Just When I Thought I Had It Down

*grumble* It’s too early in the morning for this crap.

Last night, I quickly posted the announcement of Mayor Bloomberg hopping off of the Republican reservation. And I didn’t add a whole lot there because I was busy at the time, I just wanted to make sure I got the story out there in a timely manner.

As I expected, and as Memeorandum shows this morning, the announcement sparked a tsunami of presidential talk for the New York mayor, the kind of speculative buzz that only the following paragraphs of Bloomberg’s statement can generate.

We have achieved real progress by overcoming the partisanship that too often puts narrow interests above the common good. As a political independent, I will continue to work with those in all political parties to find common ground, to put partisanship aside and to achieve real solutions to the challenges we face.

Any successful elected executive knows that real results are more important than partisan battles and that good ideas should take precedence over rigid adherence to any particular political ideology. Working together, there’s no limit to what we can do.

And just when I was getting comfortable with how the presidential race was going!

So here I am at five in the morning trying to make sense of it all. Is this a step on the road to a candidacy? Yeah, of course, but as pointed out at the Moderate Voice, not one we are likely to know the results of until next year as the nominations of the established parties are solidified according to Tim Russert.

So this is how Bloomberg dips his feet in the water. Clever. Making it known that he’s an independant does lots for the current NYC mayor (note that I’m not using the quotation marks I use for Rudy). And most of this stuff is finely tuned weather map reading stuff.

For one, it allows him to see just how much noise he can make. Does the blogosphere blow up? Do the pundits start blowing gusts of hot air? And it allows him to watch how things go. Who does he get compared to, Ralph Nader, or Ross Perot? You get more people mentioning the 2000 third party contender who could only net 3% as opposed to the 19% and then 8% back to back bids by Ross Perot, then that backs the mayor off.

But if he does get buzz more in lined with the chart bearing Perot, things look good. It means that a Bloomberg candidacy will be seen as something serious and not just a spoiler, and could have a lot of mileage in running Bloomber’s “non-campaign” (can I patent that phrase?). Indeed, given Bloomberg’s new independent status, and the fact that he has ditched both parties now within the last ten years means in order to have a real shot at the White House he’s going to have to have a great non-campaign experience wherein he’s polling in the upper teens low twenties before making an official announcement.

Also, this early declaration of … independence… (oops) allows Mike to watch the field, and see where he’s going to make his gains, and ultimately, who he’s going to pick as his running mate. The Gun Toting Liberal ponders the possibility and legality of Schwarzenegger underticket, while The Moderate Voice’s Jeremy Dibbell thinks it could be former Dem Senator David Boren.

Me personally, if Bloomber does decide to run, I think you are looking at his mate being Senator Chuck Hagel, who, if you’ll remember, did much to fan the flames of a while back about a possible Bloomberg/Hagel, Hagel/Bloomberg ticket.

For a great run down on the pros and con’s and just overall good analysis, Chris Cillizza is in rare form in his coverage and analysis of the announcement, also providing strong arguments for and against a Bloomberg run (obviously I find myself probably more in agreement with the latter). You can also check out MYDD, which has a neat little graph that seeks to look at the splash Bloomberg would have in the polls. Given how reliable polls are, especially this far out, it’s not all that useful, but fun to look at nonetheless.

And here’s my line. I still stand skeptical that a third party candidate could ever hope to have a serious shot at the White House, not for sometime still. With that being said, Bloomberg’s role in the upcoming election, should he choose to play won, will be to scoop support away from the two established parties, primarily from the center.

In the ideal run for the NYC Mayor, he siphons enough support to take the White House. Given I don’t believe he’ll have an ideal run, it becomes a matter of who he takes more votes from. It’s hard to say. Sure, he was a Republican, but if ever there was a Rino (republican in name only for those not up on the hip political vernacular), Mike is it. Swapping over to the GOP was merely something that he did to avoid the crowded and contentious Democratic primary at the time.

I think it will have to do a lot with whom he chooses as a running mate. A Bloomberg Hagel ticket would cut huge gashes into the Republican vote (psst… Mike, pick Chuck, pick Chuck!), while, assuming it’s legal, I’m not sure it is, Ah-nuld as veep would strip most moderates from both parties.

It just depends. I do think the Republicans have more to lose than Democrats, but either way watch out, because while some are saying he has the workings to impact the campaign much like Perot back in 92 and 96, Mike:

-Has more money to spend, and has proven he’ll spend what it takes.

-Actually has experience as a politician and elected official.

-Is not a lunatic.

Oh well, it’s gonna be an interesting election cycle.

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