Political Editors / March 8, 2016

Another Bloomberg Deal on Guns?

Clinton’s focus on gun control may satisfy the former mayor.

In an editorial posted to the website of his media company, Michael Bloomberg announced that he would not run as a third-party candidate in the 2016 election. “[I]f I entered the race,” he conceded, “I could not win.” Keen sense of the obvious, right there.

Six weeks ago, the New York City billionaire (sound familiar?) and former mayor known for his crusades against large soda cups, salt and the right to bear arms, floated the idea of a third-party run if he didn’t like the candidates who were eventually chosen by Republicans and Democrats. But after studying the issue, Bloomberg decided that the chances of him — a turncoat Republican — giving the election to a Republican were too high. If the majority of the Electoral College doesn’t agree on a candidate, the fate of the 2016 presidential election would be handed to the House, where it would vote the next president into office. This has happened only twice in the history of American politics, once in 1800 and again in 1824.

“As the race stands now,” Bloomberg wrote, “with Republicans in charge of both Houses, there is a good chance that my candidacy could lead to the election of Donald Trump or Senator Ted Cruz. That is not a risk I can take in good conscience.” Thus ends the blip of a third-party candidacy for a man who is decidedly anti-Liberty.

Meanwhile, though it brings a measure of stability to a chaotic presidential race, the question of a serious third-party run — by any candidate — is still on the table. According to Politico’s Mike Allen, the former pollster for President George W. Bush found that if Donald Trump gets the GOP nomination, there’s a slim but possible chance that a third-party run could be successful. It might be a risk for a liberal like Bloomberg, but the chances are higher for conservatives fleeing a hijacked Republican Party.

As Mark Alexander wrote in January regarding Barack Obama’s State of the Union Address, “Although Obama only referenced ‘gun violence’ once in his opening remarks, he has cut a deal with billionaire Michael Bloomberg, a quid pro quo to make gun control the centerpiece of his last year in office in return for Bloomberg’s support of Obama’s presidential library.” A similar deal — or at least an understanding — likely exists with Hillary Clinton, who, as far as Bloomberg is concerned, is preferable to Bernie Sanders on guns. That may be why Clinton came out swinging against guns so strongly in Sunday’s Democrat debate.

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