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The Case For Mike Bloomberg

The buzz surrounding a possible independent presidential candidacy by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg (R) continues to build among the political chattering class, even as the mayor himself does little to extinguish or ignite the rumors.

New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg
New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg smiles Sunday as he delivers the commencement address at Tufts University in Medford, Mass. (AP Photo)

Bloomberg was lauded by political analyst (and former Fix boss) Charlie Cook in a column last Friday, received wall-to-wall coverage for his commencement address at Tufts University, was named one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people in the world and was even the subject of a speculative piece penned by the Politico's Ben Smith about whether Bloomberg would consider a vice presidential nomination in 2008.

The Washington Times even published a piece that had Bloomberg all but in the race and ready to spend $1 billion of his own money on a national bid.

Today on The Fix we make the case for a Bloomberg independent candidacy. Later in the week, we'll argue against such a bid. These posts are meant to spark conversation among The Fix community about the mayor's relative strengths and weaknesses as a candidate.

From City Hall to the White House

The foundation of any serious presidential campaign -- Republican, Democrat or independent -- is money. Lots and lots of money. Bloomberg has that covered, in spades. Forbes magazine estimated Bloomberg's net worth at $5.5 billion.

To win the mayor's race in 2001, Bloomberg dropped $73 million of his own money; he followed that up by spending more than $80 million from his personal fortune to cruise to reelection in 2005 over former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer (D).

Bloomberg's $150 million in personal political spending far eclipses the $60 million or spent by Ross Perot in his independent campaign for the presidency in 1992.

Of course, campaign spending has increased exponentially in the last 15 years, so Bloomberg would likely need to write a check (or checks) totaling somewhere between $250 million and $500 million to be competitive. Neutral observers are already estimating that 2008 will be the first billion-dollar presidential election, with the eventual Democratic and Republican nominees expected to raise between $500 and $750 million each.

Bloomberg is capable of making that sort of financial commitment, but it remains to be seen if he wants to make such a heavy investment in what can only be described as a longshot bid.

If he decides to go forward with a bid, Bloomberg's next hurdle is determining whether the political environment is right for a third-party candidate. A look at most recent polling suggests it is. President George W. Bush's job-approval rating has been mired in the low-to-mid-30s for months; job-approval numbers for Congress are no better, even with Democrats now in charge. Somewhere between two-thirds and three-quarters of Americans regularly say they are dissatisfied with the direction of the country.

Listen to the top presidential candidates in each party and you hear strikingly similar rhetoric: Washington is broken and only he (or she!) can fix it. But the American people tend to believe that the two parties are bigger and more powerful than any single politician (and they're right) and tend to look skeptically at promises by Democratic and Republican politicians about overhauling a system from the inside.

The political environment today is not dissimilar to what it was in 1991-92 when Perot emerged on the scene as a straight-talking businessman promising to bring some real-world sensibility to politics. Perot ran a decidedly uneven campaign but still managed 19 percent of the vote nationally.

While Bloomberg shares (or bests) Perot's business chops, he also has spent the last six years as the mayor of New York City. During that time, Bloomberg has won kudos from Democrats and Republicans alike (and more than a few pundits) who say Bloomberg's record in New York City shows him to be a "shrewd problem solver." New Yorkers agree. A recent poll for the New York Daily News asked city residents who was a better mayor -- Bloomberg or Rudy Giuliani. Fifty-six percent chose Bloomberg while just 29 percent opted for Giuliani. Bloomberg's job-approval ratings are similarly sky high -- often breaking 70 percent.

In recent months Bloomberg has taken to selling his success story in New York City to a larger national audience. He has created a Web site and has given a series of speeches around the country to tout his accomplishments and lay out his ideas on issues like global warming, education and gun control.

On each of these issues, Bloomberg presents himself as the ultimate pragmatist -- someone who knows what he believes but is also willing to work with others to get something done. In a recent speech on climate change, Bloomberg summed up his governing philosophy nicely: "Mayors are always on the front lines of solving problems that affect people's everyday lives. Whether it's fighting crime, or improving the schools, or cleaning the streets, mayors are responsible for coming up with solutions -- and implementing them effectively."

A "doer" with a proven record of accomplishments in the largest city in America ... a checkbook plenty deep enough to keep him competitive with the two major party nominees ... a national political environment clamoring for an outsider to come in and truly shake up the status quo...

Sounds like the perfect ingredients for a serious Bloomberg '08 campaign.

Check back later this week for the cast against Bloomberg.

By Chris Cillizza  |  May 22, 2007; 1:30 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Posted by: jasy aune | June 12, 2007 3:58 AM | Report abuse

US President Tim Kalemkarian, US Senate Tim Kalemkarian, US House Tim Kalemkarian: best major candidate.

Posted by: anonymous | May 28, 2007 4:52 AM | Report abuse

Mark,

Yes, Mike Bloomberg is the Bloomberg of the news reports and he is Jewish. He was a registered Democrat until he switched to run for mayor. Giuliani recruited him I believe.

