NEW YORK – In what may portend an indpendent bid for the presidency, billionaire Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York dropped his Republican Party affiliation and declared, "Non-partisan government is working in New York."
The Brandwagon isn't shocked. Rumors of a potential Bloomberg presidential campaign have circulated for months. And, with independent voters not entirely satisfied with either Democratic frontrunner Sen. Hillary Clinton or Republican Rudy Guiliani, an indpendent bid by Bloomberg might not be a completely unreasonable quest. With ten-figure personal fortune at his disposal– and no need to waste any of it in a messy primary battle, a Bloomberg bid might be more viable than most of the current field.
Bloomberg's challenge as an independent presidential candidate – aside from getting on the ballot in all fifty states – would like be convincing in the battleground states that, despite his wealth, his education, and his brahmin bearing, that he "feels their pain." Yes, Bloomberg takes the subway to work, but that's because he believes its a faster route to City Hall from his Upper East Side town home, not because he can't afford the gas.
From our perspective, the bigger story has nothing to do with Bloomberg. In bouncing the Republican brand, Bloomberg is effectively saying to Republican moderates that they home might exist outside the shrinking tent of the GOP.