Bloomberg mulls election
The former mayor would mix-up the presidential race if he runs
Is former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg going to throw his hat into the presidential race to save us from ourselves, our political system and restore our faith in our values as Americans? If so, he is willing to put $1 billion of his own fortune into the game.
Bloomberg felt called by the pull toward a deep-seated discontent among the American people who have responded to gut-wrenching, emotional appeals by both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders and by the push of a tragedy he foresees if either become our next president. Bloomberg’s decision to send out feelers to run as a Third-Party candidate is triggered by the sudden realization that a crisis is brewing, one that requires a sudden intervention into the presidential race, even though the outcome of who will represent the Grand Old Party or the Democrats in November will not be resolved for some time.
Like the prophet Ezekiel, he feels that the country is sitting on scorpions. Trump appeals to our basic instincts and Sanders to an economic system that challenges billionaire Bloomberg’s firm attachment to the free-market capitalism on which his multi-billion-dollar fortune is founded. As a Third Party candidate, it is clear he cannot become president, but he can play the strategic role of game changer. Who today recalls that Ross Perot polled 19 percent when he ran against George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton in 1992? Perhaps Ralph Nader is better known as a spoiler in 2000 by keeping Al Gore out of the White House?
Bloomberg, a three-term mayor, will play a lesser role in his appeal as a law-and-order man known for his stop-and-frisk record against minorities, pro-market economics and his crushing of the Occupy Wall Street protest. However, his support of reproductive rights and embryonic stem cell research, his campaign against the NRA and against smoking and soft drinks, his campaign for environmental sanity, his views on same-sex marriage and his ideas on immigration, will not endear him to majority of the electorate, more broadly speaking.
And the general malaise in our era shows distress which might push old-style Republicans to hold their noses and back Bloomberg, as well as mainstream Democrats who have no genuine love for Sanders. Furthermore, there remains abroad in the country a dislike of “New York values” that Bloomberg espouses. And if that was not enough, what chance does a 74-year-old like Bloomberg stand to rally independents, moderate Republicans, Blue Dog Democrats and the like into his political tent?
As it stands now, we cannot say for sure Sanders will be the Democrats’ nominee, but Trump stands a better chance for the Republican ticket since even people like Bob Dole see him as a last resort against a string of non-electable Republicans. Saying this, were Bloomberg to enter this dog-and-pony show, it would be feared that he will not stop Trump, and in fact, will do more harm to Sanders. So far, Bloomberg has not entered the fray, albeit time is not on his side to declare himself a candidate. If anything, our distress concerning the erosion of our institutions and democracy is rising.