Frank Morano, a local Independence Party activist who is perhaps best-known for encouraging Lindsay Lohan to run for public advocate (it was before her D.U.I.s), does not think the rise of John McCain spells the end of Michael Bloomberg’s presidential ambitions.
Morano made his case in an email to me earlier this morning:
1- There is no other candidate in the race who has significant experience running a business or working in the private sector economy, at a time when Americans are troubled by the prospect of a recession.
2- There is no other candidate (assuming Huckabee doesn’t get the nomination) in the race who has any experience as a chief executive (President, Governor, Mayor or CEO). This can’t be overstated. There’s a reason that legislators don’t generally get elected President but Governors do.
3- Both McCain and Hillary are Washington insiders with a long track record of being part of the politics as usual bureaucracy that the Mayor would run so strongly against.
4- In spite of what Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter say, Sen. McCain is a conservative Republican with an 83% rating from the American Conservative Union. He’ll probably even have to go farther to the right to assuage right wing concerns about him. There will still be a big vacuum in the middle. As Mayor Bloomberg, himself said last year in a New York Magazine interview,
““Is it McCain from the ‘Straight-Talk Express’ or the guy that went to Liberty University?” For emphasis, he adds, “He is a very nice guy … but I also think he’s pretty conservative.”
5- There is no other candidate in the race, who can draw upon significant reserves on his own personal wealth to compete with the other candidates.
6- While Sen. McCain was beating the drums for more troops in Iraq, the Mayor’s possible running mate, Chuck Hagel was calling for a withdrawal from Iraq with honor, which many who are old enough to remember Sens. Hagel and McCain’s service in Vietnam think probably would’ve been a better approach in that conflict. In fact, even the hawkish Mitch McConnell came around to realize that Hagel was probably right about Iraq.
As the Bloomberg for President Truck, which was outside Pace University yesterday can attest, The Draft Bloomberg Movement is alive and well, so let’s not write out obituary just yet.
If McCain is smart though, he’ll seek to get the Mayor on his ticket as VP, as some have speculated.