Kathleen Parker of The Washington Post- A beltway mainstay of there ever was one-has joined the trial balloon lift off. She names names and further tills the soil for the forthcoming launch. People don't raise a million dollars for fun-this is serious business.
She concludes her column with this statement;
"All that's missing from a centrist movement that could be formidable is a leader....Anyone?"
I think that "anyone" except Bloomberg need not bother applying for this leadership position.
Certainly Bloomberg would, like Perot before him, have substantial financial resources to launch a viable third party campaign. Unlike Perot however, Bloomberg would not be seen as quirky. Looking objectively, Bloomberg would be a serious and respected candidate, whose business/financial, administrative skills are unquestioned. He could organize a support team of top flight professionals, and would be a skilled debater.
He is of course nobody's fool, and if he did run it would be because he saw a path to victory. Certainly no one could accuse him of running as a quixotic gesture, or simply as a spoiler. Rather, he would be viewed as running to advance a set of principles.
If such a person, with such principles and resources ran, it would be a massive threat to, and condemnation of, Obama and his administration. It would be a Kennedy versus Carter campaign all over again, but this time throughout the general election campaign itself.
What are the implications for a Palin run from this scenario? They are nothing but positive. Map 1. (below) shows a possible result of a straightforward Obama versus Palin campaign. It shows, based on the 2004 result and the new electoral college numbers factoring in population drift, a Palin victory by two electoral votes. If Virginia went to Obama the victory for Palin could come from winning Colorado and Nevada.
Map 2. shows what I believe Bloomberg's maximum result might be. Realistically he is not going to win the Republican states of the South and Midwest. No candidate in this scenario has the required 270 electoral votes and the House of Representatives would decide the winner from amongst the top two candidates. A Republican House would of course choose Palin over Obama. [NB.The electoral college analysis has been updated further to Texas 38/Florida29/New York 29/Missouri 10 which gives Palin her 272 result.]
Map 3. Shows Bloomberg's worst case scenario, the result of which is ideal for Palin. It denies Obama 270 electoral votes even if he wins Virginia, and puts him in second place with the House again choosing Palin.
Even if Bloomberg mounted a hugely successful campaign and the economy was so poor that he won the rust belt states, plus Florida, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Palin would still be situated in first place in the electoral college with the House choosing her subsequently.
Personally speaking as a Manhattanite, I would not hesitate to vote for Bloomberg (splitting my vote for all the Republican candidates below president of course) in New York. In point of fact, if most Republicans, joined by PUMA's did that, Bloomberg would have a great chance of winning the state. My vote would, instead of being "wasted" go obliquely to helping Palin win-wonderful! And if voters similarly voted tactically in California, Connecticut and New Jersey-so much the better.
As has been shown on numerous occasions, the latest being the 2000 election where Bush lost the popular vote by half a million, the popular vote is of secondary importance.What happens in the electoral college, and possibly subsequently in the House is all that matters. Whether there is a "mandate" can be discussed by pundits for four years subsequent to the 2012 election. The Dem's were happy for Woodrow Wilson to win by a plurality of popular votes, so the have no cause for complaining about mandates.
"Run Mike Run". I look forward to having my vote count towards electing Palin by you winning New York.