New York

Bloomberg: Piranha or Pariah? In or Out?



Regarding “Bloomberg Nears Run for CEO of U.S.” (June 19), the evening when New York’s mayor Mike Bloomberg announced he switched from being a billionaire fake Republican to just another independent billionaire, Clyde McConnell of Calgary, Alberta, writes:

I’ve been searching in vain for a recording or a transcript of one of Bloomberg‘s remarks of yesterday or today, in which he said something to the effect that if one spoke one’s mind publicly to the wrong people one would become a “piranha.”

There’s something fishy here. Hope you can sniff it out.

Thanks for reading, Clyde. Actually, the word was “pariah,” not “piranha.”

It’s from a June 20 New York Times item:

Nowadays, Mr. Bloomberg said, if you even have coffee with someone from the other party, you become a pariah.

You’re right about the fishiness, though; Bloomberg’s already a piranha.

By the way, disregard Bloomberg’s more recent announcement that he’s not really going to run for president. He won’t do it if there’s a good Republican candidate to face, say, Hillary. But he might very well try it if the GOP, whose grassroots are still infested with religious-right wing-nuts, rejects the unjustifiably popular Rudy Giuliani — yet another New Yorker — as too much of a drag on “family values” and nominates someone like Mitt Romney.

The confusion over Bloomberg’s intentions stems from his use of the word “intention” — and some bad headline writing in the world’s newspapers. For instance, the Montreal Gazette blares today: “Bloomberg rules out White House run in ’08.” But the Reuters story below the headline says:

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said yesterday he was not a candidate for U.S. president in 2008 despite speculation he quit the Republican Party to prepare to run as an independent.

A day after announcing he was no longer a Republican, Bloomberg, 65, reiterated he intends to serve as mayor until the end of his term in 2009 and then pursue philanthropy.

“I am not a candidate,” the billionaire founder of financial data and media firm Bloomberg LP told reporters when asked about speculation he might run. “I have said that my intention is to be mayor for the next 925 days … and that is my intention. I’ve got the greatest job in the world and I’m going to keep doing it.”

He didn’t rule out a run. Like many other pols in similar circumstances, he said he isn’t a candidate (that means right at this second) and that he intends to remain as mayor. That’s not the same thing.

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