June 19, 2007

Bloomberg Switches ... Again

Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire mayor of New York City, announced that he would no longer remain a Republican. This comes six years after he announced that he would no longer remain a Democrat in order to run as Rudy Giuliani's successor in 2001:

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is leaving the Republican party and will remain unaffiliated with any political party, CBS 2 HD learned Tuesday night.

The move will clearly begin advancing rumors that the mayor is gearing towards a presidential run, which he has denied in the past.

In a statement, however, the 65-year-old billionaire indicated this doesn't change his plans for his political future.

It's interesting, only for the fact that Bloomberg seems to have a problem in figuring out which company he likes to keep. While politicians seem to have an affinity for changing certain policy positions, it's not often you find one that has three party affiliations in six years. In New York City, that may not make much difference, especially since Bloomberg has only a couple of years left as mayor anyway -- but it will make a big difference in the presidential race, if he chooses to enter it.

Bloomberg seemed an unlikely choice for the Republicans anyway. Rudy Giuliani has had a tough time keeping conservatives on board, but Bloomberg would make Giuliani look like Fred Thompson. His nanny-state inclinations seem more at home with the Democrats, but he dumped them once already, and Bloomberg probably doesn't want to get into a primary fight in either party.

Republicans should look forward to his independent bid. He'll draw much more from left-leaning independents and Democrats who cannot stand Hillary Clinton than from the GOP, to the extent that he draws anyone at all. Bloomberg obviously wants to be the next Ross Perot, but he sounds more like the next John Anderson.

Mark Tapscott explains the reference, while Michelle Malkin and Sister Toldjah yawn. Flip, on the other hand, has a headache. (via Instapundit)

UPDATE: Allahpundit reminds readers that Bloomberg had trouble dealing with a power outage in Queens. I'm fondly recalling his endorsement of eminent domain in the wake of the Kelo decision, myself.


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Comments (25)

Posted by MarkD | June 19, 2007 9:28 PM

Run Mike, run.

Hillary's nightmare. A well funded challenger on the left.

Posted by Mwalimu Daudi | June 19, 2007 9:50 PM

I agree with the Captain and MarkD. While the MSM will reflexively portray this as a "blow" to the GOP, it is Hilly the Hun who will feel the pain.

To save the Hun, watch the MSM try to suck the oxygen out of a potential Bloomberg run for President by cutting off his fawning press coverage. If that fails, the MSM will then start digging for dirt to try to keep him out of the race – or limit the damage if he enters anyway.

Posted by JEM | June 19, 2007 9:52 PM

"I think he'd make an excellent candidate" - Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Of course, Arnold is pretty much useless himself.

Posted by firedup | June 19, 2007 10:47 PM

Tony Blankley wrote that Bloomberg actually "pre-announced" this a little over a month ago:


"By next November he could spend more -- by some magnitudes -- than both the Republican and Democratic candidates for president, the two parties' campaign committees, all the special interests (who measure their fund raising and spending success in the few millions), and, in fact, every candidate for Congress and the Senate."

Posted by Cindi | June 19, 2007 11:07 PM

Good for the conservatives; bad for the lefties.

Good riddance to bad rubbish; the fewer 'liberal Republicans' there are, the easier to drag the party back from the left.

Posted by Scrapiron | June 19, 2007 11:15 PM

He changes parties more often than Dimmy Carter changes his underwear. Who in this country would be stupid enough to trust him? He'll switch to the communist party if it soothe's his ego, and who wants the country to go down the tubes with with someone who can't even make up his mind on a simple thing like a political party to support and try to change if you don't like what they have became. Not me, I put him in the same class as the Silky Pony. Ripped off enough people to become super rich and now wants to take us along on his guilt trip.

Posted by brooklyn | June 19, 2007 11:36 PM

are we no longer allowed to trackback to the CQ?

Posted by KendraWilder | June 19, 2007 11:58 PM

"Good for the conservatives; bad for the lefties.

Good riddance to bad rubbish; the fewer 'liberal Republicans' there are, the easier to drag the party back from the left."
Posted by: Cindi at June 19, 2007 11:07 PM

Pithy, and dead on, Cindi!

Posted by Carol Herman | June 20, 2007 12:33 AM

Not me. I don't think you know what the future holds, until you get there.

And, any politician worth his salt is not stupid enough to cast away groups of voters. As a matter of fact, every possible voter is uncovered. And, there are experts who think up ways of reaching OUT. So that a candidate can win.

What Bloomberg will probably do is toss his hat into the ring as an independent. With enough money to make a 3-way race possible.

The other choice? Hillary could ask him to be her veep. But that would make for a strange ticket. Two people from the same state. That was once illegal!

