David Broder Continues to Push a Bloomberg-Hagel Ticket

David Broder apparently doesn’t believe Michael Bloomberg’s denial of plans to run for president, and realistically it is possible he could change his mind should he believe he has a chance to win after seeing the nominees of the major parties. Broder brings up once again the idea of Bloomberg running with Chuck Hagel as running mate.

Should Bloomberg run I could see him picking Hagel to balance the ticket with someone with his experience, but I’m not sure why anyone would actually push for such a ticket. The two have such diverse views that calling for such a ticket is more an act in support of a third party for the sake of a third party as opposed to fill a specific need. This is also my objection to the Unity ’08 measure. Should I be unhappy with the candidates from the two major parties and should Unity offer a better alternative I might consider voting for them. However I see no advantage at present in backing an organization which plans to choose candidates but has no clear policies which it plans to advocate.

As I discussed after Bloomberg’s interview on HDNet, there may still be a need for an alternative viewpoint to be represented regardless of whether Bloomberg decides to run. I’m not certain if Bloomberg would be a satisfactory alternative without a closer look at his record and views, but if there should be a Bloomberg-Hagel ticket I’d decide primarily based upon the top of the ticket. I am concerned about Bloomberg’s reputation as a supporter of the nanny state, but also recognize that more regulation is inevitable in a densly populated area such as New York City as opposed to somewhere like Montana. It also appears that in choosing between candidates in 2008 it will be necessary to vote for someone who I do not agree with on all issues and will have to weigh the importance of areas of agreement and disagreement.

Broder considers the forces changing American politics:

So it really comes down to a question of the strength of those tidal forces moving out there in American politics. Hagel’s sense, reinforced by a recent trip to California, where Gov.Arnold Schwarzenegger is providing a demonstration of the powerful appeal of “post-partisan” politics, is that “the tide is really moving fast.”

It is not so certain that we are really entering a new “post-partisan’ era. Schwarzenegger won under unusualy circumstances and probably could not have won a Republican primary for Governor in a normal election. The Republicans have greatly increased the level of partisanship in politics since they took control of Congress, which intensified with the election of George W. Bush. Voters might reject partisanship, or they might just reject the Republicans unless they change their ways.

The internet does create a unique situation where a candidate could organize and get out their message more easily in the past without the traditional party machinery. It remains doubtful that the internet can substitute for organized grass roots politics. If the internet was all powerful, Barack Obama and Ron Paul would be the leading contenders for their party’s nomination, and Howard Dean would currently be president. Perhaps a well financed third party could win in a general election where advertising and mass mailings become more important than the retail politics of Iowa and New Hampshire. If a third party requires that the campaign be self-financed as in Bloomberg’s case, this would represent more of a fluke than a real changing tide in politics.


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1 Comment

  1. 1
    Liberal Journal says:

    A Bloomberg-Hagel ticket is David Broder’s personal wet dream. And it will never become a reality.

    As you said, they don’t really agree on much. Broder is proposing this couple just for the sake of them being, or rather appearing, “centrist.” Broder is so desperate for something “moderate” that he’s making pairings which make no sense.

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