Third Party & Independents Archives

Bloomberg-Hagel 2008

Maybe it was just a slow news day… or maybe the Reuters writer lost a bet and was forced to cover this story… I don’t know, but, for whatever reason, this story about a potential Bloomberg-Hagel run for the presidency on a third party ticket got some props from the mainstream media… nice.

It's all pure speculation at this point, of course, but it is encouraging. The idea that a high profile independent run by a couple of high profile guys with actual successful campaign experience is energizing. All too often third party candidates either do not have the money to run a successful campaign, or they do not have the experience, or both, and therefore do not get the coverage the major party candidates get. If a Bloomberg-Hagel ticket could get together and come up with a good strategy, and soon, they may actually have a chance to shake things up and maybe even take a few states.

I know I know... Perot should have had the ability to do so in '92 when the Texas billionaire ran against Clinton and Bush the First as he was able to finance his own campaign nicely and had a lot of press coverage, but... Perot did not have the experience voters look for when electing a bloke to the highest office in the land. Perot had never before held any political office, and that was viewed as one of the reasons he did not get enough votes to carry a single state. Let's also not forget that Perot actually dropped out of the race for a short time when he claimed that he was receiving threats from the Bush camp aimed against his daughter unless he dropped out of the race... so he did. The American people want someone who is strong, not someone who shrinks away at the first sign of trouble.

And what about the 'high profile' Nader? Why wasn't he able to garner enough votes to carry a state? That one's easy... he also had no real political experience, and he spoke too far above most voters' heads to be appealing. Nader spent far too much time and energy waxing philosophical about what is wrong with the system on a very academic level, and not nearly enough time talking about some of the things he could do to fix the system on an every-man level. This turned off many voters... people want to hear someone that is smarter than them... just not that much smarter.

So what about Bloomberg and Hagel? They definitely have political experience... Bloomberg is the mayor of the largest city in the country, and Hagel is a multi-term U.S. Senator. What about campaign funds? They pass that test; too, as Bloomberg has more than enough money to waste... uh, I mean, dedicate to a third party presidential bid. Combine the experience and money of Bloomberg and Hagel, and the press will certainly give the duo the necessary air-time and ink to give the American voters the necessary exposure to make their campaign a successful one.

So... all of that said, what would a successful campaign look like for these two politicians? A case could be made that the campaigns of both Perot and Nader were ultimately successful. Perot probably stole enough votes from Bush to tip the election in the favor of the unknown Arkansas governor in '92, and Nader certainly took enough votes from Gore in Florida in 2000 to give Bush II the victory...

Actually, as I just read that over, maybe "stole" and "took" aren't the correct terms to use as it would imply that the Republicans and Democrats have the right to our votes and that any vote for a third party is a theft... heck, if that were the case, I would be a repeat-offender felon by now with all the votes I have stolen from the major parties to give to third party candidates... but I digress.

If Bloomberg and Hagel get together early and often and start packaging themselves as a viable third choice, in the middle, they have a shot to steal... I mean, win some votes. They can especially do so now, when the candidates in both parties are trying real hard to package themselves as extreme as possible in order to get the far left and right wings' support of their respective parties. Now is the time to offer a third, more centrist approach, and to have it resonate with voters.

America is far too big a country, and has far too diverse a population, to be trapped in the current two party system. I just don’t get it. Our neighbors to the north have four parties with seats in Parliament, with a fifth party starting to gain traction. And what's funny about that is that Canada has one tenth the population of the United States.

Please Mr. Mayor and Mr. Senator, I implore you guys, run a campaign for the presidency, and run it right. We need you.

Posted by Doug Langworthy at May 19, 2007 9:52 PM
Comment #220865

I never understood why the big three auto makers never looked over their shoulder. And now Toyota has, or is poised to, pass the big three in terms of the largest manufacturer of automobiles in the world. All the tariffs, quotas, regulations, price differences, etc. never seemed to add up to being more competitive.

Poor analogy, but I think there is some similar thinking. “We’ll never be displaced, we’re too big and have too much power.”

Posted by: Honest at May 19, 2007 10:27 PM
Comment #220868

If they won the election they would do no better than any of the others, unless they could talk the country into moving the capitol from DC to Pittsburg. Presidents who take on DC eventually become DC, no matter their party or affiliation. DC is a cocoon, and inside the wrapping is K Street, think tanks, about 10,000 lobbyests, and 20,000 lawyers. There are currently only two honest people left there, and they play music in the Marine Corps Ceremonial Band.

Posted by: Marysdude at May 19, 2007 10:41 PM
Comment #220874

This might interest you:

This might be just the thing!

Posted by: womanmarine at May 19, 2007 11:18 PM
Comment #220881

It is an interesting slate, Hagel & Bloomberg, but it would have no chance of success. With the exception of his oppostion to the war in Iraq, Hagel is extremely conservative. Bloomberg is considerably more liberal, a RINO. I just do not see a significant constituency.

The Democrats will probably run a candidate opposed to continuing the debacle in Iraq. A ticket with Hagel at the top would merely split the Republican vote. And why would liberals vote for these guys? Hagel/Bloomberg would do little more than guarantee a Democratic president- although, to be fair, that is a highly likely outcome anyway.

Hagel would do better staying within the GOP, and running as the conservative anti-war candidate. That niche is wide open, with only libertarian outsider Ron Paul fighting for those votes.

A person would have to be drop dead stupid to believe the surge in Iraq will make any difference. Bushco is running out the clock, and divisions within Congress will probably allow it to happen; which means the next administration will probably have Iraq dumped in its lap.

It gives Hagel an excellent opportunity to position himself within the GOP as the next president- no need to run as an independent.

Posted by: phx8 at May 20, 2007 1:01 AM
Comment #220885

Interesting article, Doug. Where it scares the crap out of me that one of the ten angry white white guys might win, I could deal with Hagel/Bloomberg.

Not that I’d vote for them, but if we see another Florida 2000 where the federal courts install the Republican over the objection of the state courts and despite losing the election, it wouldn’t be the disaster Bush/Cheney was.

But I doubt Hagel would run as anything but a Republican. He’s probably the last real conservative Republican left.

Posted by: American Pundit at May 20, 2007 1:25 AM
Comment #220905

Yep… it’s true they wouldn’t have much of a chance, and it is true that it is an unlikely ticket, BUT… it’s fun to speculate, right?

And besides… like I pointed out in the article… what is onsidered a ‘successful’ 3rd party run? Would they have to win to be considered successful? The third party movement is not going to gain enough traction to win overnight, but high profile campaigns like this one has the potential to be will only serve to wake up voters and make us realize there are more than two choices.

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at May 20, 2007 11:51 AM
Comment #220907

Did anyone look at my link about Unity08? Just wondering what you all thought about it.

Posted by: womanmarine at May 20, 2007 12:28 PM
Comment #220910

I keep hoping to hear that Bill Gates is going to Run for President, maybe Paul Allen can join him as VP on the ticket or maybe even Steve Jobs. I know I am dreaming but I think that a ticket like that would stand a very good chance of winning.
These could pull the “Green and Libertarian” together and make them not look like they are a fringe group. They also would not be beholden to any special interests due to the fact of who could afford to bribge Bill Gates?
But I hope those two Blomberg and Hagel do run as a third party candidates so that I can actually cast a vote for someone who might actually pick up a couple of electoral college votes.

Posted by: timesend at May 20, 2007 12:42 PM
Comment #221287


I visited the site. Very interesting. I created the Fiengold/Huckabee dream ticket.

Posted by: Andre M. Hernandez at May 25, 2007 10:29 AM
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