New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announcing he's leaving the Republican Party is a little like Madonna announcing she's leaving the Catholic Church. Was he ever really a paragon of the GOP?
Speculation abounds that he's running for president on the Ross Perot egotistical-billionaire plan, with press reports citing his intention to spend a cool $1 billion of his personal fortune. That will surely create a headwind, but a big part of the wind beneath his wings will be the support he hopes to generate from the national media.
And it's happening already. Bloomberg's third-party spoiler ambitions were heavily promoted by two newsmagazines -- a big cover story in Time with fellow RINO (Republican in name only) Arnold Schwarzenegger titled, "The New Action Heroes," and a two-page editorial by U.S. News & World Report owner Mort Zuckerman titled, "What to Like About Mike."
This is not to say these magazines believe what America really needs is a successful media magnate in the White House. If they did, they would have done the same publicity favors for Steve Forbes. Back in 1996, Time put Forbes on the cover, only to denounce him for being a subversive like Newt Gingrich, "who in 1994 did the most to convince people the government had replaced the Soviets as their mortal enemy." Bloomberg is a hero because he's the polar opposite of libertarian Forbes. He's doing liberal things in New York.
Time's Michael Grunwald cheered that Bloomberg the Action Hero was "talking about saving the planet ... opening a climate summit, highlighting his ambitious plan to slash the Big Apple's carbon emissions." In a time of "partisanship on crack," he hailed Bloomberg for advocating an $8 "congestion fee" on commuters to the Big Apple and "leading a national crackdown on illegal guns, along with America's biggest affordable housing program. He also enacted America's most draconian smoking ban and the first big city trans-fat ban."
If you think autocratic mayors are out of control when they ban things like incandescent light bulbs and trans-fats, just wait until you see what happens when they become president. Bloomberg will probably ban the internal combustion engine.