Archive for the ‘Michael Bloomberg’ Category

Medford to Michael Bloomberg: We’ll See What Happens

February 5, 2008

Michael and Charlotte Bloomberg

With hopes of a Michael Bloomberg independent candidacy still alive, I went over to West Medford to get a sense of how his hometown residents saw things.

Conversations with a cross section of the neighborhood’s voters suggest that Mr. Bloomberg would have an uphill climb ahead of him. Most residents, many of whom are Democrats, were not interested in a Bloomberg candidacy. Others simply rolled their eyes or uttered “no” when asked if they would talk about Mr. Bloomberg’s presidential prospects. Although there are a sufficient amount of voters that said they don’t know enough about him to speculate what would happen if Mr. Bloomberg got into the race.

The foot and car traffic was heavy at Dunkin’ Donuts, where Harry Gaines, a Democrat, was sipping coffee. “I have not really decided yet, but I lean toward Barack.” Asked what he likes about Mr. Obama, Mr. Gaines said “his honesty, his youthfulness.”

Of Mr. Bloomberg, Mr. Gaines was somewhat dismissive. “I don’t know,” Mr. Gaines said. “He doesn’t impress me.”

Read more here.

One interesting footnote is that Medford’s mayor, Michael McGlynn, just switched his allegiance from John Edwards to Hillary Clinton. Why was McGlynn such a passionate Edwards supporter? His daughter Kathleen served as the chief of staff to Edwards’ campaign.

Of Bloomberg, he says “He’s a guy who, if you look at him, has grown tremendously in that job.” “Right now, my allegiance is to Hillary, unless his mother calls me,” he added.

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Bloomberg at Harvard; New York Mayor Talks About Red Sox, Celtics and Braves!

October 30, 2007

I ran over to Harvard’s School of Public Health to write a story for The New York Sun. Michael Bloomberg was being honored with SPH’s highest award. After Bloomberg’s talk, which focused on his efforts against guns, transfats, smoking, Michael Dukakis gave me a quote. He said: “He’s an impressive guy,” Mr. Dukakis said after the speech. “He doesn’t sound like a Republican to me.”

Bloomberg also adressed the Red Sox. In his formal remarks, Bloomberg said “As for the Red Sox — I come with an official offer from the city of New York: We would now be willing to send Babe Ruth back to Boston — if it will help return the game to its natural order. Think about it.”

A native of Medford, he also addressed his status as a Boston sports fan. He recalled that he attended summer camp with the daughter of Warren Spahn, a legendary pitcher with the Boston Braves, currently playing in Atlanta, and said didn’t remember going to Fenway Park or Braves Field more than once or twice as a boy. His reference to the Braves actually buttressed his claim of lack of interest in local baseball because the fact that the Braves once played in Boston roughly two miles from Fenway Park is almost never talked about in public life. It really demonstrates how far Bloomberg is removed from Boston. Can you really imagine anybody around here talking about Warren Spahn and the Braves?

I’ve mentioned Braves Field, today BU’s Nickerson Field, to relative newcomers to Boston. Most didn’t even realize that the Braves ever played here. Sox fans born after 1967 have no knowledge about the Braves and think the Red Sox always drew big crowds.

He did admit to attending Boston Celtics games at the height of the Red Auerbach/Bill Russell championship era.

Bloomberg for President?

June 22, 2007

Two Great Mayors

Michael Bloomberg has garnered reams of press after having his name floated as a potential independent presidential candidate. Bloomberg, reportedly, is willing to spend $500 million on a presidential race. While money solves a lot of problems, it doesn’t do everything for the New York mayor. (With that said, it’s better to have $500 million, than not.) In my piece today in the New York Sun, I report on the myriad of practical difficulties that lie ahead of Bloomberg — despite the fact that he lacks what I call “the whiff of the weird” that usually accompanies third party candidates.

“Mr. Bloomberg’s favor has plenty of money to throw at this chore, but that’s only part of the problem. He must find competent individuals who are unaffiliated with either of the major parties and who can devote time, energy, and passion to him. Independent candidacies are often the refuge of the extreme activist, the fringe enthusiast, and the agitator.

“It’s organization, it’s organization, it’s organization,” the co-founder of the New York State Independence Party and an expert in ballot access around the country, Laureen Oliver, says. Ms. Oliver, who worked on the gubernatorial campaigns of Thomas Golisano in New York and Kinky Friedman in Texas, advised Mr. Bloomberg to hire a top national election attorney, who, in turn, could supervise 50 attorneys to navigate the labyrinthine set of state election laws.”

Michael Goldman, the senior consultant of the Government Insight Group and a former host on Bloomberg Radio, bemoans the potential impact of a Bloomberg candidacy on Democrats. (Goldman is supporting John Edwards.) “If he gets in, he badly hurts the Democrats,” Goldman tells Gitell.com. “The social conservatives never would support him.”

Goldman also makes another point about Bloomberg. Like Joseph Lieberman of Connecticut in 2004, Bloomberg would be a Jewish presidential candidate. While I think the series of issues surrounding the War on Terror complicates a Jewish candidacy, particularly one by a Jewish media mogul!, it is important to point out that there are big differences between Bloomberg, a secular Jew, and Lieberman, Sabbath-observant. I heard Benjamin Netanyahu, citing Mitt Romney’s status a Mormon, quoted on WTKK radio saying that America would welcome candidates of a variety of religious backgrounds. (Having the okay of the Israeli prime minister is probably as harmful as helpful these days.)

I’d say Bloomberg’s organizational difficulties far outweigh the reigious issues.