They traded thoughts about education, ruminated on the state of immigration and discussed the federal deficit. But most intriguingly, they talked about the future. Over a long private lunch at the White House, President Obama posed a question to Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg: what are you interested in doing next?
Mr. Bloomberg’s precise response is unknown. But their meeting a few weeks ago, confirmed by aides to both leaders and previously undisclosed, was potentially significant for both men, as Mr. Obama seeks support for his presidential campaign and Mr. Bloomberg ponders his post-mayoral career…
The lunch invitation is striking because Mr. Bloomberg and Mr. Obama are thought not to be particularly close — nor to have an especially warm relationship. But the White House seems intent on courting Mr. Bloomberg.
Jay Carney, the White House spokesman, said…“They speak from time to time…”
A spokesman for the mayor, Stu Loeser, offered a similar assessment…
This year, Mr. Bloomberg has not endorsed a presidential candidate, although aides said he had not ruled out doing so. The value of his endorsement is uncertain — because New York is viewed with skepticism among parts of the electorate, some say it is unlikely that the mayor’s endorsement would sway many voters in the battleground states where the election could turn.
But Mr. Obama’s leading Republican rival, Mitt Romney, has sought to depict the president as an economic naïf and an enemy of business, making Mr. Bloomberg, one of the nation’s wealthiest entrepreneurs, a potentially potent White House ally…
…The possibility of Mr. Bloomberg’s becoming a member of the Obama administration did not come up during the lunch, according to people close to the mayor and the president.
The mayor, who has not had a boss in decades, stressed that he had little interest in joining the Obama cabinet. “I am not an adviser,” he told The New York Times in 2010, adding, “You know, I am a doer.”
OTOH Barack Obama could use someone advising him from outside the Democrat Party on getting things done. Obviously, relying on resident hacks – especially during the first 2 years of his term – didn’t achieve a whole boatload of satisfaction among supporters.
Certainly, the economic disaster he inherited from the Free Market Fumblers that preceded him in the White House didn’t help. But, the kind of Democrats that preceded the Gingrich era of corporate lobbyists owning everyone inside the Beltway knew how to fight that kind of fight even while juggling the economy and civil issues.