There are a lot of Republican leaning voters who are not mainly concerned with guns and social issues. There are a lot of swing voters (myself included) who are socially moderate and not particularly hung up on guns who could vote for a moderate Republican or an independent like Bloomberg.

Posted by: JimD in FL | May 23, 2007 8:43 AM | Report abuse

I agree completely with the aforementioned comments saying that if Perot could capture 19% of the vote in 1992, then surely someone with Bloomberg's credits could do even better in 2008. The main thing I like about him is that he is concerned more about enacting policies for the greater good than he is for towing the party line. If he were to run on an independent ticket with someone like Hagel I would not expect him to win, but it would be powerfully symbolic if he received a fair share of votes. It would send a message saying that America is sick of "leaders" that care more about party unity than the well being of the country. I am just so unimpressed with either of the two parties that I would be delighted to see a strong independent candidacy.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 9:21 PM | Report abuse

DCGeek writes: "Imagine if it ended up being Giuliani, Clinton, and Bloomburg- I can't imagine how New York would vote."

This NYer would vote for Bloomberg, but Hillary would be a great President as well. Giuiliani will not be the Republican nominee--which makes Bloomberg somewhat more viable of a candidate.

He will be able to pull in fiscally conservative republicans when the nutcase wing of the party succeeds in nominating lazy Fred Thompson or lying "tell 'em what they want to hear" Mitt Romney. Socially conservative Dems will also vote for Bloomberg, along with many swing Independents.

The key will be Bloomberg using his $$ to attract additional independent voters by increasing overall turnout. He wont get into this race without a realistic plan to win, and he will execute that plan to a "T".

Posted by: windserf | May 22, 2007 8:21 PM | Report abuse

One of the effects of partisan politics is that both parties bases will want to make sure "not a vote is wasted". I think Bloomberg needs to be able to prove he can actually win the thing, as otherwise he's just another Nader.

The Republican-leaning voters are unlikely to plump for Bloomberg, as he is a "liberal" on gun reform & social issues. (Like Giuliani, but Giluiani's changed his position to try and win the Republican nomination).

His best hope is for Hillary to win the Dem nomination, and a pro-war Repub (McCain?) to win that side. Then he can fight as an anti-war independent who will rise above partisan politics.

Posted by: JayPe | May 22, 2007 8:07 PM | Report abuse

To the "King of Zouk" -

Do you relate to your co-workers, friends, and family members in a similarly hateful way? I hate to think what would happen at the Zouk family dinner table if King Jr. announced that he was joining the Peace Corps.

What I mean to ask is, do you not understand, sir, that many here are sincerely interested in the opinions of others which may differ from their own?

That many here are able to discuss positions with which they disagree in a civil manner, and that this practice is, in fact, the foundation of our democracy (such as it is)?

Have you ever learned anything from people with whom you disagree?

Or do you refuse to consider the validity of any point of view which is not your own?

When posting links to partisan conservative journals as "proof" of what you say, do you ever stop to consider that these publications may not be accepted as gospel by others of us? and that you may have to make the point yourself?

You must realize that in using such confrontational tactics, you are not winning any converts to your side. Others of your persuasion, such as Razorback and proudtobeGOP, are willing to engage in discussion of their ideas, and while I do not always agree with what they say, their explanations (when considered and respectful) have sometimes helped me to see the other sides of various issues in a way which I had not previously understood.

Some have dismissed your posts as comic rants, while others have sometimes taken offense. Even those of us who have tried to understand where you are coming from have been put off by your belligerence and unwillingness to engage in dialogue.

I do believe that there is value in hearing opinions I do not share - it helps me to arrive at a more complete understanding of an issue. In order for that to happen, however, there must be a mutually respectful give and take between the parties involved. If you are willing to adopt a more respectful tone, and to consider ideas, priorities, and concerns not apparent to you, I urge you to do so.
If you are unwilling, however, nothing remains but to ask you,

"Have you at long last no sense of decency?"

Posted by: good night & good luck | May 22, 2007 7:09 PM | Report abuse

Bluemeanies: I really agree with your thoughtful analysis, although I tend to think an Edwards v. Thompson race would be the most enticing for Bloomberg. But I agree, Clinton is a moderate who enflames partisan sentiments, not because of her tendency to appeal to the Democrat left, but because of her abhorrent status in the minds of the Republican right. So I do agree with you.

To build on what you've said, it's my guess that a McCain v. Obama race would be the least appealing for Bloomberg (though I tend to think that any combination of McCain, Giuliani, Clinton, or Obama would make it hard for Bloomberg to argue that a third-party moderate candidacy was needed).

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 6:42 PM | Report abuse

My workday ended several minutes ago and I have read the previous posts. I agree with Jim D, again, and have the same curious questions as Judge Crater and Proud.

I have other questions that have not been raised...1] Is he the same Bloomberg whose name appears on the business reports?
2] Is he Jewish, and is that an issue for the potential moderate vote? [I would guess "yes", and "no"]
3] If he financed his own campaign, he could pick his own running mate - do we think the Hagel meeting was an omen?
4] God help me, I have voted indy before, most recently for Perot, so I am a target.
But I have always wondered how a winning Indy candidate would face off with Congress and with no party. I am assuming the two parties would not try to sabotage every single move the Indy prez would make, but that they would fight him most of the time.
In Texas we always liked stalemated government because nothing bad happened.
Whaddyall think?