And, of the 8 or 10 GOP candidates, racing around, now for the nomination; each one of them pulls a different number of people on board the train.

While it's true, "some" businesses do well when they go "exclusive," while selling retail. Heck, on 5th Avenue, to show how "exclusive they were," I remember stores closing during lunch hour. Because secretaries, and others who were free to shop during lunch, were trash.

Then, I heard a story about a woman who finally got a sable coat. She was sure she was gonna be waited on when she entered Bergdorf's. But she got ignored by the sales clerks; as if she was wearing her old mink.

Why do some people think a club has to be so exclusive they reject people?

Bloomberg's move today, however, shows you that he WANTS to run. And, yet he's not strong enough to compete with the array of current contenders. Let alone, Fred Thompson, now jumping into the pool.

This presidential race is a long, hard slog, ahead, for anyone who wants "in."

The other thing to notice? It's not really a one-man race. The whole HOUSE, and 36 members of the senate, are all up for re-election, come November 2008. PIcky. Picky. Picky. But it's highly unlikely that seated critters want to see a "weak" candidate.

A rule that fits both sides of the aisle! In other words? Hillary's serious. She seems to be heading for the nomination, to boot. Because the donks can't knock her out of the way, yet.

But what happens when you put someone on top of your ticket; and you can tell in advance, they can't carry the nation?

Then, add into it the misfortunes in health that befall some people.

That's our world. We can't even guess what happens t'marra. Even the weather can fool ya. Let alone, down the road.

And, what price does the GOP pay for Dubya?

Posted by Robert A. George | June 20, 2007 1:04 AM

Ed, whether Bloomberg can win is open to question, but neither the Perot nor Anderson comparisons work. He's run and governed (albeit as a liberal Republican), so that already puts him ahead of Perot (oh, he;s also, relatively speaking SANE). And John Anderson never had $550 million to throw into a campaign. If he did, he'd probably have done better than the 7 percent he received in 1980. I agree though that Democrats should be nervous if Bloomberg does get in (a point E.J. Dionne implicitly conceded on Meet the Press last weekend.

Posted by Adjoran | June 20, 2007 2:43 AM

Who does Bloomberg hurt?

First of all, the states in which he might draw significant support are all blue states - dark blue New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, California, and Illinois, and light blue states in the Pacific Northwest and the Great Lakes region. In those states, any risk is borne by the Democratic candidate.

Bloomberg might pull from Hillary with those Democratic and Democratic-leaning independents who simply dislike her, or from Obama or Edwards from those wary of their thin resumes.

What Republican or Republican-leaning independent voters could he draw? Certainly only the most liberal Republicans would even consider him, and even they would likely stick with Giuliani if he wins the GOP nod. It's doubtful he would have much effect in any red state, with the possible exception of Florida.

The states Bloomberg could put "in play" are NY and NJ - states the Democrats figure on spending only token amounts to carry in a two-candidate race.

Of course, if he put Chuck Hagel on his ticket, he might draw all six of Hagel's supporters, too.

Posted by MICHAEL DOOLEY | June 20, 2007 5:52 AM

Bloomberg looks like a simple opportunist to me. He is just one in a company of "independents" who want to avoid the primary system.

What is more puzzling is watching pundits wishing Bloomberg would enter the race. He has little recognition outside of the kingdom of New York. He is hardly the dream of yearning flyover country. At least with Hilary and Rudy we have watched them battle it out with others and have some indication how they would act in the big boy chair.

Bloomberg's heart may be in the right place; but would he be good for America? Opportunists rarely are.

Posted by quickjustice | June 20, 2007 5:56 AM

Bloomberg's switch from Democrat to GOP was a marriage of convenience brokered by our insolvent New York GOP. Above all else, the local GOP looks for candidates who can self-fund their campaigns. Ideology is a very low priority for them.

Bloomberg was looking to avoid a bruising Democrat mayoral primary which he was certain to lose. In NYC, ethnic, radical-left, patronage politics is alive, well, and virulent in the Democrat Party.

He no longer needs the GOP, so, like his wife, he's dumped them over the side. He's radically pro-abortion, counting the leadership of NARAL as close friends for whom he raises large sums of money. Rumors persist that one of the mayor's girlfriends "benefitted" from the procedure.

He's also a champion of the "nanny state", banning smoking and transfats, suing gun dealers, and making brightly-colored, NYC-branded condoms available to the public at city expense. Giuliani had the cops issue tickets for quality of life crimes. Bloomberg has them issue tickets to increase city revenues.

Despite his personal wealth, he doesn't trust markets, advocating that the taxpayers spend billions on government-subsidized housing.

The mayor's very smart about hiring political talent. He'll hire a top-notch staff, who will construct a credible campaign for him. He's a successful, self-made billionaire, so he has executive skills. He's an uninspiring speaker. Using Giuliani's crime-control game plan, Bloomberg has held the city together.

