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Will Mike Run For President As Sane Perot?

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  • Ram Lau
    http://www.nyobserver.com/20060220/20060220_Ben_Smith_pageone_newsstory1.asp Will Mike Run For President As Sane Perot? By: Ben Smith Date: 2/20/2006 Page: 1
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 25, 2006
      http://www.nyobserver.com/20060220/20060220_Ben_Smith_pageone_newsstory1.asp
      Will Mike Run For President As Sane Perot?

      By: Ben Smith
      Date: 2/20/2006
      Page: 1

      Back in the late 1990's, Mike Bloomberg was just another media mogul
      and Kevin Sheekey was a young aide floating a crazy idea: that his
      boss would run for Mayor of New York.

      Now Mr. Bloomberg is Mayor, and Mr. Sheekey, freighted with a long
      City Hall title, has been floating another suggestion: Mike for President.

      Of the United States. Perot-style, only less weird. As a Democrat or
      an independent, on a platform of competence and nonpartisanship.
      Shooting up the middle in a national election between, let's just say,
      Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton. (Would he live in the White House?
      The townhouse? Would he, finally, marry his girlfriend?)

      "Still not ready to discuss the strategy for the early primary
      states," Mr. Sheekey, now the city's deputy mayor for government
      relations, said in an e-mail.

      But Bloomberg insiders say the Mayor's closest political aide has been
      pushing a 2008 bid. "Kevin—he's a big dreamer. He has great confidence
      in the Mayor," said Bill Cunningham, who was until recently Mr.
      Bloomberg's communications director. Mr. Cunningham called the
      national speculation a "parlor game," but went on to note that "crime
      and balancing budgets and working on education—those issues translate
      nationally."

      And to many political professionals, Mr. Sheekey's dream isn't all
      that improbable.

      "He would have a very strong record to run on," said Robert Shrum, the
      noted consultant and veteran of Democratic Presidential politics.
      "That old Dukakis line might have some resonance, though it didn't
      work for Dukakis: The issue in this election is competence."

      "If he was to run for office again, he would run for President," said
      Richard Bryers, who worked with legendary city consultant David Garth
      on both of Mr. Bloomberg's campaigns. "Obviously Mike would be able to
      get his message out, and in the right environment he could be an
      incredibly compelling candidate."

      Mr. Sheekey's only obstacle, it seems, is his boss. In his
      autobiography, Bloomberg by Bloomberg, Mr. Bloomberg expressed a
      passing interest in the Presidency. "If I ever ran, it would be for a
      job in the executive branch of government—mayor, governor, or
      president. I think I'd be great," he wrote, adding parenthetically
      that he had "no current plans to enter the public arena."

      More recently, however, he has all but ruled it out. "I'll send my
      mother a copy of a letter that suggested I had an interest in running
      for President, which I don't," he said last year. "She'll be very
      pleased that anybody even mentioned my name."

      Most people around Mr. Bloomberg take him at his word, as do the camps
      of other 2008 hopefuls.

      "Kevin must be bored in his new position to be thinking this up," said
      Senator John McCain's political advisor, John Weaver, who added that
      Mr. McCain "thinks the world" of Mr. Bloomberg.

      It's open to debate what Mr. Sheekey is up to. After agreeing to an
      interview, he didn't return telephone calls or e-mails from The
      Observer, though he did e-mail over the suggestion that a reporter
      contact a former Perot campaign manager. Some speculate that he's
      simply raising Mr. Bloomberg's stock locally by floating the prospect
      of a national run. Others wonder if the target of the spin isn't the
      Mayor himself, who would need some convincing to abandon a job he
      appears to love for the snowy fields of Iowa. "I think they think over
      time, they'll grind him down," said New York Times City Hall bureau
      chief Jim Rutenberg on WCBS-TV last month.

      A Driving Force

      Mr. Sheekey has emerged as something of a driving force in the second
      Bloomberg administration, which has been characterized by a flurry of
      his trademark high-concept political gambits, such as picking fights
      with President George W. Bush and State Senate Majority Leader Joseph
      Bruno. Mr. Sheekey first publicly floated the notion the day after Mr.
      Bloomberg's sweeping Nov. 8 re-election victory over Fernando Ferrer.
      He raised it, unprompted, by knocking it down during an interview on
      NY1 News, saying that a Bloomberg '08 campaign was "not likely."

      Since then, people in Mr. Bloomberg's camp acknowledge, the deputy
      mayor has fed a low-grade buzz about the possibility, including an
      editorial in The New York Sun pushing the prospect. And it was picked
      up by gossip queen Liz Smith on Feb. 12. "By the by, the `Bloomberg
      for President' bandwagon has already begun rolling!" she wrote.

      "People are coming up to me all the time and saying Mike Bloomberg
      should run for President," said Mitchell Moss, a New York University
      professor who worked for the Mayor's first campaign.

      And so Mr. Sheekey is feeding a dream that, in part, comes with the
      job. "If you're the Governor of New York or the Mayor of New York,
      there's always some speculation," Mr. Cunningham said. Mayors of New
      York notoriously fail to advance to higher office—but they're always
      rumored to be trying.

      All of this could be more than theoretical, and the difference between
      Mr. Sheekey's whimsy and his boss' determination is never entirely
      clear. What's more, the expensive business of putting together a
      campaign infrastructure is of no concern to Mr. Bloomberg, one of the
      few Americans who could afford to self-finance a campaign anticipated
      to cost between $200 million and $300 million. Indeed, he's already
      built a national-quality campaign organization, with consultants and
      pollsters drawn from the top ranks of the Democratic Party's political
      apparatus. (Yes, that's right—the Democratic Party apparatus. And yes,
      Mr. Bloomberg currently is a Republican.)

