He's previously denied his presidential aspirations at the same time that his people were quietly drumming up support behind the scenes, but this time he's a little more convincing, writing in a New York Times editorial published today:
"I listened carefully to those who encouraged me to run, but I am not -- and will not be -- a candidate for president," Bloomberg wrote in an op-ed posted on the New York Times Web site Wednesday night in advance of Thursday's paper.
Time magazine editor Mark Halperin:
"The very appeal that Bloomberg would have brought to the race is the very appeal that [John] McCain and [Barack] Obama have for a lot of voters".
But throughout this campaign season Bloomberg has been careful what he says and doesn't say, and what he isn't saying is that he wouldn't accept the VP slot. Some folks in Washington think he's a strong candidate for that position.
WaPo columnist Al Kamen:
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is emerging as consensus pick for vice president among both Republicans and Democrats.
Well, not exactly, but, based on a perusal of the nearly 600 entries in our contest to pick a running mate for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and the 2,600 entries to select one for Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), a fair number of Loop Fans speculated that either candidate might pick Bloomberg as his No. 2.
At a summit designed to bridge the divide between Democrats and Republicans, Bloomberg said in January partisanship is limiting the nation's progress.
"People have stopped working together, government is dysfunctional, there's no collaborating and congeniality," he said. "America is being held back."
In the opinion piece, Bloomberg said he's hopeful that the current Democratic and Republican campaigns will address an independent approach to governing.
"I have watched this campaign unfold, and I am hopeful that the current campaigns can rise to the challenge by offering truly independent leadership," he said. "The most productive role that I can serve is to push them forward, by using the means at my disposal to promote a real and honest debate."
Bloomberg could also play a role in the election if he makes an endorsement. He is good friends with McCain, and he also likes Obama, Halperin said.
"If a candidate takes an independent, nonpartisan approach -- and embraces practical solutions that challenge party orthodoxy -- I'll join others in helping that candidate win the White House," he said in the opinion piece.
I don't see either Obama or McCain moving away from the core party values, but Obama's expressed willingness to heal the nation could be counter-balanced by McCain's selection of Bloomberg if Bloomberg's expressed mission were to accomplish the same nation-healing goal.
With McCain campaigning as the macho mucho-experienced Commander-in-Chief, and his VP Bloomberg campaigning as McCain's nation-healing Vice-President, Democrats would be hard-pressed to mount a comparable one-two punch of experience and non-partisan bridge-building, nation-healing, consensus-building Kumbaya.
Bloomberg offers a lot as a McCain VP choice, and that seems the more likely scenario to me.
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