloomberg's Announcement Spurs Speculation

Will billionaire New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg enter the 2008 presidential race? Bloomberg — more liberal than any RINO and, as of this week no longer a Republican even in name — won’t win any party’s nomination. But what would his entry mean to the race? Who would benefit, and who would lose ground?

One thing is true of New York candidates — even carpetbaggers — tact has never been their strong suit. When Hillary moved to New York to run in the 2000 Senatorial race, the speculation was that she was looking to gain the power and support of a strong blue state to make a potential run for the presidency. This speculation proved to be true. In addition, her legislative trend has been moving towards the center, especially in regards to social issues, in order to appeal to a wider base should she get the Democratic go-ahead.

Though Rudy Giuliani demonstrated slightly more tact than Hillary, he seemed to step around the issue of the presidential race often enough to raise eyebrows. He did say that he would not be trying for a role in Washington in the next year or two, but this was back in 2004/05. There was even a suggestion from Newsday that Giuliani should try for Albany instead of DC, doubting his appeal to the Republican base and marketability as a national candidate. After the disastrous 2006 New York gubernatorial elections, Giuliani just proved that he was smart enough to stay out of the Republican’s scramble to find any candidate to oppose prosecutor Eliot Spitzer, and candidates from all sides were quick to disassociate from Pataki’s politics during his tenure.

Then there is former Governor George Pataki. He was being mentioned a lot early on in the year, and though his name has not resurfaced, he is still out there. Pataki would be a much harder sell than even Giuliani because his stint as governor ended with low opinion polls and even Republican candidates were quick to criticize and distance themselves from him. Similar to the way many of the Republicans were quick to distance themselves from some of Bush’s policies in ’06.

So, what are the chances for a third party candidate, who is rich, from New York? Well, Rasmussen Reports asked that very question and the result was Bloomberg would pull from those likely to vote for Giuliani, despite what the New York Times said that it would mean trouble for the Democrats.

Giuliani and Bloomberg would undoubtedly draw on a very similar dissatisfied base — the moderates and independents. Although, with his independent status Bloomberg does not have to worry about appealing to a base for the republican nomination like Rudy does.

With the general dissatisfaction in the country about the way the government is being run, this could be just the third party candidate who can make a legitimate run for the White House, despite his denial of attempting one. We can only guess how much tact Mayor Mike possesses, but what is true is that its already gearing up to be one heck of an election. Washington Post columnist Howard Kurtz wrote, “Can you imagine three New Yorkers in the race, Hillary vs. Rudy vs. Bloomy? It would be like a Yankees-Mets World Series and a Jets-Giants Super Bowl rolled into one.”

In addition to switching parties, Bloomberg allegedly has feelers out in several swing states, which may indicate he is looking towards a run.

What other motivation could Bloomberg have for switching parties? In New York City, he is still the same person with the same principles so it won’t be easier to pass legislation. There seems to be an ulterior motive, unless honesty is suddenly coming back into politics. In which case, more power to the Mayor for doing this for purely ideological reasons, and he is clearly with the majority of Americans who are fed up with both of the parties.

Though a subway election would be great, it is less than likely. Hillary is fighting it out with other Democratic favorites like Obama and Edwards, while Giuliani has to answer to the conservative base about his less than conservative social attitudes. In addition, would Bloomberg really go against Rudy who backed him in 2001, especially because they do share some common bonds? The only sure thing is that the more New Yorkers are in the race, the more political fun will be had by every journalist covering the race.

Other good opinions and assessments:

Daily News

Gotham Gazette