Usually, whenever New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is asked about his presidential attentions, he swats away the question by replying, “I’m not running for president.” However, Bloomberg has now changed his wording, choosing a slightly different phrase on WABC radio. He said, “I’m not going to be president”, and then continued, “I’m not going to have the chance to be president.”
The second statement provides some interesting material, although I may be reading too much into it. It has been reported Bloomberg was talking to Ross Perot’s former advisors and setting aside money for a presidential run. Perhaps after looking closely at the election, Bloomberg didn’t think he could win because of the current crop of candidates or because of his background (Bloomberg often says, “How could a divorced, 5-foot-7 Jewish billionaire become president?). While Democrats have always been generally satisfied with their field, Republican satisfaction has sharply increased with Fred Thompson’s entrance into the race. So, he decided there was no opportunity or “chance” at becoming president. I don’t think Bloomberg will run for president but is rather angling himself so he can be influential in the race and promote his ideas.
On Intrade, a prediction markets website, the traders give Bloomberg a 45.9% of entering the race as an independent. However, there hasn’t been much volume on the contract, so the number may be misleading.