Bloomberg Secretly Considers Independent Presidential Run
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is mulling over the idea of running for president as an independent, his local CBS affiliate says.
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has always denied it, but CBS 2 has learned the details of a secret meeting, involving the mayor, to discuss a possible run for the White House. “I am not running for president, for the record,” Bloomberg has consistently said publicly.
But behind the scenes, it’s a different story. CBS 2 has learned the details of a private dinner for the mayor that was held at an apartment building on Manhattan’s Upper East Side last month. There, he spent the evening in serious discussions about the viability of a White House run. Sources told CBS 2 Bloomberg brought three deputy mayors with him, and proceeded to talk through every angle of a presidential run. By the end, the group had zeroed in on his running as an independent in 2008. And, the sources said, he seemed intrigued.
The dinner was held at the home of Michael Steinhardt, a legendary Wall Street hedge fund manager and a Bloomberg friend. He brought along Al From, head of the Democratic Leadership Council, which played a part in Bill Clinton’s rise to power in 1992. Sources said the man who put Bloomberg together with Steinhardt and From was New York City Schools Commissioner Joel Klein.
Aides to the mayor cautioned that he is still very skeptical about the idea of running. In fact, one source said that at the dinner Bloomberg asked, “How likely is a 5’7″-Jew-from-New-York billionaire who’s divorced and running as an independent to become president of the United States.”
Not too bloody likely, actually. Indeed, if he ran it would make much more sense to do so as a Republican than as an Independent since the structure of our system makes it virtually impossible for an unaffiliated candidate to cobble together an Electoral College majority. And, in the case of a multi-candidate race with no majority, it’s unlikely the House of Representatives, which would have no members of Bloomberg’s non-party, would select him.
Most politicians who achieve any stature at all–and that includes Senators, governors, and NYC mayors–have presidential fantasies. Many even have meetings where advisors discuss the options. Few of them actually make the leap to run after weighing the odds.