Bush supporter Bloomberg may be running, after all
Mayor Bloomberg's aides have been reaching out to consultants from his past campaigns about whether they are free for a possible 2008 White House bid - including one who helped make his slick mayoral TV spots, The Post has learned.
Bloomberg aides are said to be contacting ad-makers, to see if they'll be available.
That Bloomberg aides would look to lock up an ad team dovetails with what the mayor has privately told people about how he would spend up to $1 billion of his own fortune on an independent run, which would be played out mostly on the TV airwaves and through direct mail.
Bloomberg Deputy Mayor Kevin Sheekey is said to be leading the effort. Bloomberg continues to deny interest, but:
Sheekey has said publicly that the mayor doesn't have to make a decision before March 5.
That's the day after the Texas primary elections - but it's also the first date that nominating petitions for an independent candidate in the state can be circulated.
If he does run, the corporate media will certainly help him protrary himself as a moderate, or even liberal; but as Media Matters has explained:
Bloomberg endorsed Bush's re-election in 2004 and has expressed support for the Iraq war and tied it to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.
And as Wayne Barrett wrote, in the Village Voice:
He prefers, as the Times reported, "slipping in and out of a service entrance" while attending a February 2004 fundraiser with Karl Rove. He prefers sitting "in the shadows" in a limo with the president outside Madison Square Garden, the Times again noted, rather than joining the Bush family in its on-camera convention box. It's only when he thinks no one in the press is listening—like at a Manhattan GOP event this March—that he says the GOP is the party of "honesty, efficiency, compassion, and inclusiveness," turning political reality, at least as much of his city sees it, on its head. His mountain of GOP donations is as much a pittance to him as his calculated and inconsequential disagreements with them are a sham to us.
We have thousands fewer cops because of Bush's 90 percent slashing of Clinton's COPS programs. We had to reprogram FDNY radios because Bush blanched at the $120 million cost of replacing them, even after 9-11's communication breakdown. Not only has Bloomberg never complained about these security breaches, he's publicly excused the president for ignoring all the "blinking red" signs of attack that George Tenet described, and refused to criticize him when he defied and undercut the 9-11 Commission, forcing subpoenas and deleting its funding.
He even rushed to Bush's defense when the Environmental Protection Agency's inspector general blasted the White House for doctoring press releases after 9-11 to portray "hazardous" air quality findings as safe, a distortion that's led to lung damage for thousands of firefighters and others at ground zero. "I know the president," Bloomberg said when confronted with the shocking findings. "I think he's a very honest guy. It would never occur to me not to trust him." Over 2,000 ground zero workers have already settled with the Victim Compensation Board, collecting hundreds of thousands of dollars for respiratory and other damages at the site, while hundreds are still suing the city.
Which brings me to a very simple question: can anyone explain what, exactly, Bloomberg has accomplished, as Mayor of New York?