…Sitting in the elegant town house in Manhattan that is home to his private foundation two and a half weeks before Election Day, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who has endorsed neither candidate, had sobering words for both.
For Mr. Romney: “I do think that Romney’s business experience would be valuable, but I don’t know that running Bain Capital gives you the experience to run the country.”
For Mr. Obama: “This business of ‘Well, they can afford it; they should pay their fair share?’ Who are you to say ‘Somebody else’s fair share?’ ”
For both: “Their economic plans are not real. I think that’s clear…”
Mostly, Mr. Bloomberg was stepping forward as the nation’s newest billionaire “super PAC” donor, with a vow to spend millions beyond this election year supporting candidates willing to do what he implied Mr. Obama and Mr. Romney were not: taking “leadership and standing up to do things that aren’t going to be popular…”
His new group, Independence USA PAC, which was officially unveiled last week, has pledged to spend up to $15 million in the next two weeks on state, federal and local candidates whose views align with Mr. Bloomberg’s in support of gun control, same-sex marriage and overhauling public schools.
From where I sit, I think the majority of Americans would agree with him. A bit close on same-sex marriage; but, that’s marching forward with greater understanding, every day. Americans have a view of civil rights grounded in equal opportunity – regardless of what preachers and pundits may say. Looking at actual plans for reviving our moribund education system, providing legitimate measured oversight of assault weapons – both are possible with courageous leadership.
Calling that “getting your feet wet,” he said he wanted to provide a financial bulwark for those who occupy his definition of the political center, as George Soros does for those on the left, and as Charles and David Koch do for those on the right.
In essence, though, Mr. Bloomberg is seeking to give the candidates a taste of the political freedom that he has enjoyed as a self-financed billionaire politician whose money helped him withstand the powerful opposition he faced because of his unpopular initiatives, including a smoking ban and an 18.5 percent raise in property taxes, to name just two.
The article goes into more depth than I need to post here. Read it, consider his position. I think it’s as encouraging as any alternative suggested in recent years. In particular his willingness to start as an issue-oriented PAC at the grassroots level. That alone puts him light years ahead of our Greens, hippies, Paulista libertarians and assorted ivory tower think tanks.
Coming from the workingclass activist Left, I appreciate unity around a common understanding of what moves this nation forward. The three issues he has chosen all support the greatest good for the whole population. That subversive quality called “democracy” by most threads through his definitions of action. Fiscal responsibility holds equal stature with raising understanding and social consciousness. My conservative kin – traditional American conservatives who left the Party-formerly-known-as-Republican after decades of service – I believe would agree, as well.