With Election Day '08 less than a year away, the Hamlet act is wearing thin for New York's Mayor. Soon he will have to decide whether to be or not to be a candidate for President.
Lately he seems to be leaning toward it. Last weekend in New Orleans, the symbolic site for Washington inadequacy, Mike Bloomberg proclaimed his principles of governing "a challenge to candidates to move beyond photo-ops, to reject stage-managed town hall meetings, and to talk about how we're going to use real accountability to solve real problems and take real questions from our constituents and give them real answers.
"They're a challenge to a rotten political culture that rewards sellouts and sycophants, and I've just always thought that we can do better."
After blasting the campaign as "pandering in full throttle," Bloomberg toured the hurricane-ravaged lower Ninth Ward and got an endorsement from one of the residents, Fats Domino.
At the same time, the Mayor is taking a cram course on foreign policy with Nancy Soderberg, a former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations and a Clinton Administration foreign policy adviser, and has had his chief political aide, Kevin Sheekey, meeting with officials of Britain's Independence Party to discuss how a third-party bid could be launched.
Earlier this fall, Bloomberg dined with retiring Sen. Chuck Hagel, whose Republican domestic credentials, opposition to the war in Iraq and Washington know-how would pair up nicely with the Mayor's executive experience on an Independent ticket.
This month, Newsweek's editor Jon Meacham wrote a long story about Bloomberg's "American odyssey," blurbed, "He has the money and message to upend 2008."
But Bloomberg will have to decide soon. Even with a billion dollars, it takes time to put together a campaign and get on the ballot in 50 states.
As the major parties seem ready to nominate two unusual New Yorkers--a woman and a multi-married Italian-American--will another, described by CNN's Jeff Greenfield as "a vertically challenged Jewish billionaire," have the legs to make it a three-way?