Thursday, June 21, 2007

They Call This "Beating a Dead Horse" (More on Bloomberg)

Okay, I have a new theory brought about by yet another New York Times article.

Mr. Bloomberg was described as conflicted about a national run, intrigued by the possibility of winning the presidency but telling friends that he would not run unless he was certain that he could win. And he did not want to go down in history as a spoiler who contributed to the defeat of a Democrat like Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York, he has told friends.

The first part here is the classic "in it to win it" line, but the second half is more interesting. Perhaps he would run if his research (or others' research - even before he announced his change in affiliation, there were already general election polls that included him) showed that he would draw more votes away from the Republican, allowing a Democrat to win. We must not forget that he was a Democrat for many years, and he only switched parties for his mayoral campaign. He is a moderate liberal at heart, and he does not want to see four or eight more years of stagnation on issues like stem cell research and gay rights.

So, what I can gather is that he doesn't want to be the Ralph Nader of 2008 (I'm referring to the fact, of course, that Mr. Nader drew enough votes away from Gore to cost him the election of 2000). But, would he be willing to be the Ross Perot of 2008 (who drew enough votes away from George H. W. Bush to cost him the election of 1992)? I think the odds of that are far more likely. However, it might be a bad idea for his future plans, given that Republicans will absolutely hate him (as many Democrats - myself included - are still angry at Ralph Nader) if he hands the election to Hillary. After all, when you want to base your career on creating bipartisan solutions and you offend half of the public, you're really shooting yourself in the foot.

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