He makes Rudy Giuliani look great by comparison.

Posted by Ron | June 20, 2007 5:58 AM

Bloomberg left the Democrat party in 2001, and six years later decides that the Republican party is not for him either. His reason- "...I believe this brings my affiliation into alignment with how I have led and will continue to lead our city." Nothing as Reaganesque as "I didn't leave the Republican party, the Republican party left me". Just last year, he told a group of Manhattan Republicans about his run for mayor: "I couldn't be prouder to run on the Republican ticket and be a Republican." Sounds to me like a candidate who probably lacks some core principles. From what I do know, the few he may have don't align with the base of the party.

Posted by Immolate | June 20, 2007 6:16 AM

The MSM seems to have an unlimited capacity to follow a meme that they've created, even when that meme is belied by ample evidence. Bloomberg as a third-party candidate is, to the extent that he can generate support, a Democrat problem. No vote for Bloomberg will ever come from a state that was ever in danger of sending electors to the college to vote for Republicans. Is it possible that Bloomberg could turn a purple state red by diluting the blue vote?

Posted by Lepas | June 20, 2007 6:29 AM

What's wrong with changing parties? Winston Churchill did it! Political parties evolve. I worry about individuals who don't evolve and change. Very few pols will dare admit to errors of "political belief". Bloomy will put his money up front, you won't see him spending his time chasing lobbyists for a buck. He's the 'beltway lobbyist" and congress worst nightmare, cause he's got the cojones to make the decisions and not worry about what the focus groups want!

Posted by Sassenach | June 20, 2007 7:32 AM

Dang, I misread the clip from Pajamas Media. I thought YOU were leaving the party to become an independent. That would have been a much more interesting story.....

Posted by jay | June 20, 2007 7:40 AM

If Bloomberg runs he will be espousing the same social positions that either Hillary or Obama support. Gun Control, Pro Abortion, and Pro Tax.
It will probably not be played this way in the MSM especially if he picks a RINO as VP, Hagel or McCain. But his natural support will be in states that have been voting democrat since Reagan last ran. And that will put a state like NY back into play for whomever the Republican candidate is.

Posted by Mike2T | June 20, 2007 7:55 AM

There's long been the phenomena of Republicans who adopt traditionally liberal policies as being labelled "sensible" and "trancending partisanship," despite the fact that Democrats who adopt conservative policies are not described so favorably. Bloomberg stands to gain tons of positive press by doing the GOP-to-liberal shift with

Bloomberg is doing the same thing, except may get even better press treatment since he never actually adopted conservative positions, just the GOP.

Posted by rbj | June 20, 2007 8:01 AM

Bloomberg probably was a NY City Republican -- the Democratic Party's candidate was Mark Green, who's basically a socialist.

Posted by Bachbone | June 20, 2007 8:17 AM

I suggest Bloomberg partner up with Soros, buy the world and rule it any way the like. The only problem for them would be deciding who would be top dawg.

Posted by Rick | June 20, 2007 9:52 AM

I don't particularly care for him, but maybe he's realizing something that has been pretty obvious for a while. NEITHER party is worth being associated with.

Posted by DubiousD | June 20, 2007 11:58 AM

"While politicians seem to have an affinity for changing certain policy positions, it's not often you find one that has three party affiliations in six years."

Yeah, who does Bloomberg think he is... David Duke?

Posted by quickjustice | June 20, 2007 1:31 PM

Three more things:

On your point about Kelo and eminent domain abuse, Bloomberg had New York City file an amicus brief in support of the City of New London, and against Mrs. Kelo. With respect to the redevelopment of Times Square, he supported the use of eminent domain to take property away from a building owner to give it to The New York Times for their new headquarters building.

With respect to relations with Muslims, Bloomberg's policy is appeasement. He put the general counsel of CAIR on his Human Rights Commission. This is the same lawyer who brought the suit in Minnesota against the passengers on the airliner who informed on the six imams who provoked passengers with their odd antics.

And Bloomberg has largely caved into the teachers' union with respect to efforts to reform the city's public schools.

In the mayor's favor: he's honest. Here in New York, that's extraordinary for a politician.

Obviously, he's not my candidate.

Posted by MarkW | June 20, 2007 2:23 PM

It's not just a matter of who a third party candidate draws his votes from.

If Bloomberg campaign ads spend all their time touting Bloomberg and his positions then there will be no problem.

But given his personality, it's very unlikely that he will stay positive when he's losing. It's much more likely that he will come out with attack ads against whomever the Republicans pick.

It was Perot's constant attack ads against Bush over the last two months of that campaign that played a large part in ensuring that Clinton became president.