I would start hiding your big soda cups if I were you, because if you think Hillary or Bernie want to take away freedoms, just wait for a President Mayor Bloomberg. According to the New York Times some of the former mayor’s buddies on Wall Street are urging him to run for president as a third-party candidate.
Bill Ackman, the billionaire hedge fund investor, who has historically supported Democratic candidates, buttonholed Bloomberg at a dinner party over the summer at his posh Upper East Side townhouse and urged him to run.
Two weeks ago, Ackman publicly declared, onstage at a Bloomberg Markets conference:
He’s all the best of Trump without the worst of Trump. I would do everything in my power to get this guy elected.
Joking about the cost of a campaign, he then quipped: “It’s just one quarter’s dividend.”
The drumbeat grew louder in late September, when Ian Bremmer, president of the Eurasia Group, a prominent political consultancy, wrote this tweet: “Word from those that know: Mike Bloomberg now seriously considering Independent run.”
That’s not necessarily the case, as evidenced by Bloomberg’s reply to most of his pals: “Not going to happen.”
The plutocracy’s renewed interest in Bloomberg pursuing a run for presidency is the confluence of several factors, according to conversations with some of New York’s business boldfaced names. One is an anxiety by some Democrats that Hillary Rodham Clinton has been forced to move too far to the left on issues related to business, regulations, and taxes. Some Republican business voters worry that Jeb Bush, their preferred candidate, has become lost amid the attention heaped on Donald Trump and will struggle to gain the backing needed to win.
Virtually all business executives complain that none of the candidates have the experience managing and expanding large organizations that Bloomberg did in building his financial data and media empire, Bloomberg L.P., and running New York City for 12 years as mayor.
Before anyone rushes out to support the former mayor, let’s sit back with an outsize sugared soda, order a large pizza with extra triglycerides, and remember all that the man has done for the Big Apple — how he tried to unburden us of our freedoms by trying to ban this, outlaw that. Not all of his efforts were successful, but this is what he tried to take away:
- Smoking in commercial establishments like bars and restaurants (2003)
- Smoking in public spaces (2011)
- Cigarette sales to those under 21 (2013)
- Sales of “flavored” tobacco products (2009)
- Smoking e-cigarettes in public spaces (2013)
- Cigarette in-store displays (2013)
- Cars in Times Square (2009)
- Cars from driving in newly created bike lanes (2007-2013)
- Cars causing congestion below 60th Street in Manhattan (2007)
- Speeding on residential “slow zones” (2013)
- “Illegal” guns (2006-2013)
- Sodium levels in processed foods (2010)
- Trans-fats in restaurants (2006)
- Loud headphones (2013)
- Styrofoam packaging in single-service food items (2013)
- Sodas larger than 16 ounces (2012)
- Collection of yard waste and grass clippings during certain times of year(2003-2013)
- Organic food waste from landfills (2013)
- Commercial music over 45 decibels (2013)
- Chain restaurant menus without calorie counts (2008)
- The posting of signs in “city-owned grassy areas” (2013)
- Non-fuel-efficient cabs (2007)
- New cabs that aren’t Nissan NV200s (2013)
- Greenhouse gas emissions (2007)
- Government buildings that aren’t LEED-certified (2005)
- Non-hurricane-proof buildings in coastal areas (2013)
- Black roofs (2009)
- Construction cranes over 25 years old (2013)
- No. 6 and No. 4 “heavy” heating oils (2011)
- Less than a 2-1 ratio of female and male restrooms in new public buildings (2005)
- Cell phones in schools (2006)
- Two-term limits for city elected officials (2008)
- Baby Formula in City Hospitals (2012)
According to the Times, even the owner of Fox News, Rupert Murdoch, recently tweeted: “With Trump becoming very serious candidate, it’s time for next billionaire candidate, Mike Bloomberg to step into ring. Greatest mayor.”
Bank chief executives, private equity bosses, and hedge fund managers I spoke with have also implored him to run, but all except Ackman refused to go on the record, so as not to alienate the other candidates.
“People thought a billionaire couldn’t run for president,” Ackman told me in an interview on Monday. “Trump disabused everyone of that notion.”
But Bloomberg, 73, has expressed skepticism that a “short, Jewish, divorced billionaire” can be elected president and has explained repeatedly to anyone who will listen why he thinks it would be so challenging to win. And unlike other candidates, Bloomberg doesn’t want to run unless he can win.
But think of all the stuff Bloomberg could do as president. He could offer to turn every federal monument to a mosque.
And that’s just for starters.
Cross-posted at The Lid