Posted by: Mark in Austin | May 22, 2007 6:37 PM | Report abuse

Zouk-Really. Actually I think I'd take any of those countries conservative politicians over the Bushies for truth.

France- The Gaullist (right wing) president is replaced by a Gaullist (right wing) president except this one came after DeGaulle and was seperate from the traditional Gaullist machine. Sarko believes that he can reform where others have failed because his labor reform process involves actually negotiating with the unions instead of pushing it down their throats. Oh, and he may pull out of Afghanistan. I take Sarko over Bush.

Germany-After a tempestuous coalition gov't under Schroeder that failed to get the economy moving the Socialists failed to get a clear majority. But neither did anyone else really but the CDU made impressive gains especially in the east. Because the greens aren't the best partners the two major parties form a grand coalition with Angela Merkel, a CDU official from the eastern constituencies that have been altering the shape of their parties at the head. I take Merkel over the Bushies.

Britain-lol. After getting trounced by Britains actual conservative party for most of a decade the Labour (Labour!!!!) party redefines itself and trounces the Tories to the point that their was some speck that the Lib Dem party to the right might become the major opposition. Tony Blair, the leader of Labour, gets in trouble with the public for being to close to Bush and sees confidence from his party and the public for being to conservative. I'll take Blair who is left center.

Australia I'll give you partial credit on but I think Howard might actually have the minimal competance needed to run a gov't unlike the Bushies.

Posted by: bluemeanies | May 22, 2007 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Zouk - have another look at the polling data. Even if you are discussing a 'downward trend' (which you weren't but I am happy to humour you), there is no downward trend. The D approval ratings have been remarkably consistent (nothing brilliant, but not unexpected for congress). I don't know what you are talking about really.

England? I would hardly call Gordon Brown a conservative. He is more liberal than Blair, so that's a step in the wrong direction for you. It is still the labour party after all, and Brown is much more in touch with the old labour than Blair.
As for Australia, the conservative Howard government is on the way out mate. Look at this from today's Sydney Herald:

http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2007/05/22/1179601412703.html?from=top5

"JOHN HOWARD says his Government faces annihilation at this year's election"

Only a miracle will save Howard now.

Love the way you bracket Liberals with Jihadists. I guess we're all 'evil' if we're not conservative. We're 'either with you or against you'. So much for being uniters rather than dividers.

Posted by: Aussie view | May 22, 2007 6:04 PM | Report abuse

Aussie, we are discussing a downward trend, not an average over the year. I know your toilets flush in the wrong circular direction but it seems your graphs are upside down too.

there is also a notable trend in recent world elections - toward conservative politicians. France, germany, england, Australia, etc. all the good guys are good again (AUS was always good despite your evil efforts).
now we can get back to the difficult work of saving the world from jihadists and liberals.

Posted by: kingofzouk | May 22, 2007 5:43 PM | Report abuse

Had a look at Bloomberg's wikipedia article. Judging by his positions on a number of issues, I think he has a lot more in common with the average Democrat than with the average Republican.

Posted by: Aussie view | May 22, 2007 5:40 PM | Report abuse

Big spenders are ready with your USA Mastecard. charge it!

"Ignoring veto threats from President Bush, House Democrats are awarding huge budget increases to veterans and homeland security programs as they begin advancing spending bills for the next fiscal year.
In rapid succession, House panels have raised the Veterans Affairs Department's budget a record 18 percent -- an increase exceeding even what difficult-to-satisfy veterans groups wanted -- and the Homeland Security Department's budget by 7 percent.

Posted by: kingofzouk | May 22, 2007 5:36 PM | Report abuse

Proud, didn't you know that Bush controls all the gas prices in the world, including your own 7-11, on a daily basis? he also manipulates the entire world's intelligence services to his whims. Quite impressive, considering he can't tie his own shoes. but if he is that dumb, and the Libs keep losing to him, what does that say about them? Only conclusion possible - they meant to lose - as usual.

Posted by: kingofzouk | May 22, 2007 5:32 PM | Report abuse

"It is apparent that much of the rest of the world agrees, and that the conservative military and defense policies of President Bush, as well as his compassionately conservative domestic policies, have caught on "big time."

Uh yeah. Ok. Proud, that has to be the worst post you have ever made (i realise you didn't write that rubbish but still...). You are better than that. I can't even imagine Zouk posting that..

Speaking of Zouk, i don't know where you get your congress polling data, but since when is the D controlled congress doing worse than the R?

http://www.pollingreport.com/CongJob.htm

You can see that in all of the surveys this year, approval has only been below 30% twice, and only just. Compare that to last year when it was regularly below 30%, as low as 16% in one survey. I can't be bothered averaging them out but it's clearly higher with the D's in power, just take a look. So your statement about the D congress being less popular than the R congress is clearly a load of rubbish, funny how you always spout on about Dems/libs aversion to 'facts' yet your 'facts' are just lies.

