Dick Morris and  Eileen McGann

But if Hillary wins the Democratic nomination and either Huckabee or Romney gets the Republican nod, it is easy to see Bloomberg emerging as a very strong alternative. Hillary has a unique ability to make enemies and to polarize the electorate. If she wins the Democratic nomination, tens of millions of Democrats and Independents will want to look elsewhere in the general election. If she wins after a bitter fight with Obama, she might well alienate enough African American voters to make a third party candidacy successful, particularly with Bloomberg’s excellent record in attracting minority support in New York City.

If Huckabee is nominated by the Republicans, he may not be able to escape the evangelical ghetto and might have limited appeal to mainstream voters. Romney would also leave a lot of voters cold if he were to be nominated. The limited national security credentials of both Republicans might also open the door to Bloomberg, who has had extensive experience in fighting terrorism in New York City.

So Bloomberg needs to wait and watch as the other parties choose their nominees. If Hillary is the Democrat and either Huckabee or Romney wins the Republican nomination, he will find enough running room to make it worthwhile to take the shot.

Who would he help and hurt? He’d probably help Hillary more than the Republicans, alth ough he’d draw votes from both parties. But, above all, he would help himself. Bloomberg could win. His money combined with his political savvy acquired facing the second toughest press corps in the nation might make it possible for him to pull it off if the other parties nominate the right people.

Dick Morris and Eileen McGann

Dick Morris, a former political adviser to Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and President Bill Clinton, is the author of 2010: Take Back America. To get all of Dick Morris’s and Eileen McGann’s columns for free by email, go to www.dickmorris.com