Third Party in 2012

michael bloombergAmerica has moved from a president elected in 2008 for hope and change to a midterm election in 2010 dominated by massive dumps of mud and sludge on voters sickened and disgusted by both political parties.

Is America ready for a president who could write a $3 billion check for his campaign and never need one dime of special-interest money?

Should New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg run for president as an Independent, he would re-rewrite the rules of national politics and become the transforming force voters demand.

Imagine the candidacy of a self-made billionaire CEO who built and ran a globally admired business, successfully manages the largest city government in the world and can tell voters that he is unbought and unbossed by campaign donors, lobbyist influence or partisan politics.

President Obama is famous for disrespecting advice from outside a small inner circle, even from strong supporters, but here is my advice. There is a powerful majority tide of public revulsion toward both political parties. Either the president will lead it, follow it, or his presidency will be overwhelmed by it.

The president should: invite Michael Bloomberg to be his Treasury secretary. Ask former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker to formally join the White House staff for six months. Name a chief of staff who has operated at the highest levels, such as Tom Daschle, George Mitchell or Leon Panetta. Bring in a senior counselor such as David Gergen who has served Democratic and Republican presidents.

I suggest a dramatic presidential shakeup, openly stated without spin, clearly implemented in fact, publicly announced in an October surprise, going to voters in November with a program to regain the mantle of change that the president championed in 2008, which would inspire independents and rally Democrats in 2010.

A dramatic shakeup would vastly enhance public confidence in the Obama presidency. It would increase consumer and business confidence. It would encourage business to unleash the nearly $2 trillion that is now being hoarded and increase the lending and investment that is the surest path to a job-filled recovery.

If the president does not take dramatic action, he sends the signal “Vote for Democrats, you get more of the same.” And: “I am not listening.”

The president must learn what JFK learned, and do what JFK did, after the Bay of Pigs. All presidents make mistakes. The best presidents learn from mistakes, and make changes.

The 2010 campaign is leading to a closing dirt-dump that will further inflame an unhappy nation, followed by a new Congress that will be a partisan snake-pit of gridlocked impotence. This will even further outrage voters against everything they detest about a two-party system they believe is incompetent and corrupt.

Brent BudowskyTThe time is right for Mike Bloomberg. The nation is ready for leaders who rise above petty politics, who can run a business and manage a government without being bought, bossed, owned or rented by any interest or party.

The president can still return to his first principles of 2008. If he doesn’t, Mike Bloomberg or someone else will answer the call of a nation whose voters are shouting a primal scream for change, which the president and both parties ignore at their peril.

Brent Budowsky

Reposted with the author’s permission from The Hill.


  1. GaryH says

    “Should New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg run for president as an Independent, he would re-rewrite the rules of national politics and become the transforming force voters demand.”



  2. TCinLA says

    And we need some other rich pig to decide he’s the man on the white horse who will save us?

    People dumb enough to live in New York City may vote for him, but not I. Not for dogcatcher, let alone President. He wouldn’t be a “third party,” he’s just another rich egomaniac who goes around the country thinking he can support “moderate” Republicans who – once in office – won’t vote the right wing line as reliably as those two idiots from Maine do.

    The only way things are going to get straightened out in this country is when the Right is smashed. You don’t negotiate with the enemy.

  3. says

    Author Budowsky is likely correct, that people are disgusted with both parties. However, even among ‘independents’ and ‘centrists’ the reasons for disgust with Dems likely differ greatly from those for disgust with Gops. The article fails to take into account the implications – perhaps weighty – of this difference.

    All the above comments offer some insight – but where do we go from here?

    As Ryder notes, there is a kind of ‘tea party’ party. However, its vaunted ‘ideological strength’ consists mainly of a shrill blind faith that the key for advancing into century 21 is to back up into the robber-baron age.

    As Steve notes, a Bloomberg candidacy would start with one man. However, as even the Perot campaign showed, the makings of a genuine party would surely accelerate rapidly.

    Jay cautions that a 3-party election might well go to the House. However, whether that would be bad – or good – will depend on various factors about the nominees and events during 2010-2012.

    As Vic notes, with the established two parties the federal (and other) policy- and law-making status quo continues. Actually, the essence of the status quo will continue anyhow with 3 or 4 or many parties, so long as we keep our present republican form of government, which awards all power to a small oligarchy (of whatever makeup) for long periods (a minimum of two years) at a time. Concentrated power over long terms enables the oligarchs to be free to whimsically abuse power (e.g. Gop pols can obstruct public decision-making altogether) or to exploit it corruptly (as is done by pols in both parties).

  4. Ryder says

    Ahhh…. Perhaps you all are watching the wrong comedy shows….

    There already IS a new party… You may have heard if it. It’s the Tea Party… And is running with the radical idea that the founders knew more than the average welfare recipient voter. They have the notion that the Constitutuon (you may have heard of it as well) is actually the law of the land, and that anyone that works to subvert or get around it should not be in political office.

    You will say that the Tea Party is not technically a political party… And I submit that regardless of any technicality, it is operating as a stronger party, ideologically, than either major party, and that in terms of voter behavior, is in literal fact, a new party.

    • TCinLA says

      The “Tea Party” is composed of all the stupid old white people who, when they were stupid young white people, slept through their high school government and history classes. Most of them haven’t got a clue what they are talking about, as you can quickly determine when you engage them in a conversation and seek to establish their knowledge of the basic facts. What they’re upset about is that white people no longer automatically run the country. Good riddance, this white boy says.

      And if you, Ryder, believe what you said here, then I’ll