Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Michael Bloomberg Would Be an Echo, Not a Palatable Choice

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Michael Bloomberg Would Be an Echo, Not a Palatable Choice

Article excerpt

Michael Bloomberg's epiphany about the 2016 presidential proceedings is that what is missing is a second bossy, big- government billionaire from Manhattan's East Side -- another candidate with malleable party loyalties. Bloomberg, whose net worth estimated by Forbes is $38.6 billion (eighth on the list of richest Americans), is again exploring an independent presidential candidacy.

In 2001, he spent $74 million to become New York's mayor. He had been a registered Democrat but ran as a Republican to avoid a competitive primary. Re-elected in 2005, he left the GOP and in 2009 won a third term as an independent, spending $102 million -- $174 per vote -- to eke out a 50.6 percent victory against a negligible opponent. He had persuaded -- not a Herculean task -- the city council to alter the law, enacted and reaffirmed in two referendums, limiting mayors and city council members to two terms.

"Make no mistake about it," Bloomberg said then, "I still think term limits are a good thing." Intermittently.

A Bloomberg presidential run might complete a repudiation trifecta for New York mayors. In 1972, John Lindsay, after three terms in Congress, was in his second disastrous term as mayor. He had run in 1965 on the Republican and Liberal Party lines. Defeated in the 1969 Republican primary, he won re-election on the Liberal and Fusion lines. In 1971, he sought the Democrats' 1972 presidential nomination, winning 1.23 percent of the votes cast in primaries.

In early 2007, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani had a 20-point lead in polls for the Republican presidential nomination and a third more money than Mitt Romney and John McCain combined. He was, however, like Donald Trump, thrice married and, like Trump until his various conversions of convenience, favored abortion and gun control. Giuliani left the race Jan. …

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