Dark Horse Rising

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*

Bloomberg.

What?

You heard me: Bloomberg.

No, no, no. He’s assured the world he is not running.

Uh huh.

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.

Look at this.

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.

bberg.jpg

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7 thoughts on “Dark Horse Rising

  1. I’ve often wondered about the use of Hillary’s first name, too. Is it because she’s a woman? Or because “Clinton” doesn’t distinguish between Hillary or Bill?

    I agree — Bloomberg would make things very interesting.

  2. my sister’s husband works for Bloomberg in Manhatten, from what i get to hear and see, he’s a great man to work for the workplace is like a professional Google atmosphere

    three “New Yorkers” in the race? i think two is enough, and with Rudy there already and on the attack, i think it would divide the “New York” vote too much, not enough to share

    maybe next time, good man

  3. LOL David!

    I actually saw two TV news shows discuss Bloomberg’s potential candidacy this week! Both declared that it is more than a potential candidacy.

    I think, that while it may be interesting to watch it play out, the fact that this country is in such deep shit, would warrant that it not play out. He is not the best candidate, not only in my opinion but in that of many and you also stated that his foreign policy is not solid. We need someone that will be solid in both domestic and foreign affairs.

  4. Great minds, etc. :) I just posted a train of thought that wandered on and off the same tracks. Between us we have the election down pat. Oh, Pat’s not running this time. Who’s on first?

  5. Robin- It might be the Bill thing, I suppose. I remember now they tended to call George Bush jr. ‘Dubya’, so maybe it isn’t just the female thing. whew.

    fish- yeah, he broke down the walls to promote accessibility and accountability. I like the idea in theory, but in real life I wouldn’t want my creepy boss hanging over my shoulder all the time.

    david- Very clever, I laughed. But we like to be presented with someone who seems to be all family values and give them the chance to screw that image up in office.

    Corina- I see what you’re saying, and yet… I can’t help but hope we do start having probable third party candidates, and if this has to be the year and Bloomberg has to be the guy, he’d likely make a fair run of it. I remember watching an episode of the West-Wing, and this stuck with me cus I was on Josh’s side at first. He was arguing for president bartlett going, ‘Your guy can’t run, he’s stealing the President’s votes!’ and Amy (his ex) turns to him and goes, ‘That’s where your philosophy gets a little wacky. They *aren’t* the president’s votes.’

    And she’s right. They’re the peoples. We should choose our president, not all these polls and projections about how this will sway these people, and this will do that. The electorate is alas, fairly stupid on some counts, but they get treated that way in an election year. More choices would be a good thing.

    I hafta believe that.

    modestypress- “Really?” That was an impressive run through. I liked how you shed light on some relevant (and in at least one case, very little known) aspects of each candidate.

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