Wednesday, May 23, 2007

No Hope for America's New Mayor?

Politico's Roger Simon yesterday posted this column on a prospective third party candidacy by Michael Bloomberg. In Simon's opinion, Bloomberg has little shot at the presidency.

"Third-party candidates don't win. The two major parties fight like the devil to keep third-party candidates off the ballot, and the American people seem reasonably happy with just two parties controlling the presidency."

True enough usually, but we live in interesting times. Dissatisfaction with both parties, especially Republicans, is astounding, and there is strong desire for a third party. While I don't expect it, the right candidate with the right message could easily start with a lead like Ross Perot had at the outset of his candidacy in the summer of 1992. But nationwide organization would likely be a big problem.

"Everybody uses Ross Perot's 1992 race as an example of the power of third parties. And Perot did get 19 percent of the vote. But he did not get a single electoral vote and, as we all learned in 2000, the Electoral College is the ballgame."

Also true, but what would Perot have done had he not been a certifiable moonbat? That he got even 19% of the vote with that, and his movement in and out of the race, is quite an accomplishment in itself.

What about money? If Bloomberg has indeed set aside $1 billion for a potential run (we really don't know if he will), that means a lot, but let's not take it too far. Money is important, especially for a relatively unknown candidate, but after a certain point, returns diminish sharply and the extra money doesn't mean as much as many believe. As with the New York Yankees, big money guarantees a place at the table, but little else.

Though I disagree that Bloomberg being Jewish is a huge impediment, it would hurt him. And Simon makes an excellent point that the Mayor's message of competence and getting things done sounds a lot like several of the other centrists in the race, including Bloomberg's predecessor, Rudy Giuliani. How to separate himself?

So while I don't take as pessimistic a view as Simon, Bloomberg would face a steep climb to win the presidency should he choose to run. But the fact that we're talking about it is yet one more piece of evidence that much of the American electorate doesn't feel at home in either major party.

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