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Monday, April 26, 2010

Resolved: Michael Bloomberg Missed His Shot At The Presidency



(image via observer)

For quite a few years this blog has speculated, gamely, that NYC's mercurial media mogul Mayor Michael Bloomberg might just run for President in 2012 as he hinted he might do in 2008. That time now seems irrevocably to have passed. Two unforeseeable events last week have conspired to all but trap him in cite (and possibly state) politics. One, the "Bloomberg's Offshore Millions" story broke on the Observer. Second, Bloomberg -- being a good steward of NYC tax revenues -- defended Wall Street against President Obama, a hugely unpopular political position. In cushioning Wall Street (which provides a significant amount of the city's tax coffers) from the prevailing populist winds, Mayor Bloomberg probably knocked himself out of contention for the prize. According to the WashPo, "About two-thirds of Americans support stricter regulations on the way banks and other financial institutions conduct their business."

Putting the final nail into the coffin of the idea of any Bloomberg presidential candidacy there is that whole Bermuda-loving billionaire thing (Averted Gaze). It would not augur well for a Presidential candidate in 2012, in the thick of The Great Recession, to be seen as Bermuda estate loving. Could Bloomberg self-finance a 2012 campaign with some heavyweight thinkers on board? Sure.

Mike Bloomberg is unpredictable enough political player to make such a quixotic run. It would be useless, however, serving only as an economic stimulus for media markets in swing states across the country. But he cannot win, not with the cards he is holding. His time was probably in 2008 as a third party candidate. The Corsair asked The Atlantic's Marc Ambinder during Question Time what he thought of a Bloomberg '12 candidacy on Friday. His response? "Not very high, unless he wants to run as the champion of Wall Street, which is, uh, not very likely."

And there you have it.

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