Posted by: Aussie view | May 22, 2007 5:29 PM | Report abuse

I don't think that weasel dirty Harry crooked land deal Reid can count past 49.

Posted by: kingofzouk | May 22, 2007 5:24 PM | Report abuse

"Um, how about by presenting false information?"

Loud One voter -looks like you're following right along with the media spin of George Tenet's book where he fills his obligatory need to give his own version of history leading up to September 11.

The media's premise is that Iraq should not have been considered a real threat to us and that the administration basically misled the country into war.

Tenet has ackonwledged that "If you look at Iraq, we produced intelligence on WMD that was not accurate"... and to Jim Lehrer's question: Weren't you essentially saying to the world, "I support what the United States government and through Secretary of State Powell is saying and doing"?

GEORGE TENET: Well, I supported what the secretary had in his speech, because we helped him write that speech. The secretary asked me to come up and be with him. Yes, it was a bit unusual. We spent three days and nights -- longer than that -- at our headquarters working on this speech.
..." You can absolve yourself of the responsibility when intelligence is used, but we chose to participate and help the secretary craft what we believed was an accurate speech. It wasn't. We let him down; we let the country down."

All of this hardly fits with the notion that Saddam posed no threat, or that Bush should've known more than his CIA director and everyone else in the world was telling him.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | May 22, 2007 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Republicans said that after weeks of struggle, they had forced Democrats to give up their demand for a date to withdraw the troops.

What were those Libs doing all this time? After going up against Bush with majorities in both houses the result.....

We give up, we're Dems. we always give up, even when we have majorities or are winning, especially wars. now that the French are conservative, there is only one bastion of surrender left in the world - the Democratic congress.

Posted by: kingofzouk | May 22, 2007 5:22 PM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON - House Republicans angled Tuesday to put Democrats in a no-win position: reprimand a senior colleagues or be seen as blindly excusing legislative bullying for partisan reasons.

fight fire with fire. Murtha is a power drunk liberal scum. "I will take the bribe when it is larger". No use pointing out his crookedness to Dems. they admire it in their own.

Posted by: kingofzouk | May 22, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Do people think that a Bloomberg run would favour the republicans or democrats more? I mean, the guy is a republican now, but a NY republican is not exactly a conservative republican. If only America had instant run-off voting we wouldn't have to worry about this!

I was reading that Bloomberg was a long time democrat but changed to republican when running for mayor. Does anyone know why he did this? Is he a dem at heart, or a pure centrist? A Rockefeller republican perhaps?

Posted by: Aussie view | May 22, 2007 5:17 PM | Report abuse

I was overcome by state business. Here in the kingdom of Zouk, we have a perfect market system so no intervention is usually required. We had an interloper liberal somehow find our island paradise and attempt to fix gasoline prices and wages. this breaks one of our constitutional laws. we do not interfere with the market system based on the arrogance of politicians. It was so shocking to our populace, I had to personaly intervene and assure my people that it would never happen again. Imagine, pulling up to a gas station and finding empty tanks. Imagine losing your job because someone else is overpaid. not in the kingdom of zouk.

Proud, thanks for keeping the vandals and hooligans at bay during my absence. I will now continue to spread the word of our esteemed founding fathers, especially Hayek and Friedman.

Posted by: kingofzouk | May 22, 2007 5:10 PM | Report abuse

DCGeek- I think the fact that there are other viable moderates inside the two major parties impending fratricides of primaries might be a reason for Bloomberg to wait to feel out the shape of the race and who comes out on top.

On the Dem side I think Edwards or Clinton would make it more likely for Bloomberg to enter and Obama or Richardson less. Edwards is the candidate most aligned with the ideological wing of the party that makes independents roll their eyes. Clinton, although substantively centrist, is one of the, if not the, leading politician in this country in terms of aggravating feelings of extreme partisanship which is one of the major factors leading people to desire something new and different.

On the Republican side I'm not sure how anyones current reputation will have changed after surviving the bloodbath. As currently stands I would think McCain or Rudy would be the candidates that would disincline a Bloomburg run, but any one else with the possible exception of Romney will be seen as more of the same. The degree of pandering we will see from any of the perceived moderatesot the base that turns off the middle might be an indicator of how receptive slightly right leaning independents would be.

In short the campaign I believe that is most conducive to Bloombergs entry is Clinton vs. F Thompson.

Posted by: bluemeanies | May 22, 2007 5:08 PM | Report abuse

" doubtless you feel that any one of the current R candidates could beat out the Second Coming of Christ in the general election."

Judge - I don't like all of them THAT much. McCain and Rudy, yes.

Considering the fact that there will be no Savior from the left, barring Al Gore's return to politics, then the competition doesn't seem especially fierce, imo.

All those moderates/Is who won't vote for Hillary are still up for grabs.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | May 22, 2007 5:03 PM | Report abuse

proudtobeasheeple: "If he is so stupid, how did he "fool" those brilliant Democrats into voting wrong on the war?"

Um, how about by presenting false information?

Got another brilliant retort, ace?

