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Posted at 2:29 PM ET, 12/13/2010

Bloomberg for president?

By Jonathan Capehart

Despite the rampant speculation ginned up everywhere, New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I) made it clear on "Meet The Press" that he's not running for president in 2012. You always have to take such denials with a grain of salt. Circumstances, as well as minds, change. And a fella who has spent nearly $300 million to run three times for his current post and billions more in pocket change should never be counted out. But I believe him -- because he knows and I know he can't win.

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Chris Cillizza presented three reasons why Bloomberg won't win the Oval Office. New York is synonymous with liberalism. Bloomberg's billions are a barrier to relating to the concerns of the rest of us. And his gun control push has little resonance anymore. After eight years of Rudy Giuliani and almost 10 years of Bloomberg, the liberalism charge could be challenged on multiple fronts. Crime, terror and welfare are three that come to mind off the bat. In addition, Bloomberg would have an outstanding mayoral record he'd be right to trumpet. The bigger issue is that no New York City mayor has ever catapulted anywhere beyond City Hall. The out-of-touch billionaire rap was unsuccessfully used against him in 2001 (the campaign I worked on as a policy adviser), 2005 and 2009. Gun control is top of mind for the National Rifle Association. But unlike other elected officials, Bloomberg has more money than and less fear of the lobbying group.

Here's really why Bloomberg can't win: he has no one to vote for him.

Let's say Bloomberg gets the dream scenario that gives him the opening to jump in the race: Palin (or another ultra-conservative) as the Republican nominee and a politically weakened President Obama suffering from a still-sour economy. The problem wouldn't be that the American people wouldn't vote for him. The problem would be securing electors in enough states to put him over the 270 electoral vote threshold.

Remember, presidents aren't elected directly by the people. They are voted in by the electors in each state. It's a complicated legal affair that would require Team Bloomberg to battle the Democratic and Republican parties in every state to get on the ballot and, thus, have electors in place to vote for him. Then the new Congress gets into the act by certifying the votes of the electors that were cast on the Monday after the second Wednesday in December. Objections can be raised at this meeting. And if no presidential candidate wins a majority of the electoral vote, each state delegation in the House would vote for the president. The Senate would vote for the vice president. You think a Republican-controlled House (or Democratic-controlled if they win it back in 2012) is going to let an independent take the presidency without a fight? Hahahaha.

Running for president is an expensive proposition even for the two established parties. Cillizza reported yesterday that Obama could crack the $1 billion ceiling in 2012. Back when the Bloomberg-for-president boomlet was in full tilt in 2008, the conventional wisdom was that he would unleash at least a billion to do it.

A fool and his money are soon parted, so the saying goes. Bloomberg would be unbelievably foolish to make a run for the Oval Office as an independent. But I'm not worried. He has proven time and again that he is no fool.

By Jonathan Capehart  | December 13, 2010; 2:29 PM ET
Categories:  Capehart  | Tags:  Jonathan Capehart  
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Comments

Bloomberg in 2016? I'd vote for that.

Posted by: Victoria27 | December 13, 2010 4:57 PM | Report abuse

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