Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Michael Bloomberg is Now Officially an Independent

Once again, I refer you to the New York Times. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg released this statement:

I have filed papers with the New York City Board of Elections to change my status as a voter and register as unaffiliated with any political party. 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.

A nonpartisan approach has worked wonders in New York: we’ve balanced budgets, grown our economy, improved public health, reformed the school system and made the nation’s safest city even safer.

We have achieved real progress by overcoming the partisanship that too often puts narrow interests above the common good. As a political independent, I will continue to work with those in all political parties to find common ground, to put partisanship aside and to achieve real solutions to the challenges we face.

Any successful elected executive knows that real results are more important than partisan battles and that good ideas should take precedence over rigid adherence to any particular political ideology. Working together, there’s no limit to what we can do.

This fully convinces me that Bloomberg will indeed run for President as an Independent in 2008. The last three paragraphs sound more like a presidential candidate's stump speech than a simple announcement of a change in party affiliation. Especially when he says "any successful elected executive knows that real results are more important than partisan battles." This sounds like an attack on the relationship between the Bush Administration and the Democratic leadership in Congress. And it suggests that it will take an independent as President (or as the Chief "elected executive") to move beyond this sort of stalemate. And "there's no limit to what we can do?" That sounds like the kind of phony optimism you'd hear Mitt spouting at one of his campaign rallies.

Why would a mayor, two years into his second term, up and change parties? For symbolic reasons? I doubt it. This seems more like Fred Thompson's "testing the waters" BS than anything else. I imagine he will announce an Independent candidacy for President within the next few months. And while I don't think he has any chance at winning, I think it's safe to assume that he would have the best chance of any third party candidate since Ross Perot.

UPDATE: Jake Trapper over at Political Punch cites a relevant quote from Michael Bloomberg:

I have no plans to announce a candidacy because I plan to be mayor for the next nine hundred and twenty six days.
I feel like we've heard things very similar to that from now-announced candidates in the past. So, take from that what you will.

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