Thursday, January 24, 2008

Better Spend More Money, Moneybags

A Gallup poll released yesterday finds that 84 percent of Americans "believe that there is a candidate currently running for the White House who would make a good president."

In past election cycles, the number of Americans who believed a candidate running would make a good president was much lower.

For instance, in 1992 when Bill Clinton beat George Bush, only 40% of respondents felt that way.

The survey also found that people overall are feeling positive about this year's presidential election:

The positive responses to whether candidates are talking about important issues was more than 70 percent, a number that is close to the percentages seen in polling conducted in October of both 1992 and 2000. Similarly, positive responses to whether any of the candidates have come up with good ideas for solving the country's problems (58 percent) are higher than results from January polls of previous election years and are close to the numbers of polls taken in October of previous election years.

So what does this mean for Mayor Bloomberg's independent, post-partisan bid to purchase the White House with $1 billion in campaign money?

It's not looking so good:

The results from today's poll suggest that no possible independent candidate would do as well in November as Ross Perot did in 1992.

Sorry Bloomberg shills and paid operatives - your man with the money is going to have to spend a lot more of it to buy the White House than even he imagined.

Which is not to say that he still isn't going to try.

He's already in full pander mode, bashing the current crop of presidential candidates over and over again for coming up short on every major issue.

For instance, in this early January speech, the foreign policy experience-less Bloomberg criticized candidates like John McCain and Hillary Clinton who sit on the Senate Armed Services Committee for not telling America how they will handle foreign policy post-Dubya:

"I have not heard anybody who's said what they'd really do when it comes to foreign policy, how they would rebuild the relationships America has around the world," Bloomberg said.

I guess Moneybags is too busy cranking out the standardized tests here in NYC to have noticed that both McCain and Clinton have explained just how they would do that. First, Clinton's plan:

New York Senator Hillary Clinton called for a broad reform of US foreign policy that would include better cooperation with other nations and bilateral talks with enemy nations.

Criticizing President George W. Bush's foreign policy from Iraq to Afghanistan and North Korea to Iran, the wife of former president Bill Clinton called for a more internationalist approach to foreign policy in a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations, a New York-based foreign policy think tank.

"First, and most obviously, we must by word and deed renew internationalism for a new century," said Clinton, a likely Democratic Party presidential candidate for the 2008 election.

"We did not face World War II alone, we did not face the Cold War alone, and we cannot face the global terrorist threat or other profound challenges alone either," she said.

Clinton also defended the idea of bilateral talks with nations that Washington has been avoiding, such as Iran and Cuba.

"We must value diplomacy as well as a strong military," Clinton continued. "We should not hesitate to engage in the world's most difficult conflicts on a diplomatic front."

"Direct negotiations are not a sign of weakness; they're a sign of leadership," she said.

Clinton blasted what she said was the Bush administration's "simplistic division of the world into good and evil. They refuse to talk to anyone on the evil side, as some have called that idealistic. I call it dangerously unrealistic."

Now McCain's:

Defeating radical Islamist extremists is the national security challenge of our time. Iraq is this war's central front, according to our commander there, General David Petraeus, and according to our enemies, including al Qaeda's leadership.

The recent years of mismanagement and failure in Iraq demonstrate that America should go to war only with sufficient troop levels and with a realistic and comprehensive plan for success. We did not do so in Iraq, and our country and the people of Iraq have paid a dear price. Only after four years of conflict did the United States adopt a counterinsurgency strategy, backed by increased force levels, that gives us a realistic chance of success. We cannot get those years back, and now the only responsible action for any presidential candidate is to look forward and outline the strategic posture in Iraq that is most likely to protect U.S. national interests.


Defeating the terrorists who already threaten America is vital, but just as important is preventing a new generation of them from joining the fight. As president, I will employ every economic, diplomatic, political, legal, and ideological tool at our disposal to aid moderate Muslims -- women's rights campaigners, labor leaders, lawyers, journalists, teachers, tolerant imams, and many others -- who are resisting the well-financed campaign of extremism that is tearing Muslim societies apart. My administration, with its partners, will help friendly Muslim states establish the building blocks of open and tolerant societies. And we will nurture a culture of hope and economic opportunity by establishing a free-trade area from Morocco to Afghanistan, open to all who do not sponsor terrorism.

You may not like either Clinton or McCain as people, you may not like them as candidates, but the one thing you cannot say is that they have not stated pretty explicitly how they would handle foreign policy in the post-Dubya era.

You also cannot say that 8 years on the Armed Services Committee for Clinton and 20+ years for McCain does not give them some experience with foreign policy (even if you don't happen to agree with how they plan to handle it in the post-Dubya era.)

But I guess if you have $20 billion dollars and you're a potential candidate for president, you can say it and get away with it.

Bloomberg has also criticized the presidential candidates for pandering to voters and not telling America the harsh truths it needs to hear to solve the political, social and economic problems facing it. Yet the NY Daily News finds this morning that Bloomberg himself is pandering to voters:

Mayor Bloomberg adopted the 2008 campaign tactic of bashing Beltway insiders Wednesday night as he issued a compassionate call to help Americans who received shady home loans - a dramatic shift from his earlier stance.

Appearing before the U.S. Conference of Mayors, Bloomberg - who once bluntly blamed the buyers rather than the lenders in the subprime mortgage crisis - said no one should become homeless by defaulting on a loan.

"The most important and immediate economic relief we can offer is to help people who are in danger of losing their homes stay in their homes," Bloomberg said.

Bloomberg said preventing families from getting kicked out of their homes "is more important than giving everybody a check."

"We must make sure that people still have a place to live, regardless of how they got it," Bloomberg said to applause.

Only last August, Bloomberg faulted homebuyers "who really didn't have the wherewithal" or "lied about their incomes" to take out subprime mortgages.

But amid rumors of a possible third-party presidential bid, Bloomberg has suddenly adopted a less harsh tone, offering to help counsel those threatened with foreclosure.

So here is the Little Mayor criticizing the "Beltway Insiders" for saying anything to get elected while he himself says anything and changes positions (and political parties) willy-nilly to get elected.

Oh, and he's also backed by a bunch of "Beltway Insiders" like Sam Nunn, William Cohen, David Broder (the "Dean of Beltway Insiders"), et al., which kinda takes away the whole "I'm an outsider" thing.

So remind me again why it is Bloomberg thinks America needs him when 84% of the country think one of the current candidates will make a fine president, most Americans believe the candidates are addressing the important issues of the day and the criticism Bloomberg is leveling at the current crop of candidates is hypocritical and wrong?

Oh yeah, because he's a billionaire and in America billionaires always get listened to, even when they're full of themselves and a whole lot of horse#$%^.
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