Bloomberg preps 2012 run with speech on economy

Posted on December 8, 2010

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New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, coyly toying with the notion of mounting an independent bid for the White House in 2012, seemed to be making national policy statements in a speech today, offering a “middle way” out of our economic problems while repeating the pox-on-both-houses (can we stop using this cliché now anytime soon, please?) criticism that is meant to stir broad populist urges.

The economic policies that we have pursued to drive this growth have been neither left nor right, liberal nor conservative. Despite what ideologues on the left believe, government cannot tax and spend its way back to prosperity, especially when that spending is driven by pork barrel politics. Federal spending to stimulate the economy had a temporary, positive impact – but we are two years past the economic meltdown of 2008, and unemployment is still too high, the underlying economy is still too weak and the federal deficit is still rising too fast.

At the same time, despite what ideologues on the right believe, government should not stand aside and wait for the business cycle to run its natural course. That would be intolerable, given the enormous unemployment we face, and the worsening job prospects for the 15 million people who are trying to find work.

Government is not an innocent bystander in the marketplace, and it should not pretend to be. In the face of the current economic weakness, government must act: decisively, responsibly and immediately.

All that stuff sounds nice, and I get that Bloomberg is trying really hard to position himself as a reasonable and responsible centrist, but then I remember – this is the same guy that is regulating salt and trans-fat intake for New Yorkers, with strong anti-2nd amendment leanings and a strident in-your-face support for the Ground Zero mosque. This is the same guy whose first impulse was to believe that the Times Square bomber might be just some guy upset about Obamacare.

There’s only one recent mayor of NYC that I would have considered voting for, and it sure isn’t Bloomberg (hint: he rhymes with Buliani). Despite his appeal toward centrism and a pro-business outlook, Bloomberg strikes me more as an administrative busybody than a strong national figure with gravitas. Maybe he’ll be the Ross Perot-like spoiler for 2012 and allow Obama an easy reelection despite having less than 50% of the vote.

In any case, if he does run, he’ll spend a ton of his own money to essentially buy a victory the way he did in New York. Allahpundit has the rundown on why he basically is screwed on both the left and right fronts and has to hope for a House of Representatives election following an Electoral College foul-up. It seems like such a long shot that I wonder if he’ll even bother. Of course, he does have the ego of a politician, and if he believes that only he can chart this mystical middle path to glory, he may just yet go for it.

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Posted in: News, Politics