Third party talk remains big today, with Michael Bloomberg joined by another name–Ralph Nader. Bloomberg denies plans to run, but The New York Times reports that he’s had staffers working behind the scenes for two years.First Read reports that Bloomberg has even met with Nancy Reagan. The Politico wonders how a marriage between Bloomberg and Unity ’08 would work.
The Politico also reports that Ralph Nader is considering a run. After all we’ve been through since 2000, he still claims there is no difference between the Democrats and Republicans. Chris Lehane responds to Nader’s criticism:
Chris Lehane, who worked in Bill Clinton’s White House and Gore’s 2000 presidential campaign, said of a possible Nader candidacy: “His entry into the race, even to those who voted for him in 2000, would be just another vainglorious effort to promote himself at the expense of the best interests of the public. Ralph Nader is unsafe in any election.”
As was clear by 2004, Nader has no chance to win, and he has little impact on the positions of either party. As Steve Benen sums it up, “Nader appears anxious to run yet again — he just doesn’t seem to know why.” Bloomberg remains a long shot, but some people such as John Zogby believe he really does have a shot:
It comes down to good timing, really. After more than a decade of harsh wrangling, likely voters tell me they are tired of the vicious partisanship. In a national telephone poll last month, 80% said it was “very important” that the next President be a person who can unite the country, and 82% said the same about the need for a competent manager. Bloomberg wins on both counts.
Zogby also believes that Bloomberg might hurt the Democrats more than the Republicans:
An important side note: Contrary to conventional wisdom, my polling shows he would likely take more votes from the Democrat than the Republican. Those who consider themselves part of that growing “moderate” political class are 38% Democrats, 25% Republicans, and 38% independents.