May 16, 2007
New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg may run for president as a third party candidate. Bloomberg, a very liberal republican, who used to be a liberal democrat, reportedly would spend one billion dollars of his five billion dollar fortune on such a race.
A Washington Times story quotes friends of Bloomberg as saying he has “lowered the bar and upped the ante for a final decision on making a run.”
It is difficult to say at this point who such a race would hurt the most. It might take some votes from former mayor Rudy Giuliani, but I don’t see it hurting any of the other major candidates, such as Mitt Romney, John McCain, or the potential candidacies of Newt Gingrich and Fred Thompson.
The problem with a Bloomberg independent run is that it can only hurt the eventual republican nominee. It certainly won’t hurt the democrats, especially if their candidate is Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama. Why should independents vote for a republican in name only liberal when they can have the genuine article?
The reason for so many candidates is that no one has articulated a compelling agenda and the public doesn’t seem enamored with any of them.
Cal Thomas is a nationally syndicated columnist based in Washington, D.C.