Friday, December 21, 2007

Edwards vs. Huckabee --> Bloomberg candidacy

What is the best scenario for New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg (I) to run for president as an independent? Easy - if John Edwards and Mike Huckabee are the nominees. The reasons are:

1) Populism overlap: Edwards and Huckabee are the most similar on economic policy, or in some sense, counter-economic policy. Both want to do whatever possible to regulate and penalize American corporations, and both are extremely protectionist and would favor low and mid-skill American workers over any other interest group. The leaves the largest room for Bloomberg, as a pro-business, pro-globalization candidate.

2) Lack of executive experience: Edwards has never run anything larger than his own law office and his own non think tank; Huckabee has never run anything larger than a church or the small state of Arkansas (population 2 million, GDP $92 B). Bloomberg, by contrast, founded a built the company that bears his name (now with revenue of $4.7 B), in addition to running New York City itself (population 8 million, GDP $457 B).

3) Comparable lack of foreign policy experience: Huckabee has almost no foreign policy experience, whereas Edwards seems to have squandered his time in the Senate, and despite being on the Senate Intellignce Committee in 2002 (and thus having a front row seat to the serach for WMD in Iraq), still voted for the war. Recanting doesn't change his vote. Bloomberg, on the other hand, has visited several countries during his term as mayor, and so stacks up relatively well against Huckabee and Edwards.

4) Diversity: Both Edwards and Huckabee are white Protestant males, so Bloomberg stops being the guy who prevented the first black, female, or Hispanic (or Mormon) president. In fact, he almost becomes the diversity candidate as a Jew.

If Edwards is the Democratic nominee, look to a lot of Democrats to think seriously about voting for Bloomberg. If Huckabee is the Republican nominee, look to a lot of Republicans to think seriously about voting for Bloomberg. If both are their respective nominees, the perfect storm might actually exist to elect this country's first third party president since the Civil War.

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