June 20, 2007
The Bloomberg Party (Bob Franken)
@ 11:40 am
Back in the Cold War, commentator Nicholas Von Hoffman observed that the differences between Republicans and Democrats were no greater than between “minor factions in the Communist Party.”
It was arguable then and it’s probably more so today. But now we have a new ruling-class wrinkle.
Michael Bloomberg has announced that the Democrat who became a Republican is now becoming a nothing. Oh, excuse me — an independent.
I mean, here’s a guy who doesn’t need the other parties. With more than $5 billion in personal wealth at his disposal, he has the wonderful luxury of being able to avoid all the unseemly fundraising and party hacks that a mere mortal has to endure (”mortal” defined here as someone who is only a millionaire).
Here is a man who has practical political experience … if you call being mayor of New York City practical experience. And here is a man who understands media. Hell, he owns media. Gobs of media. Every year he throws a lavish after-party in Washington, after the country-come-to-town White House Correspondents’ dinner where the high and mighty are willing to sell their souls to get in. That is, the high and mighty who haven’t already sold their souls.
Now, when he runs for president, he’s INVITING EVERYONE to his party … his non-party. I should probably say IF he runs for president, since right now Bloomberg is playing with our heads.
And it raises this enticing prospect … that all three presidential candidates could be New Yorkers. Just think — the country could have a new slogan: “You talkin’ to ME???!!!”
The fundamental point behind such interest in an independent candidate is that so many people believe neither Republicans nor Democrats are talking to them.