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Wednesday, 27 January 2016 15:16

A Three-Way Race for President?

Written by  Bob Serody

Posted January 27, 2016
The Campaigns for President

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A Three-way Race for President?
By Bob Serody
 
As Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders define their agendas, and the GOP top-runners continue to run their smear-driven campaigns, who should come along to shake things up but that anti-Big Gulp billionaire, Michael Bloomberg?  According to various sources, Bloomberg, who is not happy with the top candidates on the GOP and Democratic tickets, is considering throwing his hat into the ring as an Independent.
 
He is dissatisfied primarily with Hillary Clinton, because he feels her candidacy is flawed as a result of swinging too far to the left in an attempt to appeal to young liberals supporting Bernie Sanders.  It’s not her social issues that bother him, such as gun control, abortion rights, and immigration.  It’s her criticism of charter schools and other education reforms that he pushed as mayor of New York.  He feels she is also flawed because of questions about her honesty and the continued investigation into her e-mail practices.  Hillary’s personal problems could leave a big opening for Bernie Sanders.  Bloomberg is not happy with this possibility.  While he has been a supporter of the Democratic Party’s social issues, he has been a fierce defender of the financial services industry.
 
And I thought the current race for president couldn’t become more interesting.
 
The bottom line is this.  If Republicans were to nominate Donald Trump or Ted Cruz, and Democrats were to choose Bernie over Hillary, Mr. Bloomberg - who changed his party affiliation to Independent in 2007 - has told close friends he would likely run.
 
How are the candidates reacting to Bloomberg’s reasons for spending a billion dollars of his personal fortune to ‘give voters a better choice’ if he decides to jump in as a third party candidate?  You can always depend on Donald Trump to issue a statement.   He would welcome a presidential campaign by Mr. Bloomberg, who he called a ‘friend and a great guy”.  Mr. Bloomberg would “take a lot of votes away from Hillary.” 
 
The time for Bloomberg placing his name on the state ballots is running out.  If he does, Trump is probably right that Hillary will be hurt.  But what Trump has overlooked is his own vulnerability if Bloomberg offers conservatives an alternative to Trump or Cruz.  Third party candidates of the past have never won the presidency.  However, there can be no doubt those were usually spoilers who could definitely change the outcome of the race.

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Bob Serody is a member of Space Coast Progressive Alliance.

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