Saturday, November 26, 2011

Why Bloomberg Wants a Third Candidate for President

So here's this article from the Washington Post telling how Michael Bloomberg and a group calling itself America Elects wants to run a third person for president in 2012:

The theory seems to be that both parties are equally to blame for the fact that the United States government isn't working too well these days. This is another example of the "both sides are equally to blame" school of political analysis that seems so prevalent today. (Here is a good critique of this group by the Washington Monthly.)

What I find interesting isn't the fact that such a group exists but that N.Y.C. Mayor Michael Bloomberg is involved. This is a guy who is very, very rich. He is a person who is socially liberal but pretty conservative fiscally. So why is he involved in this project?

My theory is that he wants to defeat Obama and help the GOP nominee, which will probably be Romney. I think that he knows that Obama is likely to beat Romney and wants to make sure that voters who don't like Romney have someplace else to go besides Obama. Or that voters who aren't as conservative as the GOP but don't like Obama have someplace else to go.

Why would he do that? Because like a lot of fiscal conservatives he wants to make major changes to social programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. He wants to make sure that Wall Street isn't regulated and he wants to get back at Obama for his support of the Dodd-Franks financial regulation bill.

It is interesting to note that the politicians mentioned in this article, Bloomberg and Whitman, are what used to be called "moderate" Republicans. That fact alone would make me suspicious of this group's intentions.

This group already has ballot space lined up for Florida, Ohio, Nevada, and Michigan. All states that are expected to be battleground states in 2012 and all states that Obama carried in 2008. Although the article mentions that it is headed for the ballot in other unnamed states, it is fascinating that the only states mentioned are states that are crucial to Obama's re-election strategy.

This group has also registered itself as a "social welfare" organization so that it can avoid making its donors public. So what we have is a group which has prominent former GOP elected officials working to run a candidate for president in critical states that won't tell us who its contributors are or how much they gave. And we are supposed to believe that this group doesn't have a partisan agenda?

By the way if you think that I am needlessly worried about this group getting candidates on the ballot in states like Ohio,think about this: Nader got George W. Bush elected in 2000 by getting less than 5% of the vote in Florida.

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