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | May 22, 2007 4:58 PM | Report abuse

"a Fred Thompson/Bloomberg ticket"

waaaaay too insular; either would have to pair with a candidate from somewhere in Flyover Land.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | May 22, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

zouk! What, pray tell, have you been up to? more hob-nobbing with the chattering class no doubt. Ahhh, the life of a king!

DCgeek - How about a Fred Thompson/Bloomberg ticket?
Name recognition + deep pockets!

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | May 22, 2007 4:51 PM | Report abuse

Proud: I definitely don't have an answer for you. Bloomberg is a cypher to me, an enigma wrapped in a riddle, a...well, you get the picture. I think pulling from the D's is definitely a possibility but I just don't have the experience with the words that come out of his mouth on a daily/weekly/monthly basis that a NYer would. Thus my so far unanswered question. Maybe we'll have to look thru back issues of the NYPost.

As far as pulling from the R's I think it's a possibility as well. As I stated earlier this group makes McCain look level-headed and with the right philosophical positioning Bloomberg could easily blow them away. Of course, I don't expect you to agree with me since doubtless you feel that any one of the current R candidates could beat out the Second Coming of Christ in the general election.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | May 22, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and on the "details" table on the linke I posted, it shows that approval ratings for Republicans in Congress continue to be lower than for Democrats. So even when the public dislikes Congress generally, they're still less satisified with the GOP members.

Posted by: Colin | May 22, 2007 4:49 PM | Report abuse

Congressional approval ratings haven't changed much at all over time, actually -- so the comparison to the GOP or Bush is pretty meaningless.

See:

http://www.pollingreport.com/CongJob.htm

Moreover, to the extent that Congressional approval is down since the Dem takeover I would suggest that is primarily a result of Democrats failing to sufficiently deliver -- thus far -- on their PROGESSIVE promises: ending the war, raising the minimum wage, etc. Not sure how that should excite the GOP, but hope springs eternal I suppose.

Posted by: Colin | May 22, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

Imagine if it ended up being Giuliani, Clinton, and Bloomburg- I can't imagine how New York would vote.

Posted by: DCGeek | May 22, 2007 4:45 PM | Report abuse

Greg:
"Well, Proud, I doubt Bush would have ever gotten into Harvard or Yale had his last name been Smith. Especially nowadays."

(Pure speculation based on your feelings. the fact is he did get in, you didn't. Objectively, you are stupider than bush.)

"And 6 years as Texas governor? Seriously? It's at best a part-time figurehead job--the legislature is in session for what? 3 months a year? The Lt. Gov. has more power in Texas since he can at least cast a vote in the state Senate. Obama probably got more political experience serving a couple terms in the state House than Bush did as the governor of Texas."

(Objectively, he was elected and beat a popular Democrat. the actual job itself is irrelevant on this point. Have you ever won a single election in your life. that means bush is more succesful than you at least four times over.)

It is useful to consider what the sons and offspring of other great accomplishers have done in their lives. It is nice to have a head start, certainly, but it is no guarantee. Al gore and john Kerry didn't get into those schools, despite their big names. they never won an election in a weak state under the banner of the opposition party. and neither of them ever won the Presidency , not once. so whatever you say abgout Bush, your guys don't compare. consider Amy Carter if you like. too early to consider chelsea but so far not much. Kennedy's kid won congress but lost his mind in the process. If he was your dad, you'd be lucky to be alive at all.

Note bene - I personally don't care much for bush as a politician, but think he is a splendid human being. all these insults of his character are way off base. go after his policies if you dare. If he is so stupid, how did he "fool" those brilliant Democrats inrto voting wrong on the war? conclusion - he is smarter than all of them, although that is not saying much.

colin, the point was that the Repubs had a "low" rating until we discovered it could go even lower under Dems. It is irrelavent the comparison to bush, the comparison to Repubs is the essence.

I love it when Libs try to argue facts. they always twist themselves in knots trying to weave their contempt, hate, irrationality and bad feelings into a logical debate.


sorry I was away for so long. I am sure ignorant coward missed me. what else would he do?

Posted by: kingofzouk | May 22, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I think it's worth noting that although job approval ratings for the President and the Congress are low right now, I don't think there's a real craving among the electorate for a more moderate candidate than is currently running. After all, none of the frontrunners can be called "radical" candidates. Giuliani is at heart a social liberal (same-sex marriage, abortion), and McCain is clearly uncomfortable reaching out to the social value-voters of the Republican party. Clinton has been walking a fine ideological line, particularly on Iraq, and is trying not to appear too close or too distant to left-wing Democrats. And Obama's Senate record doesn't strike me as being overtly partisan or left-wing (he's worked on many security/immigration reform initiatives, and has often reached out for bipartisan support).

So is there really a need for a third party moderate given the current crop of candidates? It seems to me that the frontrunners have been courting the center for some time. If Bloomberg does make a run at it, I think he'll have a hard time painting his opponents as "extreme" or "radical", and will thus have a hard time justifying his bid to the electorate.

Posted by: DCGeek | May 22, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

"They also generally MIRROR the president's, because people are fed up with government generally when they answer those questions."

