Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Michael Bloomberg Ditches GOP; Reminds Us We're In Deep Shit

Mayor Bloomberg realizes that he wasn't fooling anyone and leaves the sinking Titanic known as the 'Republican Party' after, well, 6 years of a marriage of convenience-
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Tuesday that he would leave the Republican Party, in a maneuver seen as possible preparation for launching an independent presidential bid in 2008...

..."Although my plans for the future haven't changed, I believe this brings my affiliation into alignment with how I have led and will continue to lead our city," said the billionaire businessman who was elected as a Republican. He also is a former Democrat...

...Bloomberg, 65, has repeatedly denied he is interested in running for president, saying he will serve out his mayoral term ending in late 2009, but his protests have done little to silence the media buzz...

...As the fact that every version of this story mentioned 2008 in the lead paragraph proves.

[UPDATE: For what it's worth, Bloomberg insists that he's not running.]

As readers of this blog know, I'm (in general) a supporter of Mayor Bloomberg. Voted for him twice. And I think this is a good move, as he's always been independent in action anyway, if not before in affiliation. But now is not the time for Time magazine's action hero to decide that the presidential race needs another NYC mayor.

Yes, third-party candidates always keep things interesting, and I wouldn't mind Bloomberg becoming the Ross Perot of 2012. But not 2008. It's just too important an election (yes, all elections are important, but this is the post-Bush election and there's too much at stake). Third-party candidates rarely take equal votes from both sides. Ross Perot took conservative votes away from Bush The First. Ralph Nader took the few thousand votes Al Gore needed to avoid a recount. And given that a) more independents (like myself) vote Democratic than Republican, and b) Bloomberg's liberal positions on many issues... I think we know which side his votes would come from.

So please, Mayor Mike, stick to your PLANYC 2030 project and keep the national ambitions on hold for now. Start small. Cabinet position anyone (Sec. of Treasury, EPA chief)?

[Related: Bloomberg: U.S. 'Is in Trouble'- On the Coast He Chides Candidates (NY Sun)]


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