Bloomberg offers help to moderates against Tea Party

Bloomberg campaigning in Rhode Island for Lincoln Chafee

In an election year when anger and mistrust have upended races across the country, toppling moderates and elevating white-hot partisans, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is trying to pull politics back to the middle, injecting himself into marquee contests and helping candidates fend off the Tea Party.

New York’s billionaire mayor…is supporting Republicans, Democrats and independents who he says are not bound by rigid ideology and are capable of compromise, qualities he says he fears have become alarmingly rare in American politics.

Next month, Mr. Bloomberg will travel to California to campaign for Meg Whitman, the eBay entrepreneur and Republican running for governor on a platform of corporate-style accountability and fiscal prudence. He visited Rhode Island on Thursday to champion Lincoln D. Chafee, a Republican turned independent who is locked in a three-way battle for the governor’s office.

And, in perhaps the mayor’s most direct confrontation with a Tea Party candidacy, he will host a fund-raiser at his Manhattan town house for Harry Reid, the Senate majority leader facing an unexpectedly forceful challenge from Sharron E. Angle, a political neophyte backed by Sarah Palin.

Which is a humorous and untemporal bit of sophistry by Barbaro. Even the Democrat Party acknowledges that Harry Reid was unlikely to be re-elected – until the Republicans found themselves with Sharron Angle as their candidate. She’s a delightful nutball who says that federal government violates the First Commandment!

“Getting Out Of Medicare And Social Security” Is non-negotiable

In his first extensive interview with a newspaper in several years, Mr. Bloomberg outlined his plans, which will include raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for candidates and represent his greatest involvement in a national election since he entered public life a decade ago.

Mr. Bloomberg described the Tea Party movement as a fad, comparing it to the short-lived burst of support for Ross Perot in 1992. The mayor suggested that the fury it had unleashed was not a foundation for leadership.

“Look, people are angry,” he said. “Their anger is understandable. Washington isn’t working. Government seems to be paralyzed and unable to solve all of our problems.”

“Anger, however, is not a government strategy,” he said. “It’s not a way to govern…”

RTFA. Lots to consider.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Aside from the respect that most folks have for Mike Bloomberg’s business acumen, he gets a lot of credit from lifelong Republicans who started leaving the Party following the Bush/Cheney/Rove attempts at neo-imperialism.

The lurch further to the Right certainly hasn’t drawn any of those folks back into the fold. If the Dems succeed in throwing enough smarts at an issues-based campaign of reason sufficient to overcome pressure from the economy the Obama Administration has inherited – and if that success leads to retention of a Congressional majority – the continued turnaround in the economy will make a second term for Obama likely.

I have little doubt that Republicans will not deviate from their current course, further embracing the Christian rightwing, until and unless they get themselves crushed in a second Obama success. No doubt teabaggers will work as hard as they can to guarantee a 2012 candidate who will help that along.

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