Michael Bloomberg

Is Michael Bloomberg Weighing a 2016 Presidential Run?

The former New York City mayor continues to maintain a high political profile.

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Is there a politician out there these days more entertaining and provocative than Michael Bloomberg?

Bloomberg is no longer the mayor of New York. But in the past week, he's given a world-class demonstration of how he plans to remain relevant even while out of office.

Wednesday, at the Town & Country Philanthropy Summit in Manhattan, Bloomberg talked about the advantage that private philanthropy has over government spending.

"Having spent 12 years in government, I can tell you that the public sector traditionally has not innovated very well," Bloomberg said, according to a report on the Capital New York web site.

"Innovation by definition sometimes involves failure and if there's anything that scares elected officials, not to mention their consultants, it is failure," he said. "The press magnifies failure. They harp on it and they sensationalize it, and opponents exploit that, so politicians play it safe."

It's somewhat amusing that Bloomberg, who owns a news organization that employs thousands of journalists, would denounce the press with such a broad brush. His own business journalists have been known, from time to time, to harp on and sensationalize failure in the businesses that they cover. It's also somewhat amusing that a mayor who spent a lot of tax money trying to solve problems as mayor—and, to be fair, had some success at it—now sees the private sector as the leading edge.

Bloomberg's remarks at the philanthropy summit are particularly interesting in the context of his commencement speech the next day at Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass., which got a lot more press attention. There, Bloomberg complained that "the federal government has abdicated its responsibility to invest in scientific research." Well, maybe the Thursday Bloomberg should have a talk with the Wednesday Bloomberg to find out about the advantages of private philanthropic funding over government spending.

The Thursday Harvard speech was so newsworthy in part because it contained a denunciation of left-wing bias on university campuses.

Bloomberg said that "In the 2012 presidential race, according to Federal Election Commission data, 96 percent of all campaign contributions from Ivy League faculty and employees went to Barack Obama. Ninety-six percent. There was more disagreement among the old Soviet Politburo than there is among Ivy League donors."

He said, "When 96 percent of Ivy League donors prefer one candidate to another, you have to wonder whether students are being exposed to the diversity of views that a great university should offer. Diversity of gender, ethnicity, and orientation is important. But a university cannot be great if its faculty is politically homogenous. …When tenure was created, it mostly protected liberals whose ideas ran up against conservative norms. Today, if tenure is going to continue to exist, it must also protect conservatives whose ideas run up against liberal norms."

Said Bloomberg, "a liberal arts education must not be an education in the art of liberalism."

Terrific stuff. But Bloomberg went on, in the same speech, to advocate for his own liberal views on gun control and climate change. Maybe the Bloomberg from the beginning of the Harvard speech should have a talk with the Bloomberg from the end of the Harvard speech to find out about how a college commencement isn't the place for indoctrination in left-wing political views.

Bloomberg used the Bloomberg View platform of his Bloomberg financial information and news company to post a version of his Harvard Commencement speech and also an article under his own byline praising President Obama's regulations that will shut down coal-fired electricity plants. Both articles were also posted at MikeBloomberg.com, a web site that, political-campaign-style, collects email and zip code information from visitors who want to "stay informed."

And all this happened just after Bloomberg returned from Israel, where he was feted with the Genesis Prize at an event with an amazing video that included praise from Presidents Obama, Clinton, and George W. Bush, Mayor Giuliani, Bill Gates, and Bono.

If Bloomberg were only a few years younger, it could all form the basis of an independent presidential campaign in 2016. If the Republicans were to nominate a firebrand like Rand Paul or Ted Cruz and the Democrats were to nominate Elizabeth Warren, it would be easy to see a space for a Manhattan establishment candidate with backing from the press, Wall Street, and the Council on Foreign Relations crowd to defend Park Avenue against pitchfork populism.

Or maybe Bloomberg's age isn't the obstacle we think it is. Bloomberg's mother lived until she was 102, and plenty of other billionaires, such as Rupert Murdoch, Sheldon Adelson, and Sumner Redstone, are on their games well into their 80s.

Even if a presidential campaign doesn't happen, expect to see a lot of Bloomberg in the coming years.

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  1. Good Lord, insufferable nannyism on a national stage.

  2. the last of Bloomberg

    Nice band name.

  3. So is he still trying to petition the lord with legislation?

    1. He doesn’t need to petition – HE’S ALREADY IN!

  4. Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck.

