This is exactly what the US needs in these troubled times; a president who will downsize our soda cups.
Former New York city Mayor Michael Bloomberg released a trial balloon yesterday to see if there was any interest in him running for president as an independent. Most GOP politicos heaped scorn on the idea with many advising the billionaire to save his money and stay home.
Republicans campaigning in New Hampshire said they thought Bloomberg's entry into the race would only help the GOP in the general election.
"Gun control's not that popular in our country, so I think it'll be probably splitting some of the Democrat vote if that's one of his key issues to run on," said Sen. Rand Paul (R-K.Y.) as he left the New Hampshire GOP's First in the Nation Town Hall Nashua, N.H. "That seems to be what's activated in and inspired him in recent elections - gun control. So if he splits the Democrat vote and goes for gun control, that might be good for Republicans."
Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, who made an unsuccessful run for a New Hampshire Senate seat in 2014, said he believes Bloomberg could also take votes away from Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
"That's great," Brown said of a potential Bloomberg run. "He's just so liberal and out of touch with Main Street America."
Carly Fiorina, who spoke at the same forum in Nashua, invoked Bloomberg's name in dismissing liberal calls to focus on climate change.
"With all due respect, Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama - and Michael Bloomberg for that matter - climate change is not our greatest threat," she said.
Bloomberg's trial balloon comes as no shock to Iowa insiders, who have been inundated with Republican and Democratic presidential candidates for the past several months and have had a front row seat to the Trump-and-Cruz show.
"A move like that from Michael Bloomberg shouldn't surprise anyone, given what's happened to date in this cycle," said David Oman, an Iowa Republican supporting Jeb Bush and a former chief of staff to Gov. Terry Branstad. "The phrase 'Come on in, the water's fine' may be relevant."
But even if Bloomberg's "dream scenario" of Cruz as the Republican nominee and Sanders as the Democrat came to pass, Oman remarked, there are many weeks to go before the two major parties decide. "It's way early. No one's cast a ballot. We'll see in a week in Iowa."
While the American people tell pollsters they want someone else to vote for, there is no great clamor for an independent to enter the race. But just for the sake of argument, what happens if Bloomberg takes the plunge, who would he hurt more in a general election?
Most political experts are coming around to the idea that general elections are base elections. The candidate who can mobilize the base and get them to the polls on election day will be the winner. President Obama's 2012 campaign will be studied closely for years. It's emphasis was on social media to identify supporters, target them, and then use a sophisticated get out the vote operation to make sure they got to the polls. It's a data driven process and the GOP is hopelessly outmatched.
In a base election, Bloomberg is even more irrelevant than he would be otherwise. His pro choice, pro gun control, pro gay marriage, pro big government stances will attract far more Democrats than Republicans, so the notion that because Bloomberg ran as a New York city Republican, he will attract Republican votes is absurd.
Bloomberg wouldn't hurt anybody in the presidential race. His trial balloon popped almost as soon as he let it go.