John McCain

Bloomberg Fever—Catch It!

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I've wondered previously if a bad matchup between the Democratic and Republican candidates—Hillary and McCain, for example—could create a tiny opening for the Libertarians. The WSJ's June Kronholz is puzzling over the same thing. Sort of.

[T]he political winds that fanned the Perot candidacy might be blowing once again—this time stirring talk of an independent run by another billionaire, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "More people are willing to consider an independent today than in 1992," says Frank Luntz, a Republican pollster who worked for Mr. Perot, and then for Mr. Bloomberg in 2001. He predicts the mayor could get as much as 25% of the popular vote.

This is the worst possible argument you can make for a third party run. So voters are pissed? Great! The first question you should ask is "What are they so pissed off about?" Luntz (who also worked for Pat Buchanan, so he should know better) skips that and goes to predicting a massive independent vote party vote that would rocket the candidate into… third place.

As the Bloomberg "buzz" has already achieved a Zidane-ian level of tedium, I'm going to suppose something that Luntz doesn't: What if Bloomberg won? What if he dumps $800 million in TV ads and GOTV, John McCain threatens to nuke everybody, and Hillary picks John Kerry as a running mate? He would probably be a terrible president. Look at Israel, which elected Kadima—a star-studded, kosher version of Unity08—last year and found itself with a sclerotic, incompentent, bumbling Dane Cook of a government. Look at Minnesota, where citizens seem nonplussed about the coming 10th anniversary of Jesse Ventura's gubernatorial win. Centrist parties (or politicians) whose guiding philosophies are being centrist are always failures.

UPDATE: Joe Lieberman said this yesterday:

The fastest-growing political party in America today is no party … People are registering as Independents because they're fed up with—they don't see them in the two major parties and they're sick of the fury, the partisanship and instability. And I think if the two major parties don't hear this going into '08, there is a real chance of an Independent third-party candidacy. And watch out, if that happens.

If people were sick of "the partisanship and instability," we'd be saluting President John Hagelin right now. They're actually sick of the Iraq War. Now, if Bloomberg ran on an "end the War" platform instead of a "I'm a centrist and I gots money" platform…

NEXT: Brickbats

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  1. I have several questions.

    What are the chances he will run?

    What are his positions on the issues?

    Who would he take the most votes away from, the Democrat or the Republican?

  2. OT: David, are you recovering from the SC fish fry or did you have to skip that one too?

    Don’t forget your Mexican flag today!

  3. I’m not sure I understand the tone of this post. Is David Weigel positing that Hillary Clinton or John McCain would be more competent presidents than Michael Bloomburg? He compares the very capable mayor of the largest city in the United States to Dane Cook? Get real!

  4. Before his strange comments began, Perot was a serious factor to actually win in 1992.

    Conjecture about Nurse Mike that goes beyond him as a well financed Ralph Nader is loopy.

    What’s he gonna do? Out-nanny the Dems?…There’s a winning general election strategy.

    It will take a well-financed Colin Powell (or the like) to mount a serious 3rd party candidacy.

  5. So, how what’s the typical vector for Bloomberg fever?

    Is it in the water, or is it an STD?

  6. He compares the very capable mayor of the largest city in the United States to Dane Cook? Get real!

    Read it again. I’m referring to Kadima.

  7. Please don’t vote. It just encourages them.

  8. What’s wrong with Dane Cook? I love Dane Cook. He’s great at what he does. And come to think of it, as president he’d be awesome.

    “You’re very rude, Mr. Castro. Have some spaghetti.”

  9. I’m not sure I understand the tone of this post.

    It’s 18 months to the election and pundits have run out of material but they still have to try and write something interesting every day?

  10. What’s with New York mayors thinking that prepares them to run the entire country?

    Giuliani I can understand–his platform is “I was the mayor during 9/11, rally around me!” Bloomberg, not so much.

  11. Please don’t vote. It just encourages them.

    I have encouraged that for younger voters as a form of protest. Apparently I am much more successful than I ever thought I could be.

  12. What’s with New York mayors thinking that prepares them to run the entire country?

    Because they see the problem with the rest of the country as it is not just like New York, therefore a New Yorker needs to straighten it all out.

