Bloomberg bows out

Standard

 Michael Bloomberg Takes Press Questions at The Commonwealth Club of California

 Hat Tip: By Rachel Capochunas, CQ Politics

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg issued a definitive-sounding denial that he will run for president in 2008 during an interview with television newsman Dan Rather taped for airing on the HDNet cable network Tuesday night.

And Bloomberg, according to a partial transcript provided to CQPolitics by HDNet, is outdoing even the famed non-candidacy announcement of 19th century Republican William Tecumseh Sherman.

When the Civil War general made his “Shermanesque” statement rejecting entreaties that he run for the 1884 GOP nomination, he acknowledged the possibility that he might win, stating that he would not serve if elected. Bloomberg, on the other hand, tells Rather that “nobody’s going to elect me president of the United States.”

This is not a matter, according to the transcript, of self-doubt on Bloomberg’s part. Instead, the longtime Democrat who won for mayor in 2001 and 2005 as a Republican moderate and then switched again this June to independent contends that his willingness to take politically contrary views would limit his appeal as a national candidate.

Bloomberg stressed that his beliefs are not “tailored to what is politically popular.” continuing, “I believe that certain things and if somebody asks me where I stand, I tell them. And that’s not a way to get elected generally.”

The comments came after Rather raised the speculation that Bloomberg, a billionaire media magnate, might stage an independent presidential bid — a topic that has drawn intensified interest since Bloomberg, who holds strongly liberal views on most social issues, quit the Republican Party earlier this year.

When asked by the former longtime CBS Evening News anchorman if he would run, Bloomberg first simply stated “no.” When Rather pressed further, asking if there were any circumstances under which Bloomberg would run for president, Bloomberg first responded that he didn’t know, then added, “If I don’t say ‘no’ categorically, you’ll then read something into it. The answer is no.”

8 thoughts on “Bloomberg bows out

  1. This year is similar to 1992 in that there is a very high level of dissatisfaction with both major political parties. In fact the potential for a third party candidate doing very well (better than 20 percent) in a general election is probably higher than in 1992. Bloomberg is correct in stating that he probably can’t win a general election, but he can be a decisive factor in who does win.

    All in all, I think he is still testing the waters and would not count out an independent run from him yet.

  2. SB,

    I disagree. I thought the only way to a Democratic President was with a third party candidate. I just don’t think it’s going to be as easy as people think for the Democrats.

  3. rikyrah,

    Nothing can stop them now. The GOP is internally at war and that won’t change between now and next Novemeber. The candidate that can unify the GOP best is Hillary. We all know that. But, let’s be real, they’ll have no trouble unifying against a black man.

  4. JenniferH

    Ernesto, I agree with you. Bloomberg is just testing the waters.Of course, he’d say no when cornered about running for president. What else can he say. I think he would add a really interesting element to the elections and I hope he still runs.

  5. Rattling the Kettle

    I think you’re reading too much into the Dan Rather interview (particularly with respect to your headline). Bloomberg has been saying that he’s not running, in these same clear terms, for months now; meanwhile, his political aides continue to gently push behind the scenes. Saying things like “no one will ever vote for me” is great, self-deprecating stuff, and will serve him no harm at all if he eventually decides to run. No sense in him making this decision now, with the field crowded with pretenders vying for limited media attention. Better to wait until the major parties have picked their nominees.

    A Hilary-Romney contest would be perfect for Bloomberg. Nobody really likes either of them.

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