A Bloomberg Billion-Dollar Candidacy?
Commenter DeminNewJ in the post below puts forward a very interesting question: with reports that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is ready to launch a third-party independent campaign next year bankrolled by up to $1 billion of his own money, how would that effect the 2008 race? Your thoughts on the following questions would be welcome:
1. Would such a third-party candidacy hurt the Democrats or Republicans more, given Bloomberg's socially liberal but fiscally conservative views?
2. We know that Chuck Hagel is making noises about an independent bid himself. Who are some running mates for Bloomberg?
3. Under what circumstances could you/would you support a Bloomberg third-party campaign next year?
4. Could Bloomberg win it?
Those of you with knowledge of Bloomberg's record please weigh in.
My thoughts: Don't dismiss this too easily. Bloomberg and the right running mate could harm both parties, especially the far right GOP by drawing the independent and moderate voters who put the Democrats back into power in Congress in 2006. With the internet and other new tools like 527's, he could organize a campaign from scratch in the necessary states free from convention delegate worries. And just as the country gets bored with the top three from each side due to the campaign starting way too early this cycle, along comes someone from the outside whose main selling point is that he isn't from either party or the Beltway, but has a record of getting things done. He is also able to offer the country a simple break from the poisonous debate on Iraq by simply saying "I wasn't in Washington to make that terrible mistake."
And face it, next spring if voters see a race shaping up between Hillary, Rudy, and Bloomberg, what do they do?