Bloomberg Seriously Mulls POTUS Bid
The rise of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders has prompted former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg to seriously consider a third-party run for president, according to sources.
Bloomberg, who switched his political affiliation to Independent in 2007, has done his homework on the matter. He has researched past third-party presidential bids, and done at least one private survey on his chances. Bloomberg will take another poll after the New Hampshire primary on February 9, sources tell the New York Times.
Bloomberg has given himself a deadline of March to make his final decision, which is also the latest date he can file papers to appear on the ballot in all 50 states.
According to the Times, Bloomberg is troubled by the rise of Donald Trump and Ted Cruz in the Republican Party, and Bernie Sanders’ ascension on the Democrat side. Should either Trump or Cruz win the Republican nomination, and Sanders the Democrat bid, he has told allies that he would be more willing to run.
The theory, according to Edward G. Rendell, the former governor of Pennsylvania and a past Democratic National Committee chairman, is that both the Republican and Democrat tickets would be too extreme, allowing Bloomberg to sell himself as a more moderate alternative.
A Bloomberg campaign would portray the candidate as a “low-key and cerebral personality” through a series of policy speeches and an intense media blitz, according to sources.
Rendell told the Times that he believes Bloomberg, who is willing to spend up to US$1 billion of his personal fortune on the campaign, would compete well. In fact, if Sanders became the Democrat nominee, Rendell would vote for Bloomberg.
However, “if Hillary wins the nomination, Hillary is mainstream enough that Mike would have no chance, and Mike’s not going to go on a suicide mission,” Rendell said.
Bloomberg became New York City mayor in 2002 as a Republican, with the backing of the outgoing Rudolph Giuliani. Bloomberg’s policies shifted towards moderate and then increasingly liberal-progressive over his 12 years in office. He eventually became the poster child for the “nanny state” through his bans on salt and large servings of soda, as well as his calls for tougher laws restricting the sale of firearms in America.