Michael Bloomberg has announced that he is not a Republican. I could have told him that a long time ago. The billionaire mayor of New York City was a lifelong Democrat before switching parties in 2001 and spending fifty million of his own dollars to be elected mayor in the days following 9/11. He was handily re-elected to a second term in 2005, but is term-limited from seeking a third, which has fueled speculation that he wants to be the first third party candidate elected president of the United States since Abraham Lincoln defeated the Democrats and the Whigs. It also could provide Americans with a real history lesson.
Bloomberg’s main claim to fame these last six years is that he banned smoking in public places and the use of trans-fats in New York City restaurants. He is a supporter of abortion on demand and favors special rights for homosexuals. He also is about as hostile to the Second Amendment as any politician in America, having once threatened to use his own money to sue firearms manufacturers he claimed were “flooding the city with guns.” In every way one can think of, hizzoner is an unabashed liberal.
Left-wing pundits in the Big Apple fawn over how well Bloomberg has managed the city’s economy; but as George Will points out, the national economy is thriving and New York City is simply participating in it.
Bloomberg’s foray into “independent” politics has the talking heads buzzing. Will he run for president? Can he win or will he simply be a spoiler? How much of his vast fortune will he be willing to spend? His wealth, his newfound independent status and his picture on the cover of TIME magazine with Caleefornia Governor Arnold Schwarzenkennedy all combine to titillate the political news cycle, which has become bored predicting whether Fred Thompson can win the GOP nomination and beat Hillary Clinton (he can) or whether John McCain can recover from his disastrous support for amnesty (he can’t).
Bloomberg’s association with the governator, when combined with Vice President Dick Cheney’s recent assertion that his office is part of the legislative rather than the executive branch of government (more on that later) could serve to provide Americans with one of the most interesting history lessons we have had in a while.
If Mayor Mike decides to throw his big sombrero into the presidential ring, he has an important decision to make. Whom does he choose as a running mate? Until recently, political conjecture had it that it would be U.S. Sen. Chuck Hagel (RINO-NE), but that gossip has dissipated along with Hagel’s political poll numbers, which recently showed that he could not even win a primary for re-election to the senate.
We all know that to occupy the presidency, a person must be a natural born citizen. But what does the U.S. Constitution say about a person holding the office of vice president? It is curiously silent on the matter. Could Bloomberg select Arnold as his running mate?
Vice President Cheney’s creative contention that his office is not an executive branch agency adds additional intrigue to the status of that office. At issue is a requirement that all executive branch offices provide data on how much material they classify and declassify. That information is to be provided to the Information Security Oversight Office at The National Archives.
If Cheney’s office (read “the Bush Administration”) prevails in this notion, does it not add fuel to the speculation that a foreign-born politician (read “popular Austrian-born governor of our nation’s largest state”) could legally hold that office?
And if a Mike-and-Arnold independent ticket cannot garner enough electoral votes to win but can deny the presidency to either the Republican or Democratic nominee, what happens then? Constitutionally, the election of the president is thrown into the U.S. House of Representatives, while the election of the vice president is decided by the U.S. Senate.
With the current makeup of the Congress, one might assume that this would assure a victory for the Democratic presidential nominee, but nothing is certain. Nancy Pelosi’s House could select anyone they wanted, or they could simply stalemate. If the senate does likewise on the selection of a vice president, we could end up with no elected president or vice president. In this case, one can only assume that Pelosi herself, as Speaker of the House, would assume the presidency.
Thus ends the very frightening history lesson.