      "He can put a national campaign together," said Ester Fuchs, a
      Columbia University professor and former City Hall policy advisor.
      "Somebody like Sheekey, and the rest of the team—Patti Harris, Doug
      Schoen, Bill Knapp, Ed Skyler—these are people who have done or are
      capable of doing national campaigns."

      Political analysts concurred that Mr. Bloomberg would have little hope
      in a Republican primary, where he could be one of three New York
      liberals in the race, along with Rudy Giuliani and George Pataki.
      Still, the Mayor would face a difficult decision: run in a crowded
      Democratic primary (which could include another New Yorker, Hillary
      Clinton), or create his own line and risk serving as a spoiler—perhaps
      at Mr. Giuliani's expense, more so than any Democrat's.

      Each path has its history. Mr. Bloomberg's Republican-Liberal
      predecessor, John Lindsay, sought the Democratic nomination for
      President in 1972, Mr. Shrum recalled.

      "It's not a happy precedent," he added, noting that Mr. Lindsay did
      poorly in that year's primaries.

      The alternative is the Perot model. The Texan financed a 1992 campaign
      that brought him over 19 percent of the vote despite an eccentric,
      undisciplined personal style that had him drop out of the race in
      July, only to re-enter in October.

      "It's as plausible as Ross Perot running," said Bill Hillsman, a
      political adman who has worked for independents including Mr. Perot,
      professional wrestler turned Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura and the
      rocker Kinky Friedman, who is now making a plausible bid to be
      Governor of Texas.

      "If he ran as an independent, it gets very interesting very quickly,"
      he continued. "You're going to have the Democrats shooting at the
      Republicans and the Republicans shooting at the Democrats. Mike can
      make the argument of competence."

      A Democratic political consultant, Hank Sheinkopf, offered a message
      for the Mayor: "He'll clean up the mess in Washington; he'll make the
      economy work."

      Mr. Shrum offered another suggestion: "If you can make it here, you
      can make it anywhere."
    • Ram Lau
      DRAFT MIKE BLOOMBERG! A Bloomberg-Clark ticket is hard to beat. Even better, a Bloomberg-Clark administration will literally save the world and advance
      Message 2 of 4 , Feb 25, 2006
        DRAFT MIKE BLOOMBERG! A Bloomberg-Clark ticket is hard to beat. Even
        better, a Bloomberg-Clark administration will literally save the world
        and advance mankind.

        Ram
      • greg
        It does sound like an interesting ticket, but I think the first person a draft movement would need to convince would be Bloomberg himself:
        Message 3 of 4 , Feb 25, 2006
          It does sound like an interesting ticket, but I think the first person
          a draft movement would need to convince would be Bloomberg himself:

          http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newyork/ny-bc-ny--bloomberg20080215feb15,0,6343271.story?coll=ny-region-apnewyork
          Mayor squashes idea of running for president, again

          By SARA KUGLER
          Associated Press Writer

          February 15, 2006, 3:56 PM EST

          NEW YORK -- Mayor Michael Bloomberg shot down, again, the suggestion
          that his next move might be a run for president, asking reporters on
          Wednesday "which letter of the word 'No' do you not understand?"

          The 64-year-old Republican mayor began his second term last month and
          says repeatedly that his first job in elected office will be his last.

          "It's the greatest job in the world, one that I think I can contribute
          something to the city that I love and the city that my family lives in
          and will continue to live in," said Bloomberg, who is a billionaire
          former businessman.

          "When I get done with this in four years, I've said that my next
          career will be in philanthropy. That has not changed," he added.

          It's the same response he gave the last time the question was asked
          publicly _ the morning after Election Day last fall, when he crushed
          his opponent and won a second term.

          "I couldn't make it more clear," he said on Nov. 9. "I will work, God
          willing, for the next four years for this city as mayor and then go
          into the world of philanthropy for my next career."

          So why won't this go away?

          Some point to Bloomberg's top political adviser and deputy mayor,
          Kevin Sheekey, who masterminded his boss's re-election and enjoys
          winking at the rumor as one of his favorite reporter-torturing devices.

          The running political parlor game now is to guess where Sheekey will
          next direct his energy. Many say he would like to convince Bloomberg
          to join the 2008 race_ which is already crowded with possible
          contenders from New York, including Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, Gov.
          George Pataki and Bloomberg's predecessor, Rudolph Giuliani.

          After the idea was revived again Wednesday in The New York Observer,
          Bloomberg squashed the notion that anyone could change his mind.

          --- In prezveepsenator@yahoogroups.com, "Ram Lau" <ramlau@...> wrote:
          >
          > DRAFT MIKE BLOOMBERG! A Bloomberg-Clark ticket is hard to beat. Even
          > better, a Bloomberg-Clark administration will literally save the world
          > and advance mankind.
          >
          > Ram
          >
        • Ram Lau
          ... Which is not a bad decision, after all. But I think he should just run and be the next Perot anyway. Ram
          Message 4 of 4 , Feb 26, 2006
            > "When I get done with this in four years, I've said that my next
            > career will be in philanthropy. That has not changed," he added.

            Which is not a bad decision, after all. But I think he should just run
            and be the next Perot anyway.

            Ram
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