As Hugh noted last night, Bloomberg is leaving the GOP.
This is from this morning's NY Times:
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced Tuesday that he was dropping his Republican affiliation, a step that could clear the way for him to make an independent bid for the presidency.
After Rudy's successful tenure, Bloomberg used the GOP to ride Rudy's coattails. Now, he is abandoning his second political party. Of course, he was never really a Republican:
Several analysts argued that a three-way race with Mr. Bloomberg running as a third-party candidate could ultimately prove more of a threat to Democrats than to Republicans. Until he ran for mayor in 2001, Mr. Bloomberg was a lifelong Democrat, and his success in New York reflected his ability to draw Democratic votes: he is for abortion rights, gay rights and gun control.
This raises many questions ....
So how does Rudy feel?
Mr. Giuliani’s office did not respond to a request for reaction to the decision. Still, Mr. Giuliani is likely to view even this level of flirtation as a serious betrayal: His support for Mr. Bloomberg in 2001, after the attacks of Sept. 11, was critical to Mr. Bloomberg’s success and accounts for why he is where he is today.
Is Arnold next?
He stood with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger of California as the governor told a crowd of reporters on Tuesday that Mr. Bloomberg “would be a great candidate" ...
... While Mr. Schwarzenegger has not been as critical as Mr. Bloomberg about the Republican party, he has differed with many in the G.O.P., and the two men have become increasingly linked. The governor supports stem-cell research and wants to extend health care to illegal immigrants in California. He supports a timetable for troop withdrawal in Iraq and has frequently derided Washington for failures on border control and other issues.
Of course ...
Mr. Bloomberg on Tuesday did not inform Mr. Schwarzenegger that he would announce he was leaving the party later that day. The governor learned of the development when Mr. Bloomberg issued his statement.
And does this mean Bloomberg is definitely running for president?
It's not 100 percent, but it sure looks like the first step. While Bloomberg may not be the perfect candidate, he has a few things going for him: Dissatisfaction with the current crop of candidates, the most open field in decades, and a half a billion dollars to play with ...