Bloomberg mulls third party bid

Bil­lion­aire con­sid­ers jump­ing into al­ready com­pli­cated pres­i­den­tial race

The Denver Post - - NEWS - By Karen Tu­multy

Michael Bloomberg, the bil­lion­aire and for­mer New York mayor, is con­sid­er­ing mak­ing an in­de­pen­dent bid for the pres­i­dency, a move that could pro­vide yet an­other wild turn in a 2016 race that has al­ready seen more than its share of them.

Bloomberg’s de­lib­er­a­tions, first re­ported by The New York Times, were con­firmed Satur­day by sev­eral close as­so­ciates.

This is not the first time that Bloomberg has ex­plored the pos­si­bil­ity, al­ways mak­ing a prag­matic cal­cu­la­tion of whether win­ning is fea­si­ble.

Three as­so­ciates said that sev­eral fac­tors have con­vinced him that a run out­side of the Repub­li­can and Demo­cratic party process is worth an­other look.

One is the pos­si­bil­ity that the Repub­li­can ticket may be headed by a po­lar­iz­ing fig­ure, such as his fel­low New York bil­lion­aire Don­ald Trump or Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas, the two lead­ers of the GOP race at this stage. Trump, once ex­pected to be a tem­po­rary phe­nom­e­non, has dom­i­nated the large GOP field for so many months that it is no longer as­sumed that the Repub­li­can es­tab­lish­ment will be able to stop him.

The other is that the Demo­cratic front-run­ner, Hil­lary Clin­ton, may turn out to be a far weaker can­di­date than was once ex­pected — and might even lose the nom­i­na­tion to Sen. Bernie San­ders, a self-de­scribed demo­cratic so­cial­ist whose main­stream ap­peal is in ques­tion.

If the right com­bi­na­tion of those pos­si­bil­i­ties be­gins to look likely— which Bloomberg thinks could be­come ap­par­ent in March, af­ter the first big round of state pri­maries — he be­lieves they could cre­ate an open­ing for him to make a cred­i­ble run as an in­de­pen­dent.

In ad­di­tion to his con­sid­er­able fi­nan­cial re­sources, Bloomberg has a rep­u­ta­tion as a skilled man­ager and political bridge builder. A long­time Demo­crat, he switched to the Repub­li­can party to run for mayor in 2001. Six years later, he changed his reg­is­tra­tion to in­de­pen­dent.

Bloomberg made his for­tune by found­ing the fi­nan­cial news and in­for­ma­tion com­pany that bears his name. He took of­fice less than four months af­ter New York was trau­ma­tized by the at­tacks of Sept. 11, 2001, pledg­ing that the city would re­main “ready to lead the world in the 21st cen­tury.”

For­mer New York Ci­tyMayor Michael Bloomberg hunts for an open­ing to make a cred­i­ble run as an in­de­pen­dent.

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