Saturday, March 01, 2008

Obama/Bloomberg? -- Not Likely

The NY Daily News reports today that Mayor Bloomberg and Barack Obama spoke together a day after the Little Mayor finally ended his ludicrous flirtation with an independent run for the White House.

Bloomberg and his paid minions have spent the last year or more trying to create a groundswell of support for Bloomberg's independent White House bid by flooding the airwaves and newspapers with stories about Bloomberg's wonderful post-partisan stewardship of New York City and how he's exactly what the country is looking for in these times of trouble. Bloomberg spent gobs of money to poll all 50 states to see if he had a realistic shot to win and had begun to develop a campaign apparatus even as he was flirtatiously denying he really wanted to run for president.

Oh, Little Mayor, you're so coy!

Unfortunately for the Little Mayor, he doesn't garner more than single digits in any state including New York no matter who the Democratic and Republican nominees are, and that includes the very polarizing figures of Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton. So Bloomberg finally admitted this week that he's not going to run for president though he does believe what this country needs is a post-partisan figure like himself to solve the messes we're in.

But it's funny thing about a man who feels compelled to put his name on everything he owns - he can't seem to relinquish the spotlight or resist having his people feed newspaper reporters stories about himself. Thus we get this gem from the Daily News today:

A day after Mayor Bloomberg ruled out running for President, Sen. Barack Obama phoned him Friday, raising speculation they will run as a ticket.

Obama spokesman Bill Burton confirmed that the White House contender from Illinois placed the call to the mayor on Thursday.

"He did call him," said Burton. "They spoke [Thursday] early afternoon. It was a friendly chat."

Meanwhile, Deputy Mayor Kevin Sheekey, the chief strategist behind a possible Bloomberg presidential run, stoked the flames of a vice presidential seat for his boss on New York 1 last night.

"Certainly you could joke that Obama's call was a fund-raising call," Deputy Mayor Kevin Sheekey told New York 1 anchor Dominic Carter.

Sheekey, who has floated Bloomberg's name for President for two years, suggested his boss would make a superb veep.

"The man has the ability to finance a campaign. I don't think that's why you choose a vice president. I do think that people are going to be very concerned about the influence of special-interest money in this campaign going forward," Sheekey said.

Oh boy, there are so many things wrong with this story that I just don't know where to begin. But let's start here:

Hey, the country's never elected a black man president before. Wouldn't it be a great idea to have the first black man to win a major party presidential nomination add a Jew (albeit a rather Anglicized secular one) to the ticket?

Uh, huh. I'm sure that's exactly what the Obama people are thinking as they start creating the possible Veep list and looking at the 50 state math. If we've learned anything from the '08 primary season, it's that identity politics aren't dead no matter how much we'd like to believe they are.

Next, the mayor is "the ultimate swing voter"? How so? He used to be a Dem, then he became a Repub when it was politically expedient, sucked up to Bush and the GOPers when that was politically expedient, then dropped the GOP and became an independent when he thought that would help him with a potential White House bid.

It seems to me Bloomberg is less the "ultimate swing voter" and more the ultimate figure of political expediency and egocentricism.

Finally, how is it that if Obama were to accept gobs of money from the Little Mayor that he would be circumventing "the influence of special interests"? Whether Bloomberg and his paid minions like Kevin Sheekey want to admit it or not, the Little Mayor is the ultimate in special interests - he's a multi-billionaire whose interest in helping other multi-billionaires like himself is fairly obvious (think the Jets stadium giveaway attempt for Robert Wood Johnson, think the way he has ramrodded through numerous zoning changes around the city to help out his real estate industry buddies.) Bloomberg may like to play just another swing voter when he's on his radio show, but there are few people in this country with more power and more links to wealthy special interests than himself.

At the end of the day, the Daily News story is another exercise in ego-massaging for the mayor and his people and that's about it. It just makes no political sense at all for Obama to even consider Bloomberg for VP, let alone actually pick him.

Boy, it will be nice when the Little Mayor finally rides off into the sunset and we don't have to read or see any more "news stories" in the media that have been planted by his paid minions so that the Little Mayor can feel a little bit better about himself.
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