NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — In a surprise development for the 2016 presidential race, sources have said another New Yorker is thinking about entering the race for the White House.
That New Yorker is none other than former Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
As CBS2 Political Reporter Marcia Kramer reported, the former mayor’s initials are “MB,” and if you have to ask what that stands for, you haven’t been a New Yorker very long.
Sources said Bloomberg has commissioned a poll to see how he would do if he ran a third-party race against Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump. He has flirted with running before, but he is now trying to gauge the dissatisfaction level votes have with current candidates.
Back on Oct. 5, 2004, less than two years into his dozen-year run as mayor, Bloomberg made light of the hardships of the job.
“I bet you didn’t know that I play the guitar,” Bloomberg said at a City Hall news conference that day, dressed in a cowboy hat. “Actually, I’m working on a new song, ‘Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Mayors.’”
But nearly 12 years later, Bloomberg is fine if they grow up to be president – or at least if he does.
He can kiss babies, eat hot dogs and press the flesh with the best of them, and he has the ability to campaign in neighborhoods outside of New York, Kramer reported.
“Right now, there’s so much uncertainty in both the Democratic and Republican parties that people are looking for someone, and Mike Bloomberg may be that someone,” said NYU professor of policy and urban planning Mitchell Moss.
Experts, such as Moss and Marist College professor and pollster Lee Miringoff, said Bloomberg – who has toyed with running for president in the past, may have a good shot as a self-funded third-party candidate. Both party frontrunners – Clinton and Trump – have high negatives and are facing strong challenges in the Iowa Caucus and the New Hampshire Primary.
“There’s an awful lot of frustration out there. Depending on who emerges on the Democratic side and the Republican side, there may, in fact, very well be an opportunity for a third-party candidate,” Miringoff said. “People are very, very unhappy very dissatisfied, and there’s no guarantee that the winners of the primary process are going to be very popular.”
Other third-party challengers – such as George Wallace in 1968, John Anderson in 1980, Ross Perot in 1992 and Ralph Nader in 2000 – did not win. But Perot did get one out of every five votes cast in 1992.
“I’d vote for him,” said Sue Malone of Edison, New Jersey. “I like him. He uses his own money, and he’s not on anybody’s side – not the right side, or what he thinks is the new right side is not always, right, but…”
“At least Bloomberg seems to be a balanced, sane man,” said Patty King of Whit ePlains.
“I’d vote for him; I love Bloomberg,” said Sergio Thompson of Hell’s Kitchen.
But not everyone was down with the idea.
“Michael Bloomberg? That would be awful,” said John Koncalin of the West Side. “I like Donald Trump.”
While a third-party race may be difficult, Kramer said it may be no harder than the race Bloomberg faced when he decided to run for mayor in 2001. In any event, he said there are only three jobs in the public sector worth having – mayor, president of the World Bank, and president of the United States.