A Billionaire's Conceit
Skipping that messy process of democracy, Bloomberg drafts himself as a presidential candidate
It doesn't matter that New York's mayor, Mike "Michael" Bloomberg, hasn't formally announced a bid for president. He's running, as only this billionaire can: Standing in the shadows, waiting to see how the absurd process shakes out, eager to play a game of cash-as-cash-can.
Reuters reported yesterday on a Quinnipiac poll:
Y'all out in the hustings may want to listen up about Bloomberg. Few New Yorkers knew anything about him until he skipped the democratic process a few years ago and bought Gracie Mansion, succeeding Rudy Giuliani.
The best take on Bloomberg comes from my colleague Tom Robbins. (Full disclosure: I edit Robbins's copy, but he is responsible for its beauty and vigor.) Here's a snatch of his cover piece on Bloomberg from this week's Voice:
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As to whether Bloomberg is a Republican or Democrat? He's neither, as Robbins pointed out in an earlier piece. The guy is more like our version of Lee Kuan Yew, the Singaporean despot who was always willing to sacrifice civil liberties in the cause of making the streets safe for corporations.
Luckily, New York was spared the 2012 Olympics, despite the city's costly campaign. If the city had won the North American bid, Bloomberg would have "cleaned up" the place, stifling the disorder of street vendors, dissidents, and commoners that makes the city such a vibrant place.
Bloomberg is prevented by term limits from acquiring another term as mayor and the presidency is up for grabs, so you might want to look out for that limousine drive-by on our democratic — deeply flawed but democratic — process of picking a prexy.
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