The Bloomberg Factor
Mike Lane, Cagle Cartoons
So now the informed guessing game becomes: if former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg decides to run (a decision most observers contend he’ll completely make only if he decides that he could actually win and not just be a Ralph-Nader-like “spoiler”), who will he hurt most?
Survey USA says he would hurt the Republican candidate the most.
Should his candidacy be dismissed if he runs as yet another third party candidate who wants to run but doesn’t have a chance to win — which has been the traditional pre-election verdict (confirmed on election days) in American politics?
Most assuredly NOT: by all accounts, Bloomberg is laying the groundwork for a possible run but is using the kind of hard-nosed realism that made him his fortune in the business world.
He’s watching the market and looking at all the variables. And if it looks like a viable venture where he can actually profit (by winning), he’ll jump in. If it looks like he’d be another footnote in a history book who in the end merely helped one of the two major parties in an election that all but his most loyal followers knew would not end in victory, he’d likely stay out of the race.
So The Bloomberg Factor (apologies to Fox’s B.O. on that) looms as a real one — a possible alternative for those who are sick of both partisanship and demands that they MUST become partisans of one party or another (and if they don’t, they’re simply wusses who won’t believe i anything since of course you can only believe in something unless you support one of the two parties — which is how some see it) and possibly for disgruntled Democrats and disgruntled Republicans.
The risk: there has always been a Don Quixote quality about Third Party candidates due to their historical failures and the way American’s winner-take-all system is set up.
Yet, those who remember Ross Perot’s initial debut on the scene and go back and research the moment will recall: there WAS a brief window when it was widely believed Perot could really win. He bungled it and shattered the window. Would Bloomberg do the same?