Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Bloomberg in 2008?

It's quite the heady time if you're Mike Bloomberg. A new year dawns and it appears to be full of promise for New York's wealthy chief executive-with media outlets, the NY Daily News and the NY Sun just this morning, full of speculation that Mayor Mike will soon go on a spending spree. In spite of what you may have read here, we simply can't wait.

It's not as if we think that Bloomberg is some sort of a political savior for the curing of the American malaise. Quite the contrary, we think that he's ill-equipped, both from an ideological as well as a personality perspective, to lead this country during this perilous period. But his candidacy would create political chaos, and we're big fans of chaos; though we certainly can't see him playing second fiddle to McCain, as Bill Safire suggested this week.

Put simply, Mike Blomberg is the perfect city manager, a post where inspiration isn't a job requisite. So we're amused by all of the breathlessness over the possibility; the latest yesterday by our friends at the NY Post. In that paper's view: "It wouldn't hurt the country - and, given Mayor Mike's ability to break issues down to their component parts, such an effort might stimulate some grown-up political conversation in 2008."

Indeed it just might do that, but as the NY Times reported yesterday, it won't be an easy route to the Oval Office: "Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, eyeing an independent presidential bid, faces a hodgepodge of local requirements to get his name on the ballot in all 50 states and the District of Columbia..," but not to worry, "The mayor’s aides are confident that he can do it, and that he would deploy armies of paid signature-gatherers nationwide if he runs. The foot soldiers are typically paid about $2 for every signature collected, though sometimes higher if their services are in heavy demand."

And we're really not sure about the degree with which Mayot Mike's hundreds of millions of dollars of political ads would, "stimulate some grown-up political conversation in 2008." They would certainly do a great deal for the self promotion of the mayor who, in the manner of Lew Lehrman when he ran for governor in the eighties, could spend hundreds of millions on a losing campaign only to discover that his net worth would actually increase from all of the exposure.

So ring in the new year with gusto Mike. You have a great opportunity to roil the political waters, in NYC as well as all over the country, in spite of what the speculators told Newsday yesterday that the city would run just fine while the mayor was out campaigning. We can't wait to see how all of this plays out.