Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York
(New York) Rumors are running rampant that New York mayor Michael Bloomberg is weighing a third-party run for the presidency. Publicly Bloomberg continues to deny a Presidential run, but the billionaire politician uses rhetoric that leaves open the possibility that he might change his mind.
Fanning the flames of the rumor-mongering about a possible Bloomberg campaign is Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel, who sees a Bloomberg-Hagel ticket as the antidote to what ails America.
"I think Mayor Bloomberg ... should seriously think about this," Hagel said. "He is the mayor of one of the greatest cities on earth. He makes that city work. That's what America wants."
And if you thought Ross Perot and his candidacy offered hope to independents and moderates, imagine what a more media-savvy figure like Bloomberg would mean to the 2008 race. I often hear people calling for the combination of a fiscal conservative with socially liberal sensibilities, which might appeal to a wide swath of the American electorate.
Best quote of the day, from former Federal Election Commission Chairman Michael Toner:
"Bloomberg is H. Ross Perot on steroids," he said. "He could turn the political landscape of this election upside down, spend as much money as he wanted and proceed directly to the general election. He would have resources to hire an army of petition-gatherers in those states where thousands of petitions are required to qualify a third-party presidential candidate to be on the ballot."
Watching this closely...