It must be a slow news day over at AM New York, a free daily that’s handed out around the city’s subway and commuter rail stations. Their cover story today is, “Will Mike Run?” The page three headline reads, “Mike’s mixed messages: Bloomie says he won’t run for prez, but deputy won’t let issue die.”
A sidebar headlined “Bloomie the underdog” quotes Steven Malanga, a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute, who says Bloomberg doesn’t “stand a chance” of getting either party’s nomination. I’ll say! Although nominally a Republican, Bloomberg is considerably more liberal than most national members of his party. He’s the kind of Republican that only New York City could love. With Republicans having won 5 of the last 7, and 7 of the last 10 presidential elections, they have no reason to offer up a moderate like Bloomberg to the national electorate.
Democrats, on the other hand, would love to offer up a moderate like Bloomberg. Indeed, in the current political climate, only a moderate Democrat has any chance of being elected president. In the last forty years, the only Democrats to have won the presidency — Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton — were centrists. But Bloomberg isn’t a Democrat. He used to be, but switched parties to run for Mayor of New York. Nobody’s going to support a presidential candidate who switches parties back-and-forth, depending on what he’s running for. A politician is allowed only one such switch in a lifetime (as Ronald Reagan famously did), and Bloomberg has had his.
Rudy Giuliani, Bloomberg’s predecessor, is making serious presidential noises. By Republican standards, Giuliani is slightly more conservative than Bloomberg, but no one that supports abortion rights (as Giuliani does) is conservative enough for the national party. He’d be a compelling candidate if he could manage to get the nomination, but he won’t survive the primaries.