I've been surprised at the recent lack of speculation over whether Michael Bloomberg will run for president as an independent. It seems to me that he very well might.
First, let's consider it from his perspective. Bloomberg is a guy who thinks he should be president. He's tacitly encouraged the presidential speculation in the past. Unlike the other candidates, he can write a $500 million check to finance his entire campaign and it won't materially change his financial situation. So he won't have to grub for money on the phone. Moreover, he's got only a year left of being mayor...why not give it a shot?
Furthermore, there's a certain degree of similarity to 1992: an unpopular President Bush, a dissatisfied public (26/67% right track/wrong track in a recent Harris poll), a relatively lackluster crop of presidential candidates. Even enviro issues are high-profile again, like they were in the early 90s. And while the war was over in 92, it was still on people's mind.
Bloomberg is much like Ross Perot. Social moderate-to-liberal, budget hawk, self-made billionaire. A little eccentric with some occasional faux populism. Although he runs on the Republican line in New York City, Bloomberg is no Republican. He was a lifelong Democrat who switched parties so he could easily run for mayor. Like Perot, he can run against the two-party system as a reformer who can't be bought.
So will he run? I'd put the odds somewhere a little over 35% (or if you will, 2 to 1). The odds go up a little if Giuliani isn't going to be the Republican nominee, because two Yankee mayors running for president might be just a little too much...especially if Hillary is the Democrats' nominee.
>>I've been surprised at the recent lack of speculation over whether Michael Bloomberg will run for president as an independent.<<
Ask and ye shall receive!
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