Pat Buchanan

Another reason it is unlikely a Bloomberg candidacy will carry a single state is that he is neither charismatic like John F. Kennedy nor a conviction candidate like Barry Goldwater, and he is certainly not the combination of the two that Ronald Reagan was.

On Iraq, securing the border and halting the export of American jobs, where does he stand? Anyone know? Does he?

In 1972, George McGovern won the Democratic nomination on a platform of "Come home, America!" In 1992, Ross Perot ran on the issue of a bloated federal government that could not control itself and was exporting our jobs to Mexico. What is the issue that is to propel Bloomberg into the national consciousness and the presidency?

There is none. Lacking charisma and a capacity to move people with words, lacking an issue other than "post-partisanship," Bloomberg has one card to play -- a fortune estimated at $5 billion or more.

If he runs, Mike Bloomberg will be testing the theory that, in the 21st century, you can buy the presidency of the United States.

This is a vanity campaign. But how many votes can Mike buy? If Bloomberg spent $1 billion and got 5 million votes, each would have cost him $200. How many billions would it take to buy 40 million votes -- and victory in a three-way race?

Bloomberg's toying with a run is the best news the GOP has had since Sam Alito. If he gets in, the party should insist that he, and Ralph Nader if he enters, be included in the debates. If he gets in, the RNC should make sure America knows of Mike's fine record in fighting the Burger King Whopper, Winstons and Winchesters.

The Bloomberg campaign does underscore what is wrong with our national politics. Bush is at 29 percent, and the Democratic Congress is at 23 percent. The largest and fastest-growing party in America is independents who have walked away from their party out of disillusionment or disgust. American democracy is no longer working. Whether on the war or on the border, the will of the people is not translated into policy.

In a working democracy, this would bring a repudiation of both failed parties. But they have gotten a lock on the presidency. If Mike Bloomberg can expose that failed duopoly, more power to him.

Pat Buchanan

Pat Buchanan is a founding editor of The American Conservative magazine, and the author of many books including State of Emergency: The Third World Invasion and Conquest of America .
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