We think we smell another presidential candidate. Or at least one who will deny it until the last possible moment!
Time cover (co-)subject Mayor Bloomberg was in California yesterday to give speeches with a national-bent - all while claiming he's not running for President. His first speech was at Google headquarters in Mountain View (his engineering degree from Johns Hopkins is his "geek cred"), where he said, "The country is in trouble. I don't think you can blame either party.... I think they've all done this together." Bloomberg continued the theme of disgust with the current political system, saying the debates "don't tell you anything about whether or not any of those candidates would be good or bad presidents." [You can see his entire Google speech above; his speech was part of the "Authors@Google" program, not the "Candidates@Google" program (labels, schmabels).]
He also spoke at a USC event, called "Ceasefire! Bridging the Political Divide":
“America, the most wonderful country in the world, is at a crossroads. The politics of partisanship and the resulting inaction and excuses have paralyzed decision-making, primarily at the federal level, and the big issues of the day are not being addressed – leaving our future in jeopardy. We can accept this, or we can say – ‘Enough is enough!’ – and together, build a bright future for our country.
“I believe we can turn around our country’s current, wrong-headed course, if we start basing our actions on ideas, shared values, and a commitment to solve problems without regard for party.
“The point of this conference is clear: We do not have to settle for the same old politics. We do not have to accept the tired debate between the left and right, between Democrats and Republicans, between Congress and the White House. We can and we must declare a ceasefire – and move America forward.
And does Bloomberg represent the new different politics? He also slammed the candidates for falling back on terror to entice voters instead focusing on street crime, which kills more: “Yet every press conference, they all beat their chests and say, ‘I can protect this country better from terrorism.’ Well, what about protecting them out in the streets every day?”
You can read his entire "Ceasefire" speech at his website, MikeBloomberg.com. Other ways in which Bloomberg isn't impressed with the way the country has been run or 2008 presidential candidates: How they're handling immigration, how they're ignoring education, and how many people believe in creationism. Naturally, Bloomberg tooted his own horn, mentioning the end of social promotion, raising taxes and keeping an eye on the budget and his environmental plans.