Sunday, July 30, 2006

Bloomy Running for President?

Recieved this in my email this morning from Newsmax (Would link if I could - couldn't find on website...)

Insider Report from NewsMax.com

Headlines (Scroll down for complete stories):
1. Bloomberg Serious About White House Run

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg will dispose of his multibillion-dollar business holdings next year by giving much of his fortune to charity and using some of the rest to fund a run for president as an independent, a source close to the mayor tells Wall Street Journal columnist John Fund.

But could a Bloomberg candidacy actually succeed?

“Certainly, dissatisfaction with both major parties is high, with large numbers of Americans viewing Republicans as unprincipled and less than competent and Democrats as feckless and unserious,” John Fund writes in the Wall Street Journal.

“Similar conditions gave rise to Ross Perot in 1992, and for a while the diminutive Texas billionaire was running first in the polls. He eventually won 19 percent of the national vote and helped Bill Clinton defeat the first President Bush.”

Bloomberg would hold several advantages over Perot, Fund notes. For one thing, he has actually won two elections, something Perot has never achieved.

As NewsMax reported, political strategist Dick Morris opined that Bloomberg can succeed where Perot failed because – thanks to his years dealing with the national press corps as mayor of the country’s biggest city – he knows how to handle himself in the public spotlight.

"That education makes it unlikely that he will implode with paranoia or be rattled by the antics of the party national committees, as Perot was,” Morris points out.

Also, Bloomberg would likely have even more money to spend than Perot. He was overheard saying he could put up “half a billion.” That’s almost as much as George Bush and John Kerry combined spent during the 2004 race.

According to Fund, the thinking is that a Bloomberg run as an independent would hurt the Democratic candidate more than the Republican.

“As the quintessential urban candidate, Mr. Bloomberg would likely appeal most to city dwellers, who overwhelmingly vote Democratic. Then there are his issue positions. Mr. Bloomberg has run and won twice as a registered Republican in New York, but he supports partial-birth abortion, gun control, and gay rights and opposes the death penalty.”

But the speculation about a Bloomberg run could turn out to be idle, according to Fund. “Bloomberg knows that the odds are against him: No modern third-party candidate has come close to winning, and even if one managed to poll close to 40 percent of the popular vote, it would be hard to carry a majority of the Electoral College.

“Thus, while the mayor could afford the stratospheric spending requirements of a national campaign, observers think that in the end the 64-year-old mayor is likely to skip the race.”

Not so fast, says Paul M. Weyrich, chairman and CEO of the Free Congress Foundation and a NewsMax pundit.

Bloomberg “could decide that the climate is right” for a run as an independent, Weyrich writes.

“Half the country does not want Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, yet she is the likely Democratic nominee. More than half the nation loves John McCain, but most likely he will not be the GOP nominee. So Bloomberg, very much attracted to public service, may just say, ‘To heck with it.’

“Get those ‘Bloomberg for President’ bumper stickers rolling off the presses?”

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