presidential selection

With the Georgia (and Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia) presidential primaries just about a month away, political antics have been far flung this presidential cycle! No telling what will happen next.

This topsy-turvy political year, when matters were not always going as anticipated, now has a new name possibly seeking the office of president: former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Michael Bloomberg
Michael Bloomberg

Many will welcome Bloomberg’s consideration of a Third Party candidacy, those not particularly pleased at the way both the Democratic and Republican candidates are doing.

After all this political year, who would have thought:

  • Jeb Bush would be so meek in seeking the presidency?
  • That Hillary Clinton would not be a shoo-in for the nomination?
  • That two first term Senators, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, would rise as high as they have?
  • That an avowed Democratic Socialist, Bernie Sanders, would stick in the race so well?
  • And of course, that the one person everyone is talking about, Donald Trump, would have made it this far?

So now comes Michael Bloomberg.  We don’t know that much about him. His own site tells us that he made his fortune in this manner:

“Bloomberg put himself through Johns Hopkins and Harvard and became a partner at Salomon Brothers. He started his own company, which revolutionized the distribution of financial information and made him a billionaire. In 2002, Bloomberg became mayor of New York City.”

Here’s a link to what The New York Times wrote about him as he was leaving the office of mayor, which he held for 12 years.

Whether Bloomberg runs, his consideration of participating in the race lends another voice in this unusual lead-up for those seeking the office. Should Bloomberg decide to run for the presidency, the indication is that he will do so as an Independent, not taking either of the traditional two-party routes. His first major task would be to find ways to be on the ballot in 50 states. He has indicated that he already had people working on this ballot issue, and says the early indication is that this would not be a problem.

Bloomberg drew this conclusion on the basis of what third party efforts (Teddy Roosevelt, John Anderson, Ross Perot, others) found when they mounted campaigns previously. He will have to adopt a plan for each individual state. While this seems a daunting task to undertake, in effect, he’ll throw money at it, and achieve the goal, so say his advisers.  Remember, this is a guy who has even more money than Donald Trump. While the idea of getting on all 50 state ballots sounds formidable, it’s possible. The other candidates may not openly welcome Bloomberg to the foray, but then they won’t be able to scuttle his candidacy either.

But in this crazy year, who knows?

At least on Monday, the Iowa caucuses will shed some new light on this presidential race… and also add some murkiness at the same time. Then we’ll see another few months of wild campaigning. Our system of picking presidential candidates may not be the best way to pick a leader of a country, but this manner sure does get a lot of Americans interested in and involved with the process.

In February, the candidates court our Southern vote. Hold on: March 1 will be here soon, and the South will add its voice to this national phenomenon.

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Editor's note: this story first appeared at GwinnettForum.com.
Elliott Brack

Elliott Brack

Elliott Brack is a native Georgian and veteran newspaperman. He published the weekly Wayne County Press for 12 years; was for 13 years the vice president and general manager of Gwinnett Daily News, and for 13 years was associate publisher of the Gwinnett section of The Atlanta Journal and Constitution. He now publishes, in retirement, Web sites on Gwinnett County, http://www.gwinnettforum.com, and Georgia news, http://www.georgiaclips.com.