Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Bloomberg Quits G.O.P., Fueling Further Talk of ’08 Bid

New York Times:
Even as Mr. Bloomberg continues to insist that he has no plans to run for president, his announcement has set off a storm of interest in political circles across the country, where it is being viewed as a signal of his serious contemplation of a campaign. His ability to self-finance a campaign presents him with obvious advantages, including the option of delaying even until next year a decision on whether to run.

Despite Mr. Bloomberg’s denials, his aides are working intensely behind the scenes promoting the idea of the mayor’s candidacy and exploring the mechanics of starting an independent campaign. ...

The intense reaction in other campaigns to Mr. Bloomberg’s announcement reflected the ferment that has characterized the race for president this year, with no obvious heir apparent on either side, an unpopular incumbent president, and a country facing serious problems at home and abroad.

Several analysts argued that a three-way race with Mr. Bloomberg running as a third-party candidate could ultimately prove more of a threat to Democrats than to Republicans. ...

But it was Mr. Bloomberg’s newly sharpened critique of both the federal government and the unfolding presidential campaign, as well as his presentation of his mayoral record as the solution, that sent the clearest signals that he is making a case for himself as a candidate. Traveling from San Francisco to Silicon Valley and here, he used pointed language to attack the ways of Washington, while promoting his own centrist approach.

“We continue to struggle from big problem to big problem with Band-Aids and the bleeding continues and nobody is really ready to stand up and make the tough decisions,” Mr. Bloomberg said.

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