Bloomberg Plays Banquo's Ghost

Who could stand to win and lose if the mayor of New York runs for president?

As an excuse to get out of the office for a couple of days, the annual jaunt to Austin for conservative think tankTexas Public Policy Foundation's policy orientation is the first big meet-and-greet of the year. For the estimated 800 attendees last Wednesday and Thursday, if they got tired of taking about the conservative stance on school vouchers, privatizing Medicaid, immigration and so forth, it wasn't all wonkery. Light relief was provided by noted editorial cartoonist Michael Ramirez (light entertainment for Democrats in attendance was provided by Arthur Laffer, the high priest of voodoo economics.)

But there was another name in the air: New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, whose rumored independent presidential run could strip away moderate Republican voters. More than one GOPer was overheard discussing the damage a Bloomberg candidacy could do to them, while one referred to him as "potentially our Nader" (or, more likely, Ross Perot with better hair. Or hair.)

Others, however, are looking at him as a plus. David Griffin, independent candidate for precinct 3 commissioner, said it could be a real boost for the unaffiliated to have a seriously-funded party-free candidate on the ballot. Now if they could only get a independent slate together …

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS POST

Elections, Election 2008, Republicans, Texas Public Policy Foundation, Michael Bloomberg

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