Bloomberg for VP?

I wouldn’t pay too much attention to news reports about who each candidate is considering for vice president. Often names are floated so that a candidate might receive support from another politician (or their supporters) regardless of whether they are seriously being considered. While I am skeptical about whether John McCain is really interested in Michael Blomberg  as running mate, the story is receiving attention since Bloomberg has also been mentioned as a possible running mate for Barack Obama. New York Magazine reports that the vice presidency was a topic of discussion when John McCain recently had breakfast with Michal Bloomberg. They also provide reasons why he might be considered:

…the case for Bloomberg requires you to stretch your mind a bit. But just a bit. It begins with the eminently reasonable assumption that the economy will be the central issue in the fall campaign—an issue neither Obama nor McCain has a solid handle on. Bloomberg, with his entrepreneurial background and his record of financial stewardship of Gotham, would be a boon to either runner in this department, but maybe especially to McCain, whose economic anti-cluefulness is glaring. “The GOP is losing on the economy by 10 to 15 points,” says Doug Schoen, who served as Bloomberg’s pollster in his mayoral runs. “With Mike on the ticket, that gap would quickly, dramatically close.”

Schoen argues that Bloomberg would help McCain in numerous other ways, too. He would bolster McCain in critical swing states such as Florida, New Jersey (a state the Republicans have hopes of putting into play), and Pennsylvania—and also in California, where the McCain–Bloomberg–Arnold Schwarzenegger troika might compel Obama to spend time and money in a state that should be a gimme. He would enhance McCain’s image as a moderate, a maverick, and provide him with a riposte to the charge that he’s a clone of George W. Bush. (Is there any human being on Earth less like Dick Cheney than Bloomberg?) And if the mayor were willing to plow some of his fortune into the race—assuming election law allows it—he would let McCain close or, if he were feeling generous, eradicate completely the vast disparity between the two sides when it comes to moola.

I would certainly prefer to see Bloomberg run with McCain as opposed to anyone else that I believe McCain is really considering. My bet is that if McCain mentioned running it was more to increase the chances that Bloomberg backs him or at least does not actively support Obama. It is also makes McCain look more moderate to be considering Bloomberg but I doubt he can get away with antagonizing the right wing of the Republican Party in this manner.

On the other hand, McCain is an under dog and might realize that, even if he must pander to the right wing at present, once fall comes his best chances might be to portray himself as an experienced centrist. Having Bloomberg on the ticket would help present such an impression. I doubt it will happen, but stranger things have happened in politics.

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