2010 Archives

Bloomberg for president?

His role in the nonpartisan political movement Nolabels.org raises speculation.


The following is from the December 13, 2010, edition of The Christian Science Monitor. SMU Political Science Professor Cal Jillson provided expertise for this story.

December 15, 2010

By Linda Feldmann
Staff Writer

Washington — New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg insists he’s not going to run for president in 2012.

“No way, no how,” he said Sunday, when pushed by “Meet the Press” host David Gregory.

But Monday’s launch of a new movement called Nolabels.org – an effort to get beyond the hyperpartisanship that infuses Washington – can’t help but keep the “will Bloomberg run” question alive. The day-long rollout was held in New York City, and Mayor Bloomberg, a political independent, was a marquee participant. And Nolabels’ centrist approach to policy fits his own message, laid out just last week in a campaign-style speech on the economy. The billionaire Bloomberg’s willingness to self-fund as a politician has been amply demonstrated in his three successful runs for New York mayor, and he reportedly considered running for president in 2008. . .

“Bloomberg isn’t running, unless there’s a popular call that he can’t ignore,” says Cal Jillson, a political scientist at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. “He does not generally forcelose options.”

In the past, Bloomberg has reportedly made clear he is not interested in running just to be a spoiler. He would run if he saw a path to victory. That didn’t materialize in 2008. In 2012, if Mr. Obama is still weakened by the economy, and it looks as if the Republicans might put up a polarizing figure like former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, Bloomberg might see his opening.

“Bloomberg is a very sophisticated guy, who does not throw money out windows,” says Jillson. “So if it didn’t look like there was room to run a draw play up the middle successfully, he wouldn’t spend the money. He’d have to spend half a billion [dollars]. Even for Bloomberg, that’s real money.”

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