Tony Blankley

I've got to give it to New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg -- he does not suffer from low self-esteem. But then, as he owns a 68 percent share of the $20-30 billion, privately held, self-named Bloomberg L.P. firm, that yields over a billion dollars of after-tax yearly income personally to him, why should he?

In the full flush of his flushness, the mayor of Gotham has announced that he probably will run as an Independent for president of the United States -- and is prepared to spend $1 billion on the project. In fact, according to the reporting of Ralph Hallow in the Washington Times, Bloomberg has already put the quicksilver billion aside -- so there will be no need for any last-minute checking for coins under his Venetian silk settee cushions.

He is a former Democrat who switched to Republican for his virginal entry into elective politics (his successful 2001 mayoral run) because he couldn't get the Democratic Party nomination. He is routinely characterized as a social liberal who is fiscally tight with a buck (no surprise there, he didn't get rich throwing away money). New Yorkers judge him to be an excellent manager of the city's affairs.

People like me see in him a nosy, hectoring, busybody, anti-smoking, anti-trans fat, social engineering, lifestyle blue-nosing, freedom-crushing, nanny-state enthusiast. He thinks he knows what is best for all of us (except our need for rugged-individualist freedom). But he means well. And with his means, he may do well.

After all, the $1 billion is just his ante. If he feels like it, he could double or triple down. By next November he could spend more -- by some magnitudes -- than both the Republican and Democratic candidates for president, the two parties' campaign committees, all the special interests (who measure their fund raising and spending success in the few millions), and, in fact, every candidate for Congress and the Senate. In other words he could spend, out of his own checking account, more than the rest of the nation in its entirety spends on the entire 2008 national election cycle: Unless George Soros gets jealous.

While money can't buy love (or so I am told), it surely can buy attention. And in the freak show that the 2008 presidential election is shaping up as, who is to say which freak will end up first in show?

Consider the line up. In the Democratic Party race, the current leader and likely nominee, Hillary Milhous Clinton is, by prior and now private inclination, an anti-military radical feminist Euro-Socialist come Trotskyite who is masquerading as a pro-military, free market, religious centrist.

Tony Blankley

Tony Blankley, a conservative author and commentator who served as press secretary to Newt Gingrich during the 1990s, when Republicans took control of Congress, died Sunday January 8, 2012. He was 63.

Blankley, who had been suffering from stomach cancer, died Saturday night at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, his wife, Lynda Davis, said Sunday.

In his long career as a political operative and pundit, his most visible role was as a spokesman for and adviser to Gingrich from 1990 to 1997. Gingrich became House Speaker when Republicans took control of the U.S. House of Representatives following the 1994 midterm elections.

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