by Todd Beeton, Fri Sep 07, 2007 at 12:38:04 PM EDT
I caught Mike Bloomberg on C-SPAN last weekend during which a Q&A session inevitably turned to the topic of his presidential ambitions, and once again he repeated his now familiar denial, something to the effect of:
I'm not running for president.
It's the same sentiment, and the same wording, that Bloomberg uses in what looks to be his first blog post on his I'm-not-a-candidate-really website:
Last week when I was in Washington to discuss poverty in America, I was asked (again) whether I am running for President. As I've said before and I'll say again - I am not running.
Great, glad we cleared that up. But wait, there's more...
But, "Are you running?" is the wrong question. The question should not be about politics, but about leadership. Not who is the best candidate, but who will be the best President.
Which begs the question how one can be president without first being a candidate. But the larger question is why someone who acts fed up with the question of whether he's going to run for president fuels the speculation with this strange post on his website. Does he just want to be a part of the whole blogging thing? Or maybe he just wants to try to have an impact on the dialogue, be relevant to the process? Except that the rest of his statement shows just how irrelevant and out of touch he is.
We need solutions that are innovative and bold, not superficial half-steps that are driven by politics, partisanship, or special interest campaign contributions. We need real solutions that honestly address the big challenges we face as a nation.
Has he been paying attention to the presidential race at all? While he's spouting advice that might have actually been helpful to defeat what at the time was HIS party's president three years ago, reinforcing this idea that politics and partisanship are the real problem and that both parties are equally complicit is a pathetic use of the platform he has. You listen to Bloomberg speak, it's clear he's a liberal. And it's also clear, when he lists what he feels should be our nation's priorities...
creating growth in a global economy, fighting terrorism, meeting our energy needs, tackling global warming, and reforming public education.
...that the only ones actually presenting viable solutions to these issues are the Democrats. If Bloomberg were being honest about his desire for bold leadership and real solutions, he would be writing about the virtues of John Edwards and Chris Dodd who, regardless of one's candidate preference, it's hard to deny have best represented these qualities in the presidential campaign. And if it's truly non-partisanship he wants, he should be thrilled with Barack Obama's candidacy. His call for an end to partisan in-fighting in Washington seems right up Bloomberg's alley, but apparently the fact that he has a D next to his name renders him automatically unqualified to communicate a unity message. Yes, much better for it to come from a guy who switched parties just to get elected. Where exactly is the virtue and integrity in that? The irony in the anti-partisan messaging of the Bloomberg/Broder set is that the refusal to acknowledge the fact that Democrats actually do substantively fulfill their criteria for real leadership betrays a sort of partisanship in and of itself -- it puts partisan affiliation above substance, the very thing they claim to be against. Of course, admitting as much would lower the cache someone like Bloomberg has as an "independent" voice considerably, so, intellectual honesty be damned.
Unless he's going to be helpful and come out not only as the liberal he is, but also as a supporter of the Democratic candidates, Bloomberg should just go away, because in the meantime, he's merely reinforcing the idea that voting Republican is still an acceptable option for those that DO want bold leadership and real solutions to the problems we face.