  13. He (Bloomberg?) would probably be a terrible president. Look at Israel, which elected Kadima – a star-studded, kosher version of Unity08 – last year and found itself with a sclerotic, incompentent, bumbling Dane Cook of a government.

    You’re comparing Bloomberg to Kadima, for whom you’re blaming Israel’s “sclerotic, incompentent [sic], bumbling Dane Cook of a government.” Granted, I don’t see what Dane Cook has to do with anything, but it looks like a classic
    A -> B
    B -> C
    ______
    A -> C

    to me

  14. Just curious, Guy, what’s with the Mexican flag comments from you today? Is there some rally happening out in your neck of the woods?

  15. No, he compared electing centrists for the sake of centrist consensus to Kadima.

  16. jimmy,

    MayDay is now a day for ImmigrationRallies. I think BigLabor is trying to co-opt TheMovement.

  17. It’s pretty obvious to me that the communist professional protestors, and not the actual immigration reform groups, are behind this year’s and last year’s May Day rallies.

    They have a completely different tone from the other big rallies that occured, and a lot more red stars. And seriously, May Day? There is only one reason to hold your rally on May Day.

    Screw those people, they steal every decent leftist movement.

  18. I definitely can’t say I would support Bloomberg on anything, but is there a problem with a third-party candidate getting 25% of the vote? I mean, yeah, 3rd place is still 3rd place, but every time we get a 3rd party candidate getting a large enough percentage of the vote to make people sit up and notice we also open the door just a little bit wider for people to get out of their “wasted vote” funk and actually consider voting for something other than the lesser of two evils.

    I can’t see that as a particularly bad thing. Seems to me we need something to encourage folks to stop voting AGAINST that other guy (or other party). So what the heck.

  19. highnumber | May 1, 2007, 12:13pm | #

    jimmy,

    MayDay is now a day for ImmigrationRallies. I think BigLabor is trying to co-opt TheMovement.

    I see that highnumber…I did a quick google check after I posted.

    I wonder what URKOBOLD’s stance is on immigration…

  20. So, how what’s the typical vector for Bloomberg fever?

    It’s carried on rodents, like the Hanta virus or the Black Death. You catch it from fleas that live on Congresscritters.

  21. Is Bloomberg conceding that the modern Republican party has no room for him in it?

    You’d think he’d at least go through the motions of seeking the Republican nomination first, before striking out on his own.

    The fact that he won’t even try is very telling.

    That’s fine with me, though. The libertarians in the party are already gone, we may as well have someone like Bloomberg break off the centrist Rockefeller Republicans also.

  22. Screw those people, they steal every decent leftist movement.

    Pretty much how I feel about corporatarians and libertarianism. Darned if they don’t have the best websites, though.

  23. Just curious, Guy, what’s with the Mexican flag comments from you today? Is there some rally happening out in your neck of the woods?

    There is ALWAYS a rally just across the river from me.

  24. They’re actually sick of the Iraq War. Now, if Bloomberg ran on an “end the War” platform instead of a “I’m a centrist and I gots money” platform…

    He might just get the real feedback that pulls most of the other politicians away from that cliff (other than Kucinich and Paul, a few others).

    The only people who want us “out now” are the tiny, loud, minority like you and Jane Fonda.

  25. First of all I doubt it’s going to come down to McCain and Hamrod, but the last person we need “running” the country is a(nother) billionaire business man disguising his business interests’ well-being as a platform of constituency “choice”. And I don’t give a shit what big liberal city he’s been running.

  26. Guy Montag’s PUNISHMENT IS TO BE Guy Montag.

    WORST PUNISHMENT EVER.

    Urkobold IS NOT SORRY.

  27. THIS JUST IN! Counterprotest by Herr “What A” Guy Dienstag (No relation). He is only one there

    Sports bar buddies disagree on consensus. Deteriorate into ‘Here Comes a Regular’ style pathos.

  28. Seriously, if you don’t why Dane Cook is a shitty comedian, there’s little that anyone can do to help you.

  29. “Seriously, if you don’t why Dane Cook is a shitty comedian, there’s little that anyone can do to help you.”

    Oh, c’mon, the vomit-breathing dragon bit is hilarious.

  30. There’s precious little product differentiation between the two major parties these days.

    Spendthrift deceitful whores or deceitful spendthrift whores?

    Coke or Pepsi?