  5. Bloomberg has zero chance of becoming president. I hope.

    1. 60% of the time that works every time.

    2. It is more than hope Epi. I stand a better chance than that tiny fuckstick does. The political climate of NYC is not the climate of the country.

  6. Bloomberg isn’t going to be the third party candidate that wins. The question would be whose votes he “takes”.

    1. Nader’s

    2. I have liberal friends in NYC who all think Bloomie is just great. Even the 16-oz soda thing didn’t scare them off. So I’d guess he would take more votes from a Dem. Don’t forget he’s a NY Republican, not a conservative.

      1. You’re right – Dems. He just might suck off enough votes to throw New York if certain weak Dems get the nomination.

      2. Even though he is rich as Croesus and disgustingly authoritarian, he was quite popular with NYC leftists* (you have to be to be mayor, really). This says more than almost anything else about the real character of our leftists.

        * I refuse to call them “liberals”, because they don’t deserve that once-honorable title: they’re not liberal, they’re servile.

  7. President Bloomberg?

    Estonia, here I come.

  8. Of the pro-gun half of the country, Bloomberg will get exactly zero votes. Without the Democratic nomination, the best he could do is make it an easy win for a Republican.

  9. There’s absolutely no way he gets any votes from anyone right of center, so he’s a non-starter on a national level.

    Still didn’t stop him from trying to engineer a Sista Soulja moment at one of thum thar librul universities, though.

    You can tell the dude is outta touch when he name drops the POLITBURO. Seriously, no one sitting in that commencement crowd knew who the hell he was talking about, unless someone’s Eastern European grandparents came.

  10. It’ll never happen. He’s not tall enough.

    1. You probably have the most pertinent reason right there. That said, I’m done trying to predict what stupid thing the american people won’t do.

    2. Maybe he should try the rack.

    3. Rand is all of maybe 5’6″.

      Goddamnit. Get ready for Santorum vs. Warren.

      P Brooks, you need a roommate in Estonia?

  11. Start working from home with Google. I make money in my ?p?r? tim?! I have been unemployed f?r months but n?w i m??? up to $100/day on the computer. pop over to this website http://www.Fox81.com

    1. Wow, a bot which starts out with a test post. Almost a Turing-test winner.

  12. Allow me to be the first…

    “Fuck Off, Slaver!”

  13. Do we care?

    Are we caring about this?

    Is there anyone in America, not a political pundit, who doesn’t think Bloomberg is a godawful person with godawful ideas?

    1. There seems to be a substantial concentration in NYC…

    2. Non-pundit here. I think Bloomberg has mostly excellent ideas and a few terrifyingly bad ones.

      His managerial skills were remarkably good for New York as long as he was applying them to government. The problem started whenever he tried to apply them to the lawful behavior of private citizens.

    3. Whenever I see he face I hear the Darth Vador theme in my head. Dun dun dun duntiduh duntiduh.

  14. Is Michael Bloomberg Weighing a 2016 Presidential Run?

    I LOL’d. If things keep going like this, it will be one of the more entertaining races for president. The downside is that one of these assholes (Biden, Hillary, & w/e idiots the GOP puts forward) will win.

  15. He could ruin it for Democrats at best. With the upcoming theme of “inequality” a billionaire isn’t going to look very appealing for the left.

    He is also quite short, so… pretty much settled.

    1. I wish you were right, but never underestimate Liberals.

      They can put lipstick on a pig and sell it the youth of today. No offense to the few logical thinking younguns’ we have here.

      They could play up his “charity and work for the little folks”.

      If H.C. decides not to run, Liberals could sure use Bloomberg’s fame and fortune.

  16. Giuliani was a national hero and couldn’t do it. Bloomberg doesn’t have a chance. The mentality created by the particular mix of extreme wealth and government dependence in NYC is just too different from the rest of the country for politicians to succeed in both arenas.

  17. “No gas, soda, oreos or guns for you”. Sounds like a winning slogan to me.

  18. Old Nanny Bloomberg is running on the “6oz Maximum Soda Platform”.

  19. Perfect.

    The Kochtopus needs to back door fund a very large Green Party candidacy for Bloomberg. Push it real hard with bird chopping wind mills, hipsters with giant student loans for forgive (and super cool vintage Triumphs that were purchased with said loans), nanny-ism on a galactic scale, etc. Set up properly it will pull some of the base voters and even siphon some of the independents from the Dems. Brilliant.

  20. …hipsters with giant student loans to be forgiven

    argh

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