Bloomberg: Neutral in 2008

Michael Bloomberg, a Democrat-turned-Republican who was at one point one of the single biggest contributors anywhere to Republican candidates, told reporters in Albany today that he has no plans to endorse any candidate for President in the primary or general election in 2008.

“I represent the city and my guess would be that I probably stay out of the race on both sides, both parties and in the general election,” Bloomberg said at a press conference about congestion pricing. “I think it is the best thing for New York City. When I’m in the private sector again after December 31, ‘09, I may very well get involved…”

Bloomberg downplayed the results of a Daily News poll showing him to be a more formidable presidential candidate among some voters than Rudy Giuliani. He also downplayed comments from Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, who said on Face the Nation this weekend that Bloomberg should seriously think about running for president.

“I think he was probably joking,” Bloomberg said, adding that he agreed with Hagel’s notion that Washington is too partisan.

Incidentally, the mayor wore a non-partisan-hued purple tie for the press conference. Asked on his way out of the room if there was any significance to his choice of color, Bloomberg said that there wasn't. Then he joked that he may buy a few more of them.