Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has already taken “concrete steps toward a possible presidential campaign” and is committed to spending $1 billion of his own fortune to making it happen. Advisers to Bloomberg, 73, have set a deadline for late March, the latest point at which he could officially enter the presidential race.
Bloomberg has been affiliated with the Republican party for many years; he won the New York City mayoral race in 2001 on the Republican ticket. He was, however, born into a family of Boston Democrats; he even donated to Democratic campaigns when he was younger. But to call Bloomberg a flip-flopper would imply that he’s not committed to Republican ideals. Bloomberg has, in fact, been open with his belief that the two-party system has afforded him a degree of flexibility. It has been a “convenient means” for him to go wherever he might find personal allegiance, a convenient means which allowed him to run on the Republican ticket because it was the easiest path for him to win the nomination for the mayoralty. That Bloomberg might now choose to enter the presidential race as an independent, given his history, is not so surprising.
But money and a known political pedigree might not be enough for Bloomberg to secure the nomination. An independent candidate has never been elected to the White House. Bloomberg’s close ties to Wall Street and his “strong support” for such hot-button issues as women’s abortion rights and stricter gun control—among other socially liberal views—could make him a wild card in the presidential race, one who could find himself without passionate support from either the left or the right. The National Rifle Association (NRA) even ran an ad campaign which accused Bloomberg of using his wealth to “strip people of their rights and freedoms.” Regardless, Bloomberg’s potential run is motivated by the belief that Donald Trump’s dominance over the Republican party (and the political arena) in the last few months is a signal that the two-party system is in need of an intervention–an intervention from a third party candidate with viable solutions.
Bloomberg has been realistic about his chances in the race, but has found himself constantly agitated by the “tone and tenor” of the campaign thus far. Nevertheless, he believes he can neutralize both the passionate and dispassionate responses to Trump’s campaign while serving as a formidable political foe to Hillary Clinton, who is the current Democratic front-runner. A source close to the mayor has also revealed that Bloomberg would seriously consider entering the race if it
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