Bloomberg rules out White House
Friday 29 February 2008
Michael Bloomberg, the popular and hugely wealthy Mayor of New York, has finally put an end to speculation that he might make an independent run for the White House this year. Instead, he is promising to throw his support behind any candidate who takes a non-partisan and practical approach to solving America's problems.
Announcing his decision yesterday in a column in The New York Times, Mr Bloomberg wrote that after careful consideration: "I am not – and will not be – a candidate for president." But, he continued: "If a candidate takes an independent, non-partisan approach, and embraces practical solutions that challenge party orthodoxy, I'll join others in helping that candidate win."
Although the two-term Mayor had for months been careful not to rule out entering the race, his decision was widely expected, after the emergence of John McCain, the maverick Arizona senator, as the all-but-certain Republican nominee, and the growing likelihood that in November Mr McCain will face not the polarising Hillary Clinton, but Barack Obama, who has made bipartisanship a central tenet of his campaign.
Both Mr McCain and Mr Obama thus have strong appeal to the centrist and independent vote where Mr Bloomberg would have sought support. All along, moreover, he had insisted he would run only if he had a genuine chance of victory, and not as a spoiler. Assuming a McCain/Obama contest, he would almost certainly have been precisely that.
With Mr Bloomberg on the sidelines, the only noteworthy independent in the race will be the populist consumer advocate Ralph Nader, whose 2.7 per cent of the vote in 2000 is widely held responsible for the defeat of the Democratic candidate, Al Gore.
But in 2004 he captured only 0.4 per cent of the vote, and was not a factor in George Bush's victory over John Kerry. This time, he will do well to win even that tiny share of the vote, now that his signature issues such as the environment are high on the agendas of both mainstream parties.
Mr Bloomberg, however, would have been a different proposition. Although he was elected Mayor as a Republican – only to drop his party affiliation last year – he had previously been a lifelong Democrat.
By most reckonings he would have eaten disproportionately into the potential Democratic vote, in a year when independents are leaning heavily in that party's direction.
For rolling comment on the US election visit: independent.co.uk/campaign08
- 1 Christians: The world's most persecuted people
- 2 Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
- 3 Thatcher ‘was warned of Tory child sex party claims’
- 5 The Simpsons Family Guy trailer: First look at crossover episode after Comic-Con debut
A new Russian revolution: The cracks are starting to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Thatcher ‘was warned of Tory child sex party claims’
Israel-Gaza conflict: President Obama presses Netanyahu to call ‘immediate and unconditional’ Gaza ceasefire
Lauren Goodger sex tape: Reality star calls for tougher laws on revenge porn after intimate video leaks online
Iraq crisis: End 'very near' for Christianity after Isis takeover, says Bishop
Israel-Gaza conflict: The secret report that helps Israelis to hide facts
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Opponents of Israel's military operation in Gaza are the real enemies of Middle Eastern peace
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
Arizona execution lasts two hours as killer Joseph Wood left 'snorting and gasping' for air
Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Massive rise in sale of British arms to Russia
£45000 - £55000 per annum + Car, Healthcare, Pensions: Progressive Recruitment...
£45000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Leading Sof...
£90 - £162 per day: Randstad Education Hull: Randstad Education are looking fo...
£50 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: SEN Teaching Assistant EBD , Septemb...