Update #2 (June 20): We have been asked to comment on the potential impact on Hillary if Bloomberg enters the presidential race. A year ago we were worried about an adverse impact. Now though, having seen Hillary while campaigning and the quality of her organization and strategy there is little to worry about. However, anytime a billionaire gets in a race there is cause for concern and a Bloomberg candidacy is a big factor in how the campaign will allocate resources in all the states. We do suspect Bloomberg will spend a minimum of a billion dollars (he spent approximately 90 million in each race in New York City alone) and he does have an excellent political staff. The Hillary staff is up to the challenge. The Ripublicans are not up to the challenge.
Having written the above, we do believe Bloomberg has made a major tactical mistake (we are surprised because his pollitical team is first rate). Bloomberg’s strength is his massive wealth and his ability to self-finance with abandon. This meant he had the ability to enter the race in a super surprise move around May of next year. Bloomberg has said he will sell his business assets after he leaves New York City Hall and give away the money. The sale of those assets will mean Bloomberg will have tens of billions of dollars to give away. Therefore, he will not be shy about spending tons of money. Voters rarely, if ever, punish self-financing candidates for “buying” the election. Now, what is this tactical mistake we are referencing? It’s called New York cutthroat politics and the New York City Council. Bloomberg has stripped himself of political allies in New York. Expect stormy days ahead for Bloomberg as every political figure in New York State decides Bloomberg is not an ally. Ripublicans will no longer receive Bloomberg donations or fundraising assistance. Ripublicans will attempt to rip him to shreds. Independent Bloomberg will have many months of being lonely Bloomberg. A May surprise announcement will be met with mounds of research accumulated over the next 11 months.
Barack Obama must be unhappy with this news. Obama positioned himself as the shiny new. The problem for Obama is that Bloomberg is even shinier newer.
We wrote on May 3, 2007 a Word Of Warning About Bloomberg. We wrote then
Ordinarily we do not comment on these matters. This website will examine the Democratic race for president until the primaries are over and Hillary is the nominee. After Hillary is the nominee we will then begin to examine the Republican opposition. But for those generally interested in the 2008 race a word of warning from us: keep your eyes on Bloomberg.
At approximately 6:15 p.m. today Bloomberg announced he is no longer a Ripublican. Bloomberg has changed his registration to independent.
Bloomberg is running for president. He will likely announce next May.
Today the New York Times reported that
In unusually stark terms, Mr. Bloomberg expressed his frustration with the state of the nation, touching on campaign-style issues like the war in Iraq, immigration, education, health care and crime before a crowd of more than 1,000 employees at the Google campus here.
“Whoever out of those 20 becomes president I think has to do something about a country that I think is really in trouble,” Mr. Bloomberg said, referring to the current crop of candidates. “There’s the war, there is our relationships around the world.”
“Our reputation has been hurt very badly in the last few years,” he continued, criticizing what he called a “go-it-alone mentality” in an increasingly interconnected world.
The trip west comes as speculation about Mr. Bloomberg’s presidential ambitions has intensified, with his increasing travels around the country to speak about national issues, and with aides promoting the idea behind the scenes.
Bloomberg is running guys. Forget the Ripublican threat. Rudy lost his Iowa campaign chair today (due to appointment by Bush) and his South Carolina Chair was indicted for conspiracy to distribute cocaine, possibly crack. It turns out Rudy was also thrown off the Iraq Study Group. We never thought Rudy had a chance to be the Ripublican nominee anyway. The rest of the Ripublican field has fatal flaws too. Watch out for Bloomberg.