Bloomberg on Not Endorsing for President, Not Filing a Campaign Expense Report

This morning Michael Bloomberg hosted a breakfast in Harlem in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr., where he said improving public education is the civil rights struggle of our time.

Then, after listening to a few speeches, Bloomberg walked into another room to answer questions from reporters, positioning himself in front of a picture of a “New York for Obama-Biden” poster.

I pointed out the sign to the mayor, and asked him to talk about why he hadn’t endorsed in the presidential primary or general election.

“Because I thought both [Obama and McCain] were friends of mine, and I represent 8.3 million people in this city, some of whom favored one candidate, some who favored another, and I would have to work with whoever got elected,” he said.

Bloomberg struck a less passive tone the op-ed he wrote in The New York Times announcing he wouldn’t run for president. Then, he wrote, "[t]he race is too important to sit on the sidelines, and so I have changed my mind in one area. If a candidate takes an independent, nonpartisan approach — and embraces practical solutions that challenge party orthodoxy — I'll join others in helping that candidate win the White House."

He didn't campaign for either candidate, likely a good thing for his relationship with both Democrats and Republicans.

Later, a reporter asked Bloomberg why he hadn’t filed a campaign finance report for his next mayoral race, something his opponent Anthony Weiner has been griping about. Doing so would disclose how much money his campaign has spent thus far.

“We’ve done nothing that requires a filing,” the mayor said.

Bloomberg’s campaign done some hiring: campaign manager Bradley Tusk, spokesman Howard Wolfson, and operative Matt Walter. But they all were hired one day after January 11, the deadline for the latest filings.

The next filing date is March 15, 2009.