I think that voters will be a lot less inclined to blame Rs for everything than they were in 2006. The Ds will now have to assume the do-nothing mantle, or prove that they can get stuff done and actually lead...something that seems out of their grasp lately especially since many of them have shifted focus from their jobs as legislators to running for president.

Public cynicism with politicians on both sides will continue to go up if Congress is in a stalemate and the pres a lame-duck. Rs can and should capitalize on that.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | May 22, 2007 4:29 PM | Report abuse

Proud -- take a look at Congressional approval ratings over time. They haven't been high, with very minor exceptions, since 1992. They also generally MIRROR the president's, because people are fed up with government generally when they answer those questions. If you want to argue that the numbers you're citing are somehow good for the GOP that's you're perogative, but I don't really see any support for that position.

If anything, and this is on point to this post, those numbers indicate that the country might be receptive to a third party candidate. I'm not sure that that person is bloomberg, but who knows -- maybe it is.

Posted by: Colin | May 22, 2007 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Proud: Greg did an excellent job of responding to your "defense" of Bush.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | May 22, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Greg-G - at least you didn't resort to blatant Bush-bashing; it's getting rather boring - this is not about making a statement anymore but about following a trend.

Judge -do you think Bloomberg would pull more from the dems, even though he's got an R next to his name? I wonder why he would waste such huge sums on a third-party run? I don't think it's viable, even in the country's current mood.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | May 22, 2007 3:59 PM | Report abuse

..the largest group among the United States' citizenry has been swayed over the past several decades, through the promotion of multiculturalism and political correctness, to identify more with their genealogical "roots" and with the suggestion that they are more members of an overriding global community than members of a cohesive American culture, thus facilitating the Balkanization of American society.

This, in part, results in a great number of Americans being not only less concerned with the preservation of our American heritage, but thoroughly apathetic toward the American governmental process.

We are faced with the stark reality that 55.3% of our population is engaging in the governmental process, this percentage comprised almost evenly of those identifying with the active but opposing ideologies now battling this uniquely American culture war, while an alarming and potentially potent number ignore their civic responsibility of constitutional stewardship by being apathetic to the process altogether.

In essence, all it takes to win a national election is to garner the support of a little over twenty-eight percent of those eligible to vote, as the majority of Americans stand hypnotized by a limited societal vision cultivated by the malady of civic apathy prevalent throughout the "Me Generation."

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Well, Proud, I doubt Bush would have ever gotten into Harvard or Yale had his last name been Smith. Especially nowadays.

And 6 years as Texas governor? Seriously? It's at best a part-time figurehead job--the legislature is in session for what? 3 months a year? The Lt. Gov. has more power in Texas since he can at least cast a vote in the state Senate. Obama probably got more political experience serving a couple terms in the state House than Bush did as the governor of Texas.

Posted by: Greg-G | May 22, 2007 3:50 PM | Report abuse

Proud: a che imitation? That's your choice, I suppose but it's surprising coming from you.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | May 22, 2007 3:47 PM | Report abuse

According to Investors' Business Weekly, "For all the promises of its new Democratic leaders, Congress seems truly interested in doing only one thing: surrendering in Iraq. No wonder its public approval ratings have sunk below the president's."

Those approval ratings, according to a Gallup poll, declined from 37 percent to 33 percent in mid-April and to 29 percent in mid-May, no doubt fueled by Pelosi's ill-conceived trip to Syria, where she unctuously bowed and scraped before its terrorist president, Assad, and of course Reid's gift to Osama bin Laden and our other enemies with his declaration that "This war is lost."

And that is not to omit the demand of Reid and Pelosi, along with other liberals, that we tell our enemies the exact date we plan to surrender.

Note To Liberals: Keep On Truckin'!

I, for one, am delighted by the degree to which the bright sunshine of media exposure has revealed what Democrats (read liberals) are really all about.

While engaging in pointless hearings that waste precious time and cost millions, and while bringing dozens of boondoggling amendments to our war-funding bill, Democrats are proving to the country that their real goals are nothing more base than to defeat the man who defeated them twice for the presidency and to lose the war in Iraq.

So far, we have learned that the three leading contenders for the presidency - Clinton, Obama, and Edwards - are all far-left and anti-war (Clinton the only one to have done a 180-degree flip-flop on the issue).

They have told us - in unmistakably plain English - that they intend to levy the largest tax increase in American history and institutionalize socialized medicine, and that they refuse to support any energy saving strategies that involve domestic drilling, the building of new refineries, and the use of nuclear power.

Other of their lofty goals include embracing galloping socialism, quashing if not the practice than the ethos of Christianity, placing our military and intelligence systems on life support (as they did under Bill Clinton), opening the floodgates for upwards of 50 million illegal aliens, and fostering close alliances with Communists and terrorists like Castro, Chavez, Assad, Ahmadinejab, et al.

This is because "Defeatism is...now part of the Democratic Party's DNA...[it has come to be] called the Democrats' Vietnam Syndrome. It is why for years the Democrats have not been trusted on matters of national security."

