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Political Editors / Jan. 25, 2016

Clash of Billionaires: Donald vs. Michael

Welcome to the 2016 elections, where past conventions don't matter.

Hey ho! Welcome to the 2016 elections, where everything is a clamorous tumult and past conventions don’t matter. For at least 100 years, third-party runs for the White House ended up splitting votes so the candidate with the minority views gained power. But former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is testing the water for a third-party run. And it’s not the craziest thing to say that the man who launched a regulatory crusade against salt and big soda cups while mayor of the Big Apple just might do well. “Mr. Bloomberg is a serious man who wouldn’t waste his money or time if he didn’t sense an opportunity,” wrote The Wall Street Journal’s editorial board. “If we’ve learned anything so far in this tumultuous election season, it’s that the electorate is volatile enough that anything can happen.”

Bloomberg is a lifelong liberal Democrat who claimed “Republican” status for his first NYC mayoral run, but is now back in his Demo comfort zone. (Shades of Donald Trump…) He is most loathed by conservatives for his persistent assault on the Second Amendment via his Everytown for Gun Safety organization. He also is an abortion and homosexual marriage advocate, along with a long slate of other leftist social agendas, and, as you recall, was the most outspoken supporter of the “ground zero mosque.” Bloomberg is flush with potential campaigning cash, as he has about nine times the wealth of Trump and has strong Wall Street connections. “He’d be able to tap into the anti-establishment fervor roiling both parties,” blogger Ed Morrissey wrote, “and add in his extensive executive experience in both the private and public sectors, something which none of the current top contenders offer at the moment.” The prospects of Clinton, Sanders, Trump and Bloomberg candidacies all pose a perilous threat to Liberty.

Trump has described Bloomberg as “a friend of mine over the years,” saying Bloomberg “called me to help him out.” Last fall, Bloomberg joked, “I’ve always said that the country is not ready for a divorced, Jewish billionaire from New York City. But after watching a divorced, Christian billionaire from New York City shoot to the top of the polls … I’ve decided to become a candidate.” Maybe he wasn’t joking. For the record, if Bloomberg runs and none of the candidates secure an outright electoral college victory, then the election would be decided by the Republican majority in the House.

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