Saturday, June 23, 2007

A friend's wise thoughts on Bloomberg and his potential candidacy

 A friend's wise thoughts on Bloomberg and his potential candidacy:

Mike Bloomberg’s decision to change his party affiliation to “Independent” provides the final bit of evidence that he will soon be running for President.

Unfortuntately for Obama supporters, he is a Barack Obama (i.e. independent-minded) with real experience and hard-won substance and without far left big government solutions to every problem.

I believe Bloomberg truly is fed up with politics and the current public discourse (as is most of America --- I hope you watched the movie “Man of the Year”) and wants to change things.

Here are his key merits:

-          experienced as a very successful corporate CEO and big city mayor

-          financial wealth means he can fund is own campaign which puts him outside the influence of special interests and no need to pander (i.e. true independence)

-          his mix of social liberalism and fiscal conservatism accurately reflects where a broad mainstream of America is today

-          smart, serious, passionate dude not likely to be intimidated or flustered by anyone

-          he is unlikely to come across as a crackpot as previous wealthy independent candidate for President Ross Perot so often did.

Key negatives:

-          whole parts of America view NYC as the country’s “armpit” (“we love to visit at Christmas, but NY and NY-ers are strange exotic beasts”, says Joe Idaho)

-          needs to build up a political support network to go toe to toe with Democratic and Republican machines (though with his organizational skills and financial resources, I suspect he can probably pull this off)

-          pro-Abortion, anti-gun will turn off a lot of conservative and even moderate voters

-          last, but sadly not least, he’s Jewish --- much of America can barely tolerate a Catholic or a Mormon much less a Jew (sad on all these fronts), but anyone who has read the Bible or the history of the Jewish people (or who understands America’s increasing diversity) should not count him out on this front too easily --- furthermore, Bloomberg has beaten long odds in the past in building Bloomberg, LP (including being fired from Solomon Brothers) and in running for mayor of NYC, so he’s done it before.

Probably the biggest consideration is which major party’s candidate does he hurt more, the Democrat or the Republican candidate?  Like Perot, probably the Republican more since too many Republicans dislike Bloomberg’s pro-Abortion, anti-gun stances and yet few Democrats will avidly embrace his free market solutions on economic issues.  On the social issues, you may as well vote for the Democratic candidate and on economic issues the vote is likely to split between the Republican candidate and Bloomberg.  And economic issues always trump social issues for the overwhelming majority (75%+) of voters. 

Wouldn’t it be truly ironic if an Independent candidate again delivered a Clinton into the White House.  Few people remember that Bill Clinton won his first term thanks to Ross Perot with only 43.3% of the popular vote (Clinton 43.3%, Bush 37.7%, Perot 19.0%) and barely won a majority the second time around (Clinton 50%, Dole 42%, Perot 8%).  How might history have changed had Perot not run?

On the other hand, the disdain with “politics as usual” is quite high and no candidate has the power of Pres or VP incumbency behind him/her, so Bloomberg could very well win the thing, if he has the drive and commitment to do so.  If anyone does, it’s Mike Bloomberg so don’t rule him out. 

Above all else, Bloomberg will clearly make education reform a key component of his campaign.

If Bloomberg wins, in my opinion, (or even if he doesn’t) that’s probably good news because divided government is always best as it makes it more difficult for the politicians to expand the government’s writ at the expense of individual rights, individuals initiative, private property, and private enterprise, and any issues require a true and full debate to be resolved. 

Since one has to go back to 1968 and then again to 1932 to find an election that did not include an incumbent President or VP, this election continues to shape up as one heck of a humdinger.

Let’s continue to hope that the Republic survives the process and the result.


Blogger Igor Lotsvin said...

great post. i think bloomberg's timing is excellent and when he runs (i don't think it's "IF" anymore) he will certainly be a formidable contender. with hillary's "likability issues" and republicans in complete dissaray, there is a natural opening for a strong independent candidate. concern's about his jewish heritage are overblown. americans are much smarter than that. just an observation: all the leading candidates as of today (july 1st, 2007) are not your typical old white male protestant we have been accusomed to seeing as a candidate for president: hillary, obam, mitt. it's worth noting, that mitt romney (a conservative mormon republican) got elected as a governor of the most democratic-liberal catholic state of the union. joe lieberman was on the presidential ticket in 2000, the ticket that got the majority of popular vote (and if you wouldn't vote for a jew as a vp, you wouldn't vote for him as a top of the ticket either). bloomberg certainly will change the landscape when he runs...

btw, whitney, not sure if you caught this (what i thought was great) profile of obama in the new yorker (link is attached). also note the follow up on the new yorker's site. thx.

4:32 PM  

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