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Why Michael Bloomberg Should Be Our Next President

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg walks on the North Lawn after meeting with President Obama about immigration reform at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, April 19, 2011. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

[dropcap]I[/dropcap]n a Presidential race full of extremes, what our country needs in the White House is a proven leader who can work with both Democrats and Republicans to jumpstart our economy, solve our problems on a nonpartisan basis, and provide global leadership. I believe that former New York Mayor and Co-Founder/CEO of Bloomberg Media, Michael Bloomberg, should enter the race as an Independent.

Bloomberg has been a proven leader in both the private and public sector, and if he would consider running for the Presidency, which he has hinted at recently, now would be the perfect time. There are record levels of desire for an independent candidate to run, close to 60 percent, and self-identified independents are at 42 percent of the electorate (per Gallup). In our mock poll at Kinkaid, close to 19% of voters identified as independent, while 57% of voters said they would consider voting for someone, like Bloomberg, from outside the major parties.

One reason why Bloomberg had not made his presidential aspirations a reality in the past is that his stance on the issues (financially conservative, socially liberal) is often overrepresented. However, with Hillary Clinton moving more to the left, and radicals Donald Trump and Ted Cruz leading the Republican primaries, the race is wide open for a more moderate candidate like former Mayor Bloomberg or Ohio Governor Kasich to have broad impact. Political experts believe that if Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump manage to win their respective nominations, Bloomberg would be wise to enter the race, as neither Trump nor Sanders really appeal to moderate voters.

“I think that Bloomberg would be viewed as a Centrist, and by some with a positive record of achievement as Mayor of New York [City], which is one of the most difficult political jobs in the country. They actually changed the city charter to give him a third term, he was so successful,” said AP U.S. History teacher Mr. Curry.

While Bloomberg was initially a Democrat, he transitioned to the Republican Party to win the New York Mayoral Race, before eventually declaring himself to be an Independent in 2007. Missing out on the primaries would require Bloomberg to spread his message quickly, but due to his name recognition this would not be a major setback. The issues that could hurt Bloomberg’s possible candidacy are a strong anti-gun policy that alienated many Republicans, as well as his efforts to limit the size of sugary drinks people can consume. Bloomberg would also not have to worry about funding, as he is worth several billion dollars.

Even though Bloomberg would be able to self-fund his campaign, Mr. Curry does not “realistically believe” that an Independent could win the Presidency in the current system. This is due to the wide influence of political parties as they have people in counties across the country that no amount of money for ads or direct mail can overcome.

For all of the disadvantages of running as an independent, there are many positives. A large amount of American people are tired of the two party system or feel alienated from it.  Donald Trump has already proven that electorate could support somebody outside of the current establishment. Recent independent campaigns have been unsuccessful, but Ross Perot gained up to 39% in the 1992 election before he had a public meltdown accusing President Bush of plotting to disrupt Perot’s daughter’s wedding. Perot winning 19% of the vote that year suggests that an independent candidacy has an inherent appeal to voters, although he went a bit crazy towards Election Day.

While speaking at a book party for Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan in New York last Thursday, Jan. 13th, Bloomberg blasted the “corrupt, gridlocked, and broken two-party system,” and spoke of “bringing people together around common goals.” He also criticized the current field of presidential candidates for “pointing fingers” and “making pie-in-the-sky promises.”

Amongst all of the noise and drama of the current election, we need someone who is a proven leader in the White House. While his bid to be the 45th U.S. President it is no doubt a long shot, Bloomberg is a proven job creator who understands the economy and has compassion and understanding of the issues facing the less fortunate members of the electorate. He was also a successful mayor who cracked down on crime and terror in New York City while leading the City out of a devastating recession. Bloomberg would make a great President.


Photo courtesy of Charles Dharapak/AP

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Kirk Hachigian, Author

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Why Michael Bloomberg Should Be Our Next President