Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Maybe I'm Wrong About Bloomberg

As always, I refer you to the Times. Michael Bloomberg had this to say regarding the circumstances under which he would consider running for president:

If everyone in the world was dead and I was the only one alive? Sure.

I'm questioning myself and my assertion that Bloomberg will run in 2008. This is a very powerful thing to say, and something that will be difficult to explain a few months down the road. Other candidates have said things like "I am not thinking about a presidential campaign at this time," but this seems pretty frank, and reporters (and bloggers) would have a field day if a few months down the road (with plenty of people still alive and kicking on this earth) Bloomberg announced his candidacy.

However, the claims that Bloomberg's aides are researching the potential for an independent campaign (see the Times, once again) can't be completely unfounded. And indeed, such behind the scenes research (not to mention his recent nation-wide travel) is hard to square with Bloomberg's comments. One reporter confronted him about this apparent contradiction:
A reporter asked if it was appropriate for city employees “to be on the city payroll when they’re spending a good amount of their time” researching ballot access.

The mayor was curt, as he often is when challenged: “If you’d stop asking me about presidential campagins, they wouldn’t be spending their time on them.” He said he did not know of any city-employed lawyers working on ballot access and asserted that there was “no substance to your question.”

Mr. Bloomberg defended his extensive travel around the country, saying that issues like illegal guns and domestic security that are central to New York City are also important national concerns.

So, city employees (i.e. Bloomberg aides) are researching ballot access because reporters keep asking Bloomberg about a possible campaign? Given that Bloomberg is the mayor, it seems that he, and not reporters, would dictate how his own aides spend their time. And he is travelling the country because he wants to make the world a better place? Well, that may be true, but politicians, even when they are sincere about their desire to see America improve, typically want to be rewarded for that sincerity or at least have the ambition to try to be on the forefront of bringing about those changes.

So, I don't know what to think these days. Michael Bloomberg, you are a man of mystery.

1 comment:

BrandonIsADork said...

I was listening to an expert (everyone is, right?) and he was going off about how he still has a lot of time left to decide. What he predicts will happen is he will wait until after February when the primaries are over and the American people will have "Candidate Exhaustion" to make his move. It's not like he doesn't have the money. (Billions) Who the hell knows. I'll be happy when it's November so I can just vote and be done with all this campaigning.