With a solid majority of voting believing Queen Hillary to be a brazen fraud and liar, the panic is already setting in. Some New York Democrats already are approaching former Democrat turned Republican turned independent Michael Bloomberg about throwing his hat in the ring.
A dirty secret behind Hillary Clinton’s lead in the Democratic presidential race is the lack of a credible challenger. Despite rising voter disgust over sordid revelations about the Clinton Foundation, there is no appealing alternative.
The situation led some disgruntled Democrats to push Sen. Elizabeth Warren to run, an effort that folded yesterday. But now comes word of a bid to entice another big-name challenger, and this one is far more intriguing.
It aims to get former Mayor Michael Bloomberg into the race.
New York Dems friendly to Bloomberg have approached him to gauge his interest. Their argument is that Clinton’s vulnerability with general- election voters, especially independents, could result in a Republican president. They also believed Bloomberg could be interested because, as one of them told me,“Mike can’t stand Hillary.”
One visitor to the former mayor came away cautiously optimistic after a 30-minute meeting, noting that Bloomberg didn’t throw him out of the office or start fiddling with his smartphone.
“That means he wasn’t bored and was listening,” said another man who talked to the three-term mayor. They were also encouraged that Bloomberg said something to the effect that it would be “no problem” for him to drop his unaffiliated registration and become a Democrat again.
It’s far from certain that Bloomberg will run, but I can envision a scenario where he floats a trial balloon to see how people react. I’m saving him the trouble because I hope he gives the idea serious consideration.
Besides, it’s not as though this is virgin territory. As mayor, Bloomy didn’t hide his ambition for the White House, and spent considerable money to test the waters. Before the 2008 election, he sponsored polls and researched state laws on ballot access while saying he would spend $1 billion to run as an independent.
He eventually dropped the idea after concluding that he couldn’t win. He joked that the country wasn’t ready to elect a divorced, Jewish billionaire, but he also knew that a third-party race is extra difficult. A three-way split in the Electoral College would throw the decision to the House of Representatives, which would support the candidate from the party of the House majority.
Bloomberg’s obvious problem as a cloying nanny-stater is he can’t win a general election, but his substantial wealth dwarfs Clinton’s and he could give her major headaches by peeling away support from nervous Democrats during the primaries. But, like another wealthy egomaniac — Donald Trump — he enjoys playing footsie with the idea of running, but never quite pulls the trigger. He spends boatloads of money on failed gun control attempts and gets no results, so running on gun control is a non-starter. So while we enjoy the idea of one New Yorker running against a carpetbagging New Yorker, it won’t happen. Besides, another former Republican is throwing his hat in the ring today. Are you ready for Linc-mentum?
Two New Hampshire events bookend the presidential announcement from former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee this week.
Chafee is scheduled announce himself as a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President during a speech Wednesday at the Center for Politics & Foreign Relations at George Mason University in Virginia.
Unlike the secretive Clinton, we imagine he’ll be doing interviews.