News

    New York Mayor's Decision to Leave Republican Party Fuels Speculation on Presidential Run

    New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg caused a political stir this week with his decision to leave the Republican Party to become an unaffiliated independent.  Bloomberg's move has fueled speculation that he might run as an independent candidate for president next year.  VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.

    Bloomberg is popular in New York but not well known nationally.  But there are some political experts who believe his conservative approach to spending public money combined with more liberal social views could appeal to centrist voters in next year's election.

    At a recent news conference, Bloomberg insisted that he intends to finish out his second term as mayor that runs until 2009.

    But he also seemed to leave open the possibility of involvement in national politics sometime in the near future.

    "But I am confident that this country will have options," Bloomberg said. "I do think that the more people that run for office, the better."

    Public opinion polls at the moment show a large majority of Americans believe the country is on the wrong track and that many people have tired of the political bickering that has dominated Washington in recent years.

    Bloomberg says one of his major concerns is that important issues like pension reform and environmental safeguards have been given little attention because of the political partisanship in Washington.

    "I do not think that we are addressing those issues," he said. "I am particularly upset that the big issues of the time keep getting pushed to the back and we focus on small things that only inside the [Washington] beltway are important."

    New York-based political consultant Joseph Mercurio says Bloomberg's decision to cast himself as an independent could set the stage for a third party challenge for the White House in 2008.

    "I think this is pretty clear that he is certainly keeping his option open to run as a candidate for president," he said. "He did it because there are some states that require you not to be a Democrat or a Republican when you file independent nominating petitions."

    If he decided to run as an independent, Bloomberg would most likely try to appeal to a large group of discontented voters in the middle of the political spectrum who find the two major political parties too polarizing.

    Bloomberg could also tap into his considerable personal fortune, worth billions of dollars, to finance his bid for the White House.

    "This is somebody who has a great deal of his own money and somebody who would run, theoretically, as not a Democrat, not a Republican, somebody who is going to come in and address folks in the middle who feel they are frustrated with what they are getting from either side," said Amy Walter, editor of the Hotline political newsletter and a guest on the C-SPAN public affairs cable television network.

    Some Democrats fear an independent presidential bid by Bloomberg would draw votes from the Democratic Party's presidential nominee and could help the Republicans in the general election in November of 2008.

    If Bloomberg decided to join the race, he would be the third prominent New Yorker to launch a bid for the White House.

    It is a source of pride and amusement for some long time New York political observers like Maurice Carroll, who now directs the polling institute at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut.

    "As a former New York reporter who still stays in touch with New York politics, I have to wonder.  Suppose the Republicans nominated [former New York City Mayor Rudy] Giuliani and the Democrats nominate Mrs. Clinton, both obviously with a lot of support if they get nominated but also with big negatives," Carroll said. "Could Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York City run as an independent?  It has never worked before, but hey [you never know]."

    The recent history of third party presidential candidates suggests Bloomberg would be taking on a long shot challenge if he decided to run.

    Independent candidate Ross Perot received 19 percent of the popular vote in the 1992 race won by Bill Clinton over then President George H.W. Bush.  But Perot failed to win a single vote in the electoral college that decides presidential elections.

     

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Filli
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 11, 2016 8:01 PM
    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video As Refugees Perish, Greek Graveyards Fill

    Aid workers on the Greek island of Lesbos say they are struggling to bury the increasing number of bodies of refugees that have been recovered or washed up ashore in recent months.  The graveyards are all full, they say, yet as tens of thousands of people clamor to get out of Syria, it is clear refugees will still be coming in record numbers. For VOA, Hamada Elrasam reports from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video To Fight Zika, Scientists Target Mosquitoes

    Mosquitoes strike again. The Zika virus outbreak is just the latest headline-grabbing epidemic carried by these biting pests, but researchers are fighting back with new ways to control them. VOA's Steve Baragona takes a look.
    Video