It is apparent that much of the rest of the world agrees, and that the conservative military and defense policies of President Bush, as well as his compassionately conservative domestic policies, have caught on "big time."

But if you think you've seen liberal pathology since 2000, watch out for 2008 when even more countries elect conservative leaders and one of our own liberal candidates - waffling Hillary, pretty-boy John, and bromide-afflicted Barack - goes down to defeat."

http://www.therant.us/staff/swirsky/05222007.htm


Posted by: proudtobeGOP | May 22, 2007 3:37 PM | Report abuse

" These posts are meant to spark conversation among The Fix community about the mayor's relative strengths and weaknesses as a candidate."

As CC suggests, what do we know about Bloomberg? I know he has a lot of money but salivating over potential third party candidacies only goes so far. Drindl, what do you hear about him? Is he the ego basket case that Guiliani is? What do people in NYC think of him? Good, better than Guiliani, about the same? Yes, I saw CC's polling data already but comments from the hoi polloi provide more dimensions regarding the candidate.

Posted by: Judge C. Crater | May 22, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

I am opimistic about a bloomberg run for president, it will mix things up a little bit.
The only thing is: raising money, and who you raise it from and how many people is part of running for president also. Self-financed candidates do not do as well as candidates who raise money from donors. They money they raise is a gauge and that really does not work with self-funding.

Posted by: ssstephen | May 22, 2007 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Advocates Tell Candidates to Provide Quality Health Care Coverage Now

The chief executivesof AARP, Alzheimer's Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), American Diabetes Association and American Heart Association led rallies today in support of quality health care for all Americans in four states with an early presidential primary or caucus.

http://onthehillblog.blogspot.com/2007/05/advocates-tell-candidates-to-provide.html

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Advocates Tell Candidates to Provide Quality Health Care Coverage Now

The chief executives of AARP, Alzheimer's Association, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), American Diabetes Association and American Heart Association led rallies today in support of quality health care for all Americans in four states with an early presidential primary or caucus.

http://onthehillblog.blogspot.com/2007/05/advocates-tell-candidates-to-provide.html

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Loud one voter -why do you always insist on insulting the president by way of making a comment on all other topics?

Before disparaging him ad nauseum, it may be useful to remember that President Bush recieived a bachelor's degree in history from Yale University, and an MBA from Harvard.

He also served for 6 years as Governor of Texas, and was the first Governor in Texas history to be elected to consecutive 4-year terms.

You may disagree with his politics, but it would be much more useful to restrain your compulsion to badmouth the president.


Posted by: proudtobeGOP | May 22, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I think Bloomberg should definitely run. People need another choice...and I think he stands a serious shot at winning. Here's why:

1) He's got the money he needs (and could undoubtedly raise more) to be competititive

2) He's run political campaigns before, so he would be less susceptible to Perot-like gaffes and bad PR.

3) He's a centrist (not some extremist wacko like most 3rd party pols tend to be). He will probably be able to peel away moderates in both parties, given his economic and social views...though he may steal from Democrats a bit more, given his social views.

4) He's not an icon like Giuliani, but I would bet he still has a fair amount of name recognition.

5) He's pragmatic. The political climate right now shows that the public wants someone who will just get something done.

I'm sure that the major parties will pull out all the stops to block him....and it will be an uphill fight, but I think it's winnable for him.

I hope he runs

Posted by: MBW | May 22, 2007 2:51 PM | Report abuse

As a Johns Hopkins grad, he is clearly brilliant. Unlike our current dipstick president, Bloomberg was a poor boy who got into a top school on his own merits and worked hard and thrived. Totally self-made man.

Posted by: Loudoun Voter | May 22, 2007 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Bloomberg once said "I think if you look at people, whether in business or government, who haven't had any moral compass, who've just changed to say whatever they thought the popular thing was, in the end they're losers."

So, what's the appeal?

He left his position as CEO of a powerful business empire to become Mayor of New York City. That either takes an insane amount of ambition or an ambitious amount of insanity.

He may be an appealing candidate with his no-nonsense style and his American middle-class-to-business-tycoon story. Could be hard to sell his New Yorker image in other parts of the country, though.


Posted by: proudtobeGOP | May 22, 2007 2:37 PM | Report abuse

To the anonymous poster - if Bloomberg runs an independent campaign he will not have to appeal to the extremes in either party. Frankly, that is the appeal of an independent candidacy. Perot was actually ahead in the polls early in the campaign of 1992. He never recovered from his temporary withdrawal from the race amid his rants about Republican agents trying to disrupt his daughter's wedding with fabricated photos of lesbian sex. Even with his manifest eccentricities, he was able to garner 19% of the vote. Bloomberg has more money, is saner and has a very positive record as mayor of NYC. The major contenders for the major parties do not exactly excite the electorate.

Now, I am definitely a centrist and I would love to see both major parties humiliated. It is unfortunate that the two best known independent political figures of the last 20 years were, to be kind, somewhat eccentric - Perot and Jesse Ventura. I think their antics seriously set back efforts to establish a "third way" party.

