Bloomberg and Hagel Continue to Show Signs of Considering Independent Run

Although Michael Bloomberg denies having plans to run for president, the topic of a Bloomberg-Hagel ticket keeps coming up. Last week Sam Stein reported on Bloomberg’s efforts to study foreign policy.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been receiving foreign policy briefing sessions on a wide variety of topics, providing the strongest indication yet that he is considering a run for the White House, the Huffington Post has learned.

The sessions, which were confirmed by multiple sources, have been conducted with Nancy Soderberg, a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and a Clinton Administration foreign policy adviser. One source described her as “Bloomberg’s Condi.”

A range of topics have been discussed, from non-proliferation to the defense budget, with a specific focus on the war in Iraq.

These sessions dramatically contradict Bloomberg’s denials that he is planning to run for president. The one aspect of his possible candidacy that is considered missing is foreign policy experience. These strategy sessions with Soderberg seem clearly designed to fortify that weakness.

Hagel helped build up his independent credentials, and gave Ron Paul supporters yet another reason to panic, when he spoke before the Council on Foreign Relations criticizing George Bush:

Sen. Chuck Hagel, a leading Republican lawmaker who has come out against the Iraq war, had some harsh words for the Bush White House Wednesday, calling it “one of the most arrogant” administrations he’s ever seen.

“I would rate this one the lowest in capacity, in capability, in policy, in consensus — almost every area, I would give it the lowest grade,” Hagel said during an event at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York…

“I think of this administration, what they could have done after 9/11, what was within their grasp,” he said. “Every poll in the world showed 90 percent of the world for us. Iran had some of the first spontaneous demonstrations on the streets of Tehran supporting America.”

“There’s where they have failed the country,” Hagel continued. “They’ve squandered the time and the opportunity that they had, and the next president is going to take four years to not only dig out from under that.

Hagel denied any plans to run, but did joke about the order of a potential ticket:

“Bloomberg’s got the money — I think it’d be Bloomberg-Hagel,” the senator joked when asked about the speculation.

After the speech, Hagel  had dinner with Bloomberg, and Hagel kept speculation alive:

After Bloomberg and Hagel shared another not-so-secret dinner in Washington last May, Hagel said in a television interview that it was time for a third-party candidacy to shake things up. He also mused about the idea of him and Bloomberg running together.

“We didn’t make any deals. But I think Mayor Bloomberg is the kind of individual who should seriously think about this,” Hagel said. “It’s a great country to think about – a New York boy and a Nebraska boy to be teamed up leading this nation.”


  1. 1
    Draft Mike Bloomberg says:

    Of the names being bandied about, I think Chuck Hagel is the most likely running mate for a Bloomberg run. It will be interesting to see what happens.

  2. 2
    Ron Chusid says:

    The biggest questions on that ticket still remain whether Bloomberg decides to run and whether Hagel is interested in a third party bid to just be VP. As much of a long shot a third party bid is, somehow being second on such a ticked seems even more trivial. Would anyone remember Stockdale if he hadn’t come off so poorly in the race?

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