Big News from Bloomberg
He appears on the cover of Time with Arnold Schwarzenegger with the headline "Who Needs Washington?"
He's the subject of a BusinessWeek special report, "The CEO Mayor: How New York's Mike Bloomberg is creating a new model for public service that places pragmatism before politics."
He's rumored to have recently had a "long, private discussion" with former Dem senator David Boren about the possibilities of an independent run in '08.
On Monday, he spoke at Google HQ, where he declared "The country is in trouble" and went after the current crop of presidential candidates, the campaigns, and the debates. Of the latter, he said "They have absolutely nothing to do with the job and the qualifications. And they don't tell you anything about whether or not any of those candidates would be good or bad presidents. What they really say is, did they memorize their notes of ‘What to say if …' and whether their staff was able to anticipate. If you look at both debates, they pandered, what I would argue, the same ways."
At an LA conference last night titled Ceasefire! Bridging the Partisan Divide, Bloomberg said "Washington is sinking into a swamp of dysfunction….We're talking about a serious and harmful addiction here. Unfortunately, there's no ‘Promises' clinic for partisanship." He added "When you go to Washington these days, you can feel a sense of fear in the air, the fear to do anything or say anything that might affect the polls or give the other side the advantage or offend a special interest group. The federal government isn’t out front - it’s cowering in the back of the room."
And just this evening, Mayor Bloomberg has announced that he is leaving the Republican Party and declaring himself unaffiliated. His statement reads in part:
"Although my plans for the future haven’t changed, I believe this brings my affiliation into alignment with how I have led and will continue to lead our City.
A nonpartisan approach has worked wonders in New York: we’ve balanced budgets, grown our economy, improved public health, reformed the school system and made the nation’s safest city even safer.
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."
Tim Russert said tonight on NBC News that Bloomberg is preparing for a potential '08 run, depending on where things are in early 2008 and whether he concludes it's possible to go all the way.
I still say we could do much worse. Go for it, Mike.