New York Times Provides Further Information on Potential Independent Campaign

The New York Times reports further on the Michael Bloomberg’s possible bid to run for president. They report that a decision won’t be made until February but a bipartisan group is “positioning themselves so that if the mayor declares his candidacy, a turnkey campaign infrastructure will virtually be in place.” The Times reports:

On Sunday, the mayor will join Democratic and Republican elder statesmen at the University of Oklahoma in what the conveners are billing as an effort to pressure the major party candidates to renounce partisan gridlock.

Former Senator David L. Boren of Oklahoma, who organized the session with former Senator Sam Nunn, a Democrat of Georgia, suggested in an interview that if the prospective major party nominees failed within two months to formally embrace bipartisanship and address the fundamental challenges facing the nation, “I would be among those who would urge Mr. Bloomberg to very seriously consider running for president as an independent.”

Next week’s meeting, reported on Sunday in The Washington Post, comes as the mayor’s advisers have been quietly canvassing potential campaign consultants about their availability in the coming months.

And Mr. Bloomberg himself has become more candid in conversations with friends and associates about his interest in running, according to participants in those talks. Despite public denials, the mayor has privately suggested scenarios in which he might be a viable candidate: for instance, if the opposing major party candidates are poles apart, like Mike Huckabee, a Republican, versus Barack Obama or John Edwards as the Democratic nominee.

As I’ve discussed previously, such a bid would make far more sense, and have a greater chance of victory, if Edwards as opposed to Obama was the Democratic nominee. There has also been speculation since they met last month that Bloomberg would be less likely to run if Obama won the nomination and continued to oppose the current hyper-partisanship. All the potential Republican nominees are so far to the right that a centrist alternative might be viable, but Huckabee would provide Bloomberg with the greatest chance to pick up the most Republican votes.

The bipartisan meeting to consider this effort will include a public panel discussion and be followed by a press conference. This will hopefully provide further information as to the specific policies they might advocate. It will be necessary to see who the major party nominees are, as well as the specific policies of this group, to determine if they are worth supporting. Regardless, I am enjoying all the exploding heads in the liberal blogosphere among those who mistook rejection of right wing extremism as support for all their positions. With the Republicans no longer offering a meaningful choice as they are dominated by the religious right and neoconservatives, this might also provide the framework of an alternative to the Democrats to ensure that we continue to have the benefits of a two party system. A copy of the invitation to the planned gathering is under the fold.

A Bipartisan Invitation

The text of an invitation letter to a gathering at the University of Oklahoma next week where a group of Democrats and Republicans, and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York, will discuss issues they want the major-party candidates to address.

December 18, 2007

Thank you for agreeing to join us to exchange ideas about constructive ways in which we might help stimulate a meaningful debate during the current presidential campaign on the important challenges facing our nation.

Our political system is, at the least, badly bent and many are concluding that it is broken at a time where America must lead boldly at home and abroad. Partisan polarization is preventing us from uniting to meet the challenges that we must face if we are to prevent further erosion of America’s power of leadership and example.

The next president of the United States will be faced with what has been described as a “gathering storm” both at home and abroad. Serious near term challenges include the lack of a national strategy to deal with our fiscal challenges, our educational challenges, our energy challenges, our environmental challenges, as well as the dangerous turbulence triggered by the current financial crisis.

In the national security arena, our nation must rebuild and reconfigure our military forces. We must develop a viable and sustainable approach to nuclear proliferation and terrorism and greatly strengthen our intelligence and diplomatic capabilities. Most importantly, we must begin to restore our standing, influence, and credibility in the world. Today, we are a house divided. We believe that the next president must be able to call for a unity of effort by choosing the best talent available – without regard to political party – to help lead our nation.

To say the obvious, the presidential debates thus far have produced little national discussion of these and other fundamental issues and plans to address them. If this pattern continues through this important national election, it will produce neither a national consensus for governing nor a president who can successfully tackle these threats to our nation’s future. We understand the rough and tumble part of the political process, but without a modicum of civility and respect in our debates, forming a bipartisan consensus on the major issues after the election will be virtually impossible.

With these deep concerns in mind, we will meet over breakfast on the morning of January 7, at 7:30 a.m. at the president’s home at the University of Oklahoma and continue our discussion until 11:00 a.m. From 11:00 a.m. until noon, we will hold a public panel discussion – open to students and the media – and conclude with a press conference on the OU campus.

In addition to the opportunity for each participant to make a brief statement at the public panel discussion, we hope to release a very brief joint statement – perhaps no longer than one page – of major shared principles. We will work on that proposed statement and circulate it in advance for your input so that a draft can be placed before us for discussion at the meeting on January 7. Please send comments to us as soon as possible about items and ideas that you feel should be included in our joint statement. Again, we will pool the ideas and prepare a brief draft which we will circulate to you before the meeting.

Hopefully most of us will arrive Sunday evening, January 6, in time for an informal dinner where we can begin our discussion. In deference to the busy schedules of the participants, we plan to make this a short meeting. We will be able to depart by 12:00 p.m. on Monday. Overnight accommodations have been arranged for all participants in an inn very close to the president’s house at OU where our private meeting will take place. We are working to arrange private air transportation to and from Norman for participants. We have arranged a plane to originate in New York on Sunday afternoon with stops in Washington and Atlanta, arriving in Oklahoma by 7:00 p.m. The same plane will reverse this route on Monday.

Our hope is that our meeting will help begin a national dialogue on the critical issues facing our nation and the world. We understand that the news of this event will come out before January 7, but ideally we would like to get through the holidays before discussing it with the media. Approximately 15 of us have agreed to participate and we will send you a complete list in the next several days. We thank you for your plans to participate.


David Boren
Sam Nunn

The following individuals are likely participants:

David Abshire
President of the Center for the Study of the Presidency

Michael Bloomberg
Mayor of New York City and founder of Bloomberg News

David Boren
Former U.S. Senator

Bill Brock
Former U.S. Senator

Bill Cohen
Former Secretary of Defense and U.S. Senator

Jack Danforth
Former U.S. Senator

Alan Dixon
Former U.S. Senator

Susan Eisenhower
Political Consultant

Bob Graham
Former U.S. Senator

Chuck Hagel
U.S. Senator

Gary Hart
Former U.S. Senator

Jim Leach
Former Member of the U.S. House of Representatives

Sam Nunn
Former U.S. Senator

Edward Perkins
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations

Chuck Robb
Former U.S. Senator

Christine Todd Whitman
Former New Jersey Governor

1 Comment

  1. 1
    Michael Bloomberg for President says:

    Ah, thanks for posting the list of sponsors in full. Just what I was googling for.

    Best regards,

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