    I have a nightmare scenario, one where a 3rd party shows up and inspires the disgusted electorate to vote ’em in (just to fuck with the business-as-usual mindset that holds sway in DC)

    the vote goes to the electoral college where no candidate is able to pull the required 270 electoral votes

    so the new House of Reps gets to vote for the new POTUS, and the Senate gets to vote in the new Vice POTUS

    the (hypothetical) 3rd party has nobody in Congress

    the party partisan whores who are in Congress do their party partisan whore thing and loyally install party bobos in the White House, while the voteshy 3rd party gets nothing but half hearted lip service.

    Later, the new administration (with the stated goal of “preserving freedom,” or “Spreading Democracy” or someshit) sends our military to jump yet another oil bearing nation. Don’t worry, the press’ll assure us (over and over again) that the war is righteous, and necessary for our continued safety.

  31. I can see a definite market next year for a third-party candidacy, but Bloomberg ain’t it. I don’t think his schtick will sell outside NYC, just like I don’t think Rudy’s will either, in the long run. Of course, all of this uncertainty just emphasizes how far we are from any actual voting.

    But if Rudy were to get the nomination, I’d think it much more likely that the third candidate would be a disaffected Republican from the right, not the left.

  32. Is Pat Paulson still alive?

  33. My dream ticket is Bloomberg and Lieberman. Except that they still haven’t decided who is going to be prez and who VP and spend the entire time wrasslin’ over who gets to go first.

    Comedy gold.

    Look, if Bloomberg ever runs for president, 75% of the country is going to say: “Bloomberg who?”

    And the rest are going are going to confuse him with the financial group and ask for hot hedge fund tips.

  34. I used to read Bloomberg County. Loved that Opert! You know, the puffin character.

  35. Who says Bloomberg would run as a centrist? Sorry, but when you combine a fiscal conservative and a social liberal, you don’t get a centrist. You get what might be called a libertarian lite. In California, that’s what Arnold used to be. But then he “grew.”

  36. Chris | May 1, 2007, 3:10pm | #
    “Who says Bloomberg would run as a centrist? Sorry, but when you combine a fiscal conservative and a social liberal, you don’t get a centrist. You get what might be called a libertarian lite. In California, that’s what Arnold used to be. But then he “grew.””

    Bloomberg a libertarian? Waging war against smoking, fattening foods, walking with ipods, and proposing a tax just to drive into the city does not a libertarian make, imo. He is a nanny, plain and simple.

  37. Heh, heh, I have a new term to coin. Those who wish to place government in loco parentis, who think the nanny state is a perfectly fine thing, who wish to protect us from ourselves, those I now call. . .

    Bibertarians.

  38. Exactly. “Socially liberal” as an approximate partial description of “libertarian” never really worked, because certain forms of repression (depending on fashion) are socially “liberal”. For instance, the “social liberal” will favor allowing medical marijuana use (just not in public) while banning all smoking in public.

    “Fiscally conservative” works a little better, but includes sentiment for raising taxes to cover expenditures, so it’s not such a great description of “libertarian” either.

    Marshal Forgot-Last-Name quoted “Doonesbury”: “What if you just get a bigot that eats brie?”

  39. Seriously, if you don’t [know/get/grok/understand/fail to comprehend] why Dane Cook is a shitty comedian, there’s little that anyone can do to help you.

    Wait, so I’m not supposed to laugh myself to tears when I see/hear him? Seems to me that would be the antithesis of “shitty comedian.” Unless you mean that somehow he’s, like, covered in shit. Anyway, comedy is purely subjective. And, of course, it’s not pretty.

    Here’s a Superfinger for you.

  40. If Bloomberg could suck away votes from the rat pack (McCain, Rudy, et al.) I’m for it. If he can the democrats to show a backbone and address issues with solutions – good or bad – I’m for it.

  41. Bloomberg has been distancing himself from Republicans and focusing on national-level issues (gun control, environment, etc.). If it smells like a candidate….

  42. I don’t get why Rudy can be a viable candidate but Bloomberg can’t. Bloomberg’s done a much better job as mayor. No offense, Rudy. But the thought of you trying to boss the country around the way you bossed NYCers just makes me cringe.

    OK, so maybe I didn’t mean the “no offense” part.

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