Friday, January 11, 2008


Nobody (or at least nobody outside his inner circle of coat-holders) really wants Mike Bloomberg to get involved in this year's presidential race -- even some of the people who gathered in Oklahoma with him earlier this week to discuss a third-party presidential candidacy backed away from endorsing him -- but he's just soldiering on regardless; Unity08 seems to be morphing into a Draft Bloomberg movement, and his people (or someone) got AP to write about his efforts to "microtarget" possible voters, which put speculation about his candidacy on the front pages of two local papers yesterday.

And now today, from The New York Sun -- which loves the idea of a Bloomberg presidency -- we have an alternate scenario.

The headline is

Bloomberg for No. 2 Spot Is Tempting for Some

-- but it's not at all clear from the story who those "some" might be (other than Bloomberg's own posse and the Sun itself):

As Mayor Bloomberg eyes a run for president, candidates from both parties are likely eyeing him -- and his billions of dollars -- for the no. 2 spot on a ticket.

Spoiler alert: The assertion that candidates are "likely eyeing him" isn't supported by anything in the story. We're told that Bloomberg has bags of money. We're told a #2 slot "would allow him to stay in the national spotlight and spearhead initiatives in areas he has focused on as mayor, including the environment and public health." And we're told this (which, I must confess, I fell for recently):

A breakfast at a Midtown Manhattan diner in November set off a torrent of speculation that an Obama-Bloomberg ticket could surface this year, and talk of a possible partnership between Senator McCain and Mr. Bloomberg began when the Republican candidate praised the mayor's record on education during a debate on December 12.

Also this (which is true):

A former opinion columnist for the New York Times, William Safire, predicted in a piece that ran in the Times on December 31 that Messrs. McCain and Bloomberg would team up.

But we're never given any evidence whatsoever that any candidate is seriously looking at him as a running mate.

Let's dispense with the McCain scenario first: He's looking more and more like the eventual GOP nominee -- but he's engendered widespread disgust among some members of own party, who think he's a "RINO." Why would he pick someone else who's going to alienate the base, someone who was a Republican In Name Only and then insulted the party further by dispensing with even the Republican name? As has been demonstrated repeatedly, McCain can simply pick someone satisfactory to the base (or even a base favorite), secure in the knowledge that the media will never write about that person's extreme right-wing positions as if they're extreme -- that's the way politics works in America. McCain won't need Bloomberg -- he could easily pick, say, Sam Brownback or Mike Huckabee and still get centrists' votes (alas).

Obama, I'd say, wouldn't pick Bloomberg for the simple reason that Bloomberg brings nothing to the ticket whatsoever (except money, which Obama is perfectly capable of raising all by himself). In what red state is an unmarried Jewish socially liberal New Yorker who's originally from Boston going to help him?

Forget it. Not gonna happen. But I'm sure Bloomberg enjoys the flattery, and we'll see if the Sun is eventually rewarded for it in some way by the mayor.

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