Friday, May 18, 2007

Bloomberg and Hagel's Kabuki

If money could talk.... well, money is talking.

"New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is prepared to spend an unprecedented $1 billion of his own $5.5 billion personal fortune for a third-party presidential campaign." (Washington Times)

Bloomberg, a Republican who fashions himself as a social liberal and fiscal conservative, has "lowered the bar" and upped the likelihood for a decision on making a run.

The last serious third-party candidate was H. Ross Perot, the Texas billionaire whose 1992 bid split the vote and helped elect Bill Clinton while tripping-up incumbent George H. W. Bush.

Bloomberg is looking closely at the strategies used by Perot, and meeting with Perot's most senior people.

Meanwhile, Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel teased on CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday about a third-party ticket with Bloomberg... "It's a great country to think about a New York boy and a Nebraska boy to be teamed up leading this nation." (WaPo)


Hagel, an anti-war conservative, in an unhappy marriage with the GOP, has opined "neither party is seen as an answer."

Such a third-party entry into the fray would drastically upset the Shermanesque march of Sen. Hillary Clinton toward the White House, and peel away many of the still-looking GOP voters disappointed with the drift of their party on the watch of Commander Guy.

Hagel, a social conservative, is not only an effective communicator, but would help to counter-balance the "nanny state" label pinned on Bloomberg because of his social policies.

Bloomberg is downplaying a possible double-billing with Hagel. But, it is seeming more and more likely that the real reason for the strange news conference Hagel held two months ago to declare his presidential bid intentions... he announced that he had nothing to announce.... may have had something to do with a rethinking of his options to include the possibility of hitching his wagon to "Brinks" Bloomberg.

What the consequences might be..... well, candidate spinners could use this pithy line intoned by former Vice President Dan Quayle..... "We are ready for any unforeseen event that may or may not occur."

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