    Video Mosul Refugees Talk About Life Under IS

    A top U.S. intelligence official told Congress this week that a planned Iraqi-led operation to re-take the city of Mosul from Islamic State militants is unlikely to take place this year. IS took over the city in June 2014, and for the past year and a half, Mosul residents have been held captive under its rule. VOA's Zana Omar talked to some families who managed to escape. Bronwyn Benito narrates his report.
    Video

    Video Scientists Make Progress Toward Better Diabetes Treatment, Cure

    Scientists at two of the top U.S. universities say they have made significant advances in their quest to find a more efficient treatment for diabetes and eventually a cure. According to the International Diabetes Federation, the disease affects more than 370 million people worldwide. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video NATO to Target Migrant Smugglers

    NATO has announced plans to send warships to the Aegean Sea to target migrant smugglers in the alliance's most direct intervention so far since a wave of people began trying to reach European shores.
    Video

    Video Russia's Catholics, Orthodox Hopeful on Historic Pope-Patriarch Meeting

    Russia's Catholic minority has welcomed an historic first meeting Friday in Cuba between the Pope and the Patriarch of Russia's dominant Orthodox Church. The Orthodox Church split with Rome in 1054 and analysts say politics, both church and state, have been driving the relationship in the centuries since. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
    Video

    Video Used Books Get a New Life on the Streets of Lagos

    Used booksellers are importing books from abroad and selling them on the streets of Africa's largest city. What‘s popular with readers may surprise you. Chris Stein reports from Lagos.
    Video

    Video After NH Primaries All Eyes on South Carolina

    After Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire, US presidential candidates swiftly turned to the next election coming up in South Carolina. The so-called “first-in-the-South” poll may help further narrow down the field of candidates. Zlatica Hoke reports.
    Video

    Video US Co-ed Selective Service Plan Stirs Controversy

    Young women may soon be required to register with the U.S. Selective Service System, the U.S. government agency charged with implementing a draft in a national emergency. Top Army and Marine Corps commanders told the Senate Armed Services Committee recently that women should register, and a bill has been introduced in Congress requiring eligible women to sign up for the military draft. The issue is stirring some controversy, as VOA’s Bernard Shusman reports from New York.
    Video

    Video Lessons Learned From Ebola Might Help Fight Zika

    Now that the Ebola epidemic has ended in West Africa, Zika has the world's focus. And, as Carol Pearson reports, health experts and governments are applying some of the lessons learned during the Ebola crisis in Africa to fight the Zika virus in Latin America and the Caribbean.
    Video

    Video Smartphone Helps Grow Vegetables

    One day, you may be using your smartphone to grow your vegetables. A Taipei-based company has developed a farm cube — a small, enclosed ecosystem designed to grow plants indoors. The environment inside is automatically adjusted by the cube, but it can also be controlled through an app. VOA's Deborah Block has more on the gardening system.
    Video

    Video Illinois Voters Have Mixed Emotions on Obama’s Return to Springfield

    On the ninth anniversary of the launch of his quest for national office, President Barack Obama returned to Springfield, Illinois, to speak to the Illinois General Assembly, where he once served as state senator. His visit was met with mixed emotions by those with a front-row seat on his journey to the White House. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.
    Video

    Video Exhibit Turns da Vinci’s Drawings Into Real Objects

    In addition to being a successful artist, Renaissance genius Leonardo da Vinci designed many practical machines, some of which are still in use today, although in different forms. But a number of his projects were never realized — until today. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Heated Immigration Debate Limits Britain’s Refugee Response

    Compared to many other European states, Britain has agreed to accept a relatively small number of Syrian refugees. Just over a thousand have arrived so far -- and some are being resettled in remote corners of the country. Henry Ridgwell reports on why Britain’s response has lagged behind its neighbors.
    Video

    Video Russia's Car Sales Shrink Overall, But Luxury and Economy Models See Growth

    Car sales in Russia dropped by more than a third in 2015 because of the country's economic woes. But, at the extreme ends of the car market, luxury vehicles and some economy brands are actually experiencing growth. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.