2016-01-27 / Political Page

Bloomberg In Race For President?

BY JOHN TOSCANO

In a sudden possible late move, with voters in Iowa poised to vote next Monday in the first presidential primary, former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, going on 74 is considering entering the 2016 race for president as an independent candidate, it was reported last Saturday.

A story in The New York Times said the former three-time mayor, a Republican, is “seriously considering” getting into the race and has authorized a search team to determine how to make it happen before the deadline in March.

Besides sparking lots of conversation and speculation about how this might impact the race that’s been going on for about a year, and which has propelled millionaire real estate developer Donald Trump into a leading role, Bloomberg’s move got tongues wagging about what effect it might have on the present field of candidates, especially Trump, who leads them all presently.

With last Sunday’s regular talk shows as a platform, Trump was eagerly questioned about Bloomberg’s move and his response was something like this:

“Oh that’s great… he’s an old friend of mine and I’m glad to see he might be getting into the race: that would be lots of fun he’s an old friend of mine…”

It sounded something like when US Senator Ted Cruz (R, C-Texas) passed Trump in the Iowa polls and became an immediate threat… until Trump found a way to attack him.

As regards Trump, he is not what you would consider a “party regular.” The same could be said for Democrat Bernie Sanders. Actually, a short while ago, Hillary Clinton was far ahead of Sanders, also 74, who’s regarded as a Democratic Socialist, and is far from a party regular in Washington.

Surprisingly, although Clinton was looked upon as the “heir apparent” to succeed President Barack Obama in the White House, Clinton has failed to catch fire in Iowa and New Hampshire, the first two primary test sites. Meanwhile, Sanders has emerged as a popular competitor to Clinton, drawing big crowds and raising millions of dollars from supporters via the internet. But Clinton is still regarded as the party’s choice as the candidate.

As for Trump, he’s definitely not the Republican Party’s choice, and they don’t like Cruz much either… he’s too far right politically. In fact, national Republican leaders have been in a sweat since Trump surged to the top of the heap in polls and in the farcical debates… where Jeb Bush was supposed to surge to the top, but failed miserably and, from the start of the debate, he could hardly get the words out when he was supposed to be putting Trump in his place, but the words just couldn’t come out coherently.

Actually, if Bloomberg does decide to run, it could settle the problem that the national Republican leaders have had since Trump hijacked the GOP ballot line, at least at this moment, and they didn’t know how things would work out with Trump. When they have to pick a candidate at the party’s convention from among Trump, Cruz, or Bloomberg, they’ll likely take Bloomberg, the former three-time Republican mayor of New York City.

Bloomberg served from 2002 to 2013. Since being succeeded by Mayor Bill de Blasio, Bloomberg’s major interest has been to get gun controls enacted in order to get guns out of the hands of criminals and mentally disabled persons who have been responsible for mass killings on school campuses all over the United States.

Bloomberg, a billionaire, regularly contributes large sums of political contributions to anti-gun candidates who are pledged to get guns off the streets and out of the hands of criminals. Other than that, he has rarely been politically active or involved in a partisan way.

His entry now possibly in a very partisan way in our nation’s most important election, backed by his great experience and wealth, holds the promise of turning a strange political campaign (in the eyes of many pols) on its ear.

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