Wednesday, December 08, 2010

He's Running All Right ...

With a NYT headline to warm Chris Matthews's heart. New York city mayor Mike Bloomberg delivered a major policy speech on the Brooklyn waterfront, fueling speculation that he is preparing to launch an independent bid for president. Or maybe not. Technically, Mr. Bloomberg (described as a "billionaire media mogul" although his profile in this regard is a lot less prominent than Rupert Murdoch's) is still a RepublicanInNameOnly.

Realistically, he'd never make it through the wacked-out wingnut Republican primary process. But with his unlimited funds, Mr. Bloomberg's independent presidential bid, assuming President Obama is the Democratic nominee, would in most Nate Silver scenarios and "models" practically guarantee to, oh a 76 percent certainty of complete metaphysical predictability, the Republican nominee's election. Including Sarah Palin. In the name of centrism. Whoops.

Bloomberg is already booked to appear on Meet The Press and will be asked the obvious question, to which he'll say "no" with a wink-and-a-nod ... or maybe, "yes"? He will also be asked about the craven compromise $900 billion deficit-busting tax deal, and it will be interesting to see what he says about that. Really interesting ("fascinating" to the MSNBCistas) to see how Bloomberg calibrates his assessment of President Obama.

Well, Mr. President. That takes care of the center-right flank you have been so rabidly courting of late. Are any more throwaway statements meant to infuriate the liberal base in the offing? First, we were "sanctimonious purists." Now progressive Democrats are being isolated by President Obama's "Democrats writ large" who don't feel "quote unquote betrayed" and presumably just love the President's latest capitulation.

It seems to me, Mr. President, that dissing the base while encouraging Mayor Bloomberg to rip the "centrist" rug right out from under you does not a successful reelection strategy make. Nor does burning bridges with liberals in a fit of presidential pique based on the shaky assumption we have nowhere else to go. Barring a possible primary challenge, Mayor Bloomberg sounds like a reasonable alternative.

New York Rep. Gary Ackerman was blunt about the President's dealmaking: "We got screwed." Welcome to the world of unprincipled caving/craven "compromise," Mr. President.

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