Posted by: JimD in FL | May 22, 2007 2:30 PM | Report abuse

Does he really have the name recognition to mount a credible third party challenge? He's not a national icon like Giuliani.
http://political-buzz.com/

Posted by: mpp | May 22, 2007 2:24 PM | Report abuse

On taking office in 1977, Carter declared that advancing "human rights" was among his highest priorities. America's ally, the Shah of Iran, was one of his first targets, with Carter chastising him for his human rights record and withdrawing America's support.

One of the charges was that the Shah had been torturing about 3,000 prisoners, many of them accused of being Soviet agents. Carter sent a clear message to the Islamic fundamentalists that America would not come to the Shah's aid. His anti-Shah speeches blared from public address systems in downtown Tehran.

The irony, as noted by Steven Hayward of the American Enterprise Institute in his book, "The Real Jimmy Carter," is that the regime of Ayatollah Khomeini "executed more people in its first year in power than the Shah's SAVAK had allegedly killed in the previous 25 years." Khomeini's regime was a human rights nightmare.

When Khomeini, a former Muslim exile in Paris, overthrew the Shah in 1979, he established the first modern Islamic regime, a role model for the Taliban and the jihadists to follow. And when the U.S. embassy was stormed that November and 52 American hostages were held for 444 days, America's lack of resolve was confirmed in the jihadist mind.

The wreckage of Carter's foreign policy was seen in the Iranian desert, where a plan to rescue the hostages, a plan never formally presented to the Joint Chiefs, resulted in the loss of eight aircraft, five airmen and three Marines. The rest, as they say, is history.

http://www.ibdeditorials.com/IBDArticles.aspx?id=264640488332348

Posted by: peanut | May 22, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

The case for Mike Bloomberg:

1) I'm so rich that I can't be bought!

That's about it, because otherwise he has to pander to the extremes in either party, just like everybodyelse.

Posted by: Anonymous | May 22, 2007 1:47 PM | Report abuse

For uncensored news please bookmark:

www.wsws.org
www.takingaimradio.info
otherside123.blogspot.com
www.onlinejournal.com
www.globalresearch.ca

Improved quality of life for whom?
The New York Times endorses Mayor Bloomberg for re-election

The New York Times has given New York City's Republican mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg, a fulsome endorsement for reelection, crediting him with "pulling New York out of its hole."

Predicting that "he may be remembered as one of the greatest mayors in New York history" the Times says he has reduced the murder rate to its lowest level in 40 years, improved standardized test scores for 4th graders, humanely dealt with the homeless, found sensible new waste disposal solutions, and upgraded the city's public hospitals, all of this within an "atmosphere of racial harmony."

The only flaw in this protean figure, the Times concedes, is that Mayor Bloomberg essentially bought City Hall. He has secured his office, and intends to keep it, through massive campaign spending, outstripping his Democratic challenger, former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer by more than ten to one.

Using his vast personal fortune of $5 billion, Bloomberg is able to bypass campaign spending regulations that affect candidates who receive public money to finance their campaigns. He spent $75 million in 2001, and has so far spent $62 million on this race. His campaign spending has reached the amazing rate of $34,000 an hour.

He has flooded the airwaves with $20 million worth of ads, to the point that the cost of television advertising has been driven up, making it virtually impossible, the Times admits, for any other voice to be heard.

The Times, and the sector of wealthy, erstwhile liberals for whom it speaks may lament this unfortunately un-democratic aspect of Bloomberg's mayoralty, but they have no trouble accommodating themselves to it.

Indeed Bloomberg's flaw is really the flip side of his virtue. He runs the city admirably on behalf of Wall Street, and the super-wealthy elite, a constituency whose desires he knows so intimately. He is, after all, one of them, ranked as the 85th richest person in the world and New York is the city with the highest concentration of billionaire--34 in 2005---and millionaire residents.

For this social layer--which includes the owners and editors of the New York Times--life has never been better; they can afford it. For vast majority of the city's population, however, it's a different story.

As a result of this concentration of great wealth, New York City boasts the highest cost of living in the United States and a growing stock of multi-million dollar housing. The average selling price for a Manhattan apartment recently topped $1.3 million, with co-ops and brownstones in Mayor Bloomberg's home neighborhood on the Upper East Side selling for 20 to 30 times that. These dizzying prices at the top have made affordable housing for working people all the more scarce.

With luxury available for the privileged few, New York is notably the city with the greatest income polarity in the nation. The Times reported in September that "The top fifth of earners in Manhattan now make 52 times what the lowest fifth make--$365,826 compared with $7,047--which is roughly comparable to the income disparity in Namibia," according to its own analysis of 2000 census data. "Put another way, for every dollar made by households in the top fifth of Manhattan earners, households in the bottom fifth made about 2 cents."

The expansion of the economy following the 2001 recession, which has benefited Bloomberg and his fellow billionaires handsomely, has come at the expense of working poor residents, whose number has increased. Poverty in the city has risen to a rate of 21.8 percent, showing its fourth consecutive increase. It is nearly twice that of the nation as a whole.

For the rest please go to:

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2005/nov2005/bloo-n08.shtml

Posted by: che | May 22, 2007 1:40 PM | Report abuse

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