Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Will Bloomberg Run For President as an Indie?

The Corsair's old pal and employer David Hershkovits, editor of Paper Magazine, the downtown hipster bible, writes today about the persistent rumor as to whether or not Mayor Michael Bloomberg will run for President as an independent. David writes in the PaperBlog:

"If you're sick of the Republicans and the Democrats, you might find solace in the thought that New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg is giving serious consideration to throwing his hat in the ring as a third party candidate. Rev. Al Sharpton calls him 'Ross Perot with a resume.' Even though he hosted their convention in New York, he is not considered a viable Republican candidate as the Washington Post points out: 'He supports gun control, has raised taxes, backs same-sex marriage and signed a law banning the use of trans fats in fast-food restaurants. The mayor once filed suit on behalf of the city against two dozen gun dealers." What he does have is money, lots of it. Like $5.5 billion. Which allows him to play it coy for now as he waits to see how the candidates hold up in the early stages of the campaign.

"Even as he officially denies his interest saying, 'How can a 5-foot-7, divorced billionaire Jew running as an independent from New York possibly have a chance?' Bloomberg has bigger problems than fudging his height. The New York Times, a strong supporter of the Mayor, is leading an investigation into a secret spy unit that was organized when New York City hosted the Republican convention. 'A review by our colleague Jim Dwyer of court records and some of the still-secret documents tells a stunning story. The police may have overreached and misused surveillance authority in a wide undercover effort to head off disruptions. In the months leading to the convention, officers were dispatched around the United States, and to Canada and Europe. The so-called R.N.C. Intelligence Squad, run with the help of a former senior C.I.A. official, was supposed to sniff out potential troublemakers, but it seems to have spent a lot of effort infiltrating and compiling dossiers on groups that clearly posed no danger.

"The Mayor is fighting the public release of the surveillance records."

Will Bloomberg ultimately run for President as an indie? He could; Bloomberg could ostensibly spend $500 million of his own personal fortune and not break a sweat. But I don't think he will for 2 reasons: 1) McCain will pick Lieberman as his running mate on a "Fusion" ticket, and both McCain and Lieberman believe in what Bloomberg believes, thus his run would be moot from an ideological standpoint; 2) The police spy issue will ruin him among all-important "Independents" in 2008, who are fiercely Libertarian on privacy and social issues.

Still, David -- a onetime and future possibility for Gracie mansion -- makes for an interesting read. (Papermag)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

You are right that us true independents will have a hard time supporting Bloomberg. But to atone for the RNC debacle he could pldege to enact election reform to include campaign financing, fair ballot access and voting rights for DC citizens. The ten point platform is at www.independentamerica.org.
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