“Mike Bloomberg for president rests on the not-impossible but somewhat unlikely circumstance of either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz versus Bernie Sanders,” former Pennsylvania governor Ed Rendell told the Times. Known widely as a faithful member of the Democratic Party’s establishment vanguard and described by the Times as “a close ally of Mrs. Clinton’s who is also a friend of Mr. Bloomberg,” Rendell said that “If Hillary wins the nomination, Hillary is mainstream enough that Mike would have no chance, and Mike’s not going to go on a suicide mission.”

However, Rendell added that if it was Trump or Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) facing off with Sanders, he might consider throwing his weight behind.

The implications of that suggestion, however, were not lost on astute political observers, especially supporters of Sanders, a candidate who has greatly surprised the Beltway and media establishment by mounting a serious campaign against Clinton. With the Iowa caucuses just over a week away—and with Sanders surging in both state-level and national polls—there has been a palpable sense of unease in the upper echelons of both the major parties about what should be done to dissuade voters from throwing their support behind “insurgent” candidates.

As political commentator and progressive media strategist Michael Brooks immediately noted on Twitter in response to Saturday’s news: “Bloomberg hinting at a run is a cynical political threat aimed at Sanders supporters.”

Meanwhile, Canadian journalist Derrick O’Keefe added:

And according to Matthew Rozsa, a political columnist and a Ph.D. student in history at Lehigh University, a run by Bloomberg would be a disaster, not just for his opponents, but for the nation at large:

 

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