News & Politics

Barrett: Bloomberg Book Confirms it was McCain’s Nomination That Kept Bloomie from a Presidential Run

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Politico posted an excerpt from Joyce Purnick’s new biography of Mike Bloomberg this morning and, incredibly, no one noticed the astonishing references in it to Bloomberg’s real attitude about Barack Obama. The book, entitled Mike Bloomberg: Money, Power, Politics (Public Affairs), will not be released until September 22; this was an exclusive peek inside.
Bloomberg pulled out of the 2008 presidential race in a February 28 New York Times op ed piece right after it became clear that John McCain would be the GOP nominee. He acknowledged to Purnick “a few weeks before” his formal withdrawal that McCain and Barack Obama, then a strong fontrunner for the Democratic nomination, might turn out to be great presidents. Then he said this to Purnick:
“But what the hell do they know about management and dealing with people? Nothing. If you look at my company, why, after all the success that we had before I ran for office would you not think that I couldn’t run the government? What the hell do I gotta do to prove myself? Or, after the success my company has had and our administration has had, why do you think I wouldn’t be qualified to be president of the United States? I mean, for God’s sake, I’m not running, but this is not different.”

Elsewhere in the excerpt, Purnick describes how Deputy Mayor for Politics Kevin Sheekey, “thought Bloomberg could appeal to the center if the Republicans nominated, say, the conservative Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas, and the Democrats nominated John Edwards — or Barack Obama.”
“I used to say if it was Huckabee and Obama, I’d write the filing checks myself,” Sheekey told Purnick. At other times, Sheekey, who ran Bloomberg’s presidential campaign and is still the mayor’s top political adviser, told people Bloomberg could run if Hillary Clinton became the Democratic nominee.
“Sometimes it seemed that at least on the Democratic side,” concluded the eminently evenhanded Purnick, whose book is largely a pro-Bloomberg biography, ” any candidate argued in favor of a Bloomberg run.” That leads to the logical conclusion that it was McCain, not Obama, that represented a fatal obstacle to the Bloomberg candidacy.
Purnick allowed the Voice to use a quote from her book in a recent Bloomberg story, as she has with other publications that have received advance copies, but she has restricted use of broader citations of the book until the pub date later this month.

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