The bipartisan panel discussion at the University of Oklahoma is over, and Michael Bloomberg has left observers still wondering if he’ll actually run for president.
When asked how, as a candidate for higher office, he might be able to return America to a more unified state, like just after the September 11th terrorists attacks, Bloomberg said, “Look, I’m not a candidate, number one. I’m a former businessman and a mayor.” He went on to talk about the outside aid New York received, and which it has in turn given back in other national disasters.
Then, in what sounded a bit like a stump speech, Bloomberg added, “I think what has changed is that people have stopped working together. Government is dysfunctional. There is no collaboration and congeniality. There is no working together. There’s no ‘lets do what’s right for this country.’ I think there is no accountability today. Nobody is holding themselves accountable and to the standards of what they promised when they ran for office. And lastly, I think there is no willingness to focus on big ideas.”
Earlier in the event, Bloomberg was specifically asked, “What are you going to do if the candidates do what you [the members of the panel] want?”
Bloomberg said, “I think all the members of the panel are optimistic that the candidates will listen to us and will understand there is a deep need in this country and a deep desire among the electorate to have candidates face the big issues. And if we can be a little bit of a catalyst along those lines, then we really have accomplished something. And you’ll never know whether they’re changed because of us or didn’t change in spite of us. Who knows.”