New York Mayor is jumping the Republican ship for two good reasons ~ Bush is determined to take the party down with him in 2008 and, as an Independent, Bloomberg offers the electorate a fresh and compelling alternative versus seeing the Clintons in the White House again: Allen L Roland
Despite Bloomberg's statements, he is often talked about as a potential 2008 independent presidential candidate. Bloomberg denies these plans, but has dropped several coy hints over the past year that the idea has crossed his mind:
In summer 2006, he met with Al From of the centrist group the Democratic Leadership Council to talk about the logistics of a possible run.
Bloomberg re-launched his personal website (http://www.mikebloomberg.com), which had been defunct since his successful election to a second mayoral term. Writing in the New York Sun, Jill Gardiner noted Bloomberg's site was conspicuously red white and blue and "strikingly similar to the sites of the 2008 presidential candidates."
After a conversation with Bloomberg, Republican Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska has also suggested that he and Bloomberg could run on a shared independent ticket for the presidency.
On This Week on June 10, 2007, anchor George Stephanopoulos mentioned four necessary conditions Bloomberg insiders say would be prerequisites to a presidential campaign for the Mayor:
- 70% of the nation would need to feel as though the country is moving in the wrong direction.
- Both nominees would need to have disapproval ratings in the 40% range.
- 40% of the country would need to be open to a third party candidate.
- 20–25% of the country would need to be "open to Mike Bloomberg". During that airing, panelist Jay Carney also made allusions to a conversation between Bloomberg and top staffers. During said conversation, Bloomberg asked approximately how much a presidential campaign would cost, one staffer replied "around $500 million."
A $500 million budget would allow Bloomberg to circumvent many of the common obstacles faced by third party candidates seeking the White House.
On June 19, 2007, Bloomberg left the Republican Party, eschewing the labels of party politics and filed papers to change to an Independent after a scathing speech about the current political climate in Washington. This has only increased speculation about his future plans, but Bloomberg continues to say he won't run.