Is the real establishment getting worried?
As news broke Saturday afternoon that billionaire former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg is “seriously” considering the idea of a third-party run for president in 2016, some political observers immediately smelled a rat.
“Bloomberg hinting at a run is a cynical political threat aimed at Sanders supporters.” —Michael Brooks, media strategistThe New Yorks Times was the first to report that Bloomberg has asked his political team to draw up plans for what a campaign might look like. The Times cited sources close to the former mayor who said he is prepared to invest “at least $1 billion” of his own money in order to finance a run against the Republican and Democratic nominees that ultimately emerge.
As Jamelle Bouie, political writer at Slate, put it snidely: “Billionaire contemplates buying White House for himself.”
The Times reporting describes Bloomberg as “galled” by the dominance of Donald Trump in the GOP race and “troubled by Hillary Clinton’s stumbles and the rise of Senator Bernie Sanders” on the Democratic side.
According to one source, described as having intimate knowledge of the deliberations, Bloomberg has been thinking quietly about this for some time. However, the person is quoted as saying, “It’s gone from idle chit-chat, to ‘let’s take a real look.'”
A third-party independent has never won a presidential race in the United States, but as the Guardian notes, they have arguably made their impacts felt:
The Time‘s reporting discusses the possibility of a Sanders vs. Trump general election as perhaps the most likely scenario in which Bloomberg might considering mounting his campaign.
Ari Fleischer, former White House Press Secretary under George W. Bush, was thrilled with the idea:
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