Michael Bloomberg is making noises about entering the presidential race as an independent. He supposedly is willing to spend a billion dollars of his own money, but only, apparently, if the major parties nominate what he considers to be fringe candidates: Bernie Sanders and either Donald Trump or Ted Cruz. On this scenario, Bloomberg sees himself as a centrist alternative.
This is delusional, of course. Bloomberg is a liberal whose best-known policies are a hysterical opposition to guns and an aversion to 32-ounce sodas. In the public mind, Bloomberg is a personification of the nanny state. If he ran, he would draw almost all of his votes from the Democratic nominee. Whether that would be enough votes to materially impact the race is debatable.
In any event, Bloomberg is tight with Hillary Clinton, who assures him that he needn’t worry, she is going to get the Democratic nomination. I think that is right, if only because the Democrats have no plausible alternative. So I don’t think we will be seeing Bloomberg in the race.
Still, it is awful to contemplate this possibility: the Republicans nominate Trump, the Democrats pick Sanders, and Bloomberg jumps in as an independent. Historians would occupy themselves for years, wondering how our democracy went so horribly wrong.
PAUL adds: I dunno, John. Historians being what they are, they might view a Clinton-Trump-Bloomberg race as a high mark in our democracy, given the absence of a remotely conservative candidate.