Hillary. Obama. Hillary. Obama.
(isn’t it kinda weird how Hillary is referred to primarily by her first name, and Barack primarily by his last?)
Romney. Huckabee. McCain. *yawn*
You heard me: Bloomberg.
No, no, no. He’s assured the world he is not running.
Here’s what I’m thinking: not only is he running, he has set himself up 12 moves back with the most elegant, calculated political strategy in the history of black sheep candidates. I do believe Bloomberg is about to launch himself as the first competitive Independent candidate in U.S. presidential history since George Washington.
Flanked on the left and the right by a Republican and a Democrat…. delivering a searing criticism to ‘the establishment’… launching a not for profit to tend to the country’s infrastructure: Clever, clever boy.
Michael Bloomberg is a very effective individual. Whatever else you might say, he is no wallflower. He decided to run for Mayor of New York City in 2001, but could not run competitively as a Democrat so he simply switched to the Republican ticket, winning the Republican primaries and the general election. A rather remarkable feat considering that his views align with that of a social liberal. He was reelected as mayor in 2005.
Bloomberg is the founder of Bloomberg L.P. and he does not lack for funding to launch a major presidential campaign. In fact, Bloomberg could give the lavishly funded Romney some sleepless nights.
Bloomberg left the Republican party in June of 2007 and switched to an Independent.
He is a self-made man, a graduate of John Hopkins University with an M.B.A. from Harvard, a formidable philanthropist who has given hundreds of millions to charitable causes in the last ten years, and an Eagle Scout. In other words, he’s a force to be reckoned with.
The down-side? He has been accused of sexual harrasment by women working under him. He is divorced, and has a mistress in New York. He is commonly depicted as a ‘philanderer’. All these things measure against him as a presidential candidate.
Additionally, there are two sides of the coin to a powerful, wealthy man who is used to achieving whatever he sets his mind to. While the changes he has effected in New York City have garnered wide approval, there are those who feel Bloomberg embodies a certain ruthlessness of character.
His ideas are strong, and applied in an effective manner, but the mayor reserves a certain autonomy that makes some of his deterrers nervous. Like the move to switch parties; perhaps this method made it easier for him to actually act on the causes he championed, but it displays a certain lack of loyalty. The message is that Bloomberg will do whatever necessary to gain a foothold when he has decided to go after something.
Is that a good thing?
I have found him fascinating since I read an article on him in Vanity Fair years ago. I agree with many of his domestic political views, though his foreign policy stance makes me rather uncomfortable.
But I am curious. If Bloomberg throws down the gauntlet, this unprecedented presidential campaign is going to turn into one crazy game of poker. It would sure be interesting to watch it play out.