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Bloomberg Inches Toward Third Party Bid

bloomberg_2.jpgEncouraged by the lack of any viable electable candidates on the right, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is slowly moving forward with his third party bid.

On Sunday, the mayor will join Democratic and Republican elder statesmen at the University of Oklahoma in what the conveners are billing as an effort to pressure the major party candidates to renounce partisan gridlock.

Former Senator David L. Boren of Oklahoma, who organized the session with former Senator Sam Nunn, a Democrat of Georgia, suggested in an interview that if the prospective major party nominees failed within two months to formally embrace bipartisanship and address the fundamental challenges facing the nation, "I would be among those who would urge Mr. Bloomberg to very seriously consider running for president as an independent."

Next week's meeting, reported on Sunday in The Washington Post, comes as the mayor's advisers have been quietly canvassing potential campaign consultants about their availability in the coming months.

What is it about being Mayor of New York that makes some politicians think they're anywhere qualified on foreign relations matters - an are wholly untouched by a city's Mayor, even if it is New York.

Sure, Rudy Giuliani thinks he's qualified to fight terrorism because, after all, he oversaw the cleanup after 9/11 -- the biggest janitorial project any city has ever encountered (next to New Orleans Katrina cleanup perhaps).

And Mr. Bloomberg himself has become more candid in conversations with friends and associates about his interest in running, according to participants in those talks. Despite public denials, the mayor has privately suggested scenarios in which he might be a viable candidate: for instance, if the opposing major party candidates are poles apart, like Mike Huckabee, a Republican, versus Barack Obama or John Edwards as the Democratic nominee.

A final decision by Mr. Bloomberg about whether to run is unlikely before February. Still, he and his closest advisers are positioning themselves so that if the mayor declares his candidacy, a turnkey campaign infrastructure will virtually be in place.

Bloomberg aides have studied the process for starting independent campaigns, which formally begins March 5, when third-party candidates can begin circulating nominating petitions in Texas. If Democrats and Republicans have settled on their presumptive nominees at that point, Mr. Bloomberg will have to decide whether he believes those candidates are vulnerable to a challenge from a pragmatic, progressive centrist, which is how he would promote himself.

It now appears that Bloomberg's recent denials of interest if the job were just so much bull. Gee, I'm surprised...

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Comments (5)

Steve Crickmore[TypeKey Profile Page]:

Lee, digby had an excellentpost about this...It seems it is always when the Dems look to be doing all the running that the established figures, "village Elders", as digby calls them get scared, and start touting the idea of a 'bipartisan' third party..I'm a little surprised that Gary Hart seems to be one of the principals behind this third party movement.

National Guard LT:

You guys are on the left side of the spectrum. I only want to see the next president as someone that is not under the neo-con influence after the disastrous results achieved by them in the ME. Besides, I would prefer to serve a few more years and will resign my commission if the neocons remain in power.

How do you think this will impact the race?

Lee Ward:

I hadn't noticed this "village elder" phenomena before.

Thinking about this after posting, and trying to decide who would benefit, my guess is this is something that would ultimately benefit Clinton.

It tends to cast a shadow over the nomination of Edwards or Obama, suggesting that a third party centrist like Bloomberg is needed only if the left is successful in nominating one of the more progressive candidates. Clinton preaches the bipartisan sermon - that solving the national health crisis requires a bipartisan working group, for example.

Oh, i get it -- Clinton preaches the "It takes a Village" approach, and here we find "the village elders" suggesting that Obama and Edwards cast out (?) Digby's good!

I'm for whatever it takes to keep GOP huckleberries out of office and out of power. I think a centrist Democrat in the White House increases the chances of a Democratic filibuster-proof majority in the House and Senate, since many feel that power should be shared and that a liberal in the WH requires a conservative counter balance in Congress.

In that sense I'm in agreement with the elders, in principle, but I'm not at all sold on the idea that Bloomberg is a better option than Obama.

Mike Bloomberg is a one of a kind candidate - combining politics and business in one intelligent package.

If your readers would like to help us with our efforts - we have a Draft Bloomberg petition in place to show Mayor Bloomberg that America is looking for more than the standard rhetoric that pollutes the Presidential race...

Sign the Draft Bloomberg petition: http://tinyurl.com/yon2et

National Guard LT:

Larkin- On the Republican side, Dr. Ron Paul is clearly not under the neocon spell.

While not neocons by definition on the Democrat side, I am impressed by Edwards and Richardson whose positions on Iraq are very clear.


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Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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