I’m not going to speculate on this just yet, but it is growing increasingly likely that the above question will have a long shelf-life.
Though he is careful to assert that this is not an early endorsement, Ralph Nader, writing on The Daily Beast, offers his take on why Bloomberg could make a compelling 2012 presidential bid:
1. He starts out well-known nationally with a broad support core of city mayors and urbanists with whom he has worked for years to steep himself in knowledge about metropolitan matters.
5. He has personally contributed to many non-profit groups and initiatives in addition to grants from his family foundation’s over the years. Both generate good will and indicate his specific priorities. No bloviating politician here.
6. In the next two years, the Republicans and Democrats will often be at loggerheads, mired in the gridlock of divided government. This turns many people off. These are the voters who look for independent candidates such as Bloomberg.
7. The percentage of voters registering as independent is at an all-time high. In some states there are more independently registered voters than those registering as Republicans or Democrats. Independent voters are more likely to shift their allegiance than loyal partisan voters.
13. Nowadays, people do give billionaires the benefit of the doubt—to wit—“he can’t be bought;” “he was very successful and met a large payroll;” “he doesn’t owe the fat cats anything,” “he’s not going to be a wild, unpredictable unknown,” “he has a stake in a stable system.”
17. The established powers know he is no revolutionary to be feared. He has supported many city and state subsidies for city-based corporations so that they do not move to Hoboken. He is especially solicitous to the city’s financial industry as its best job-producer. Yet, he wants to make many changes—small and big—including tougher management of the swollen, fraud-ridden military budget and the unfairness of the tax system. Still, he induces confidence by the establishment. He is no upheavalist.
Read the rest at The Daily Beast