I'm really starting to think Hagel and/or Bloomberg might launch an Independent bid. This is already the most unusual race in recent memory. With no heir apparent to the presidency, why not try out a third-party bid?
I'm not alone in thinking this is likely to happen:
Former New York mayor Ed Koch said he thinks Bloomberg will join the presidential race, but is wisely conserving time and energy.
"I think he is playing it exactly right," Koch said. "He doesn't have to convey his full intentions until the end of this year. He doesn't have to spend the time the others are spending in raising money."
Of course, Hagel is capricious, and may be just doing this for the publicity. Still, they have one big thing going for them; like Perot, money won't be a problem ...
Bloomberg can avoid the fundraising because he can pay for a campaign himself. He is No. 112 on the Forbes magazine list of the world's billionaires with an estimated net worth in 2006 of $5.1 billion.
... When Hagel was asked if he could see a ticket that had he and Bloomberg on it, Hagel said, "It's a great country to think about -- a New York boy and a Nebraska boy to be teamed up leading this nation."
The pairing would make sense: Hagel has experience as a U.S. Senator, and Bloomberg has experience as an executive, popularity, and ... money!
Still, the team may be just a media creation. Both men, presumably, want to be President. My only question is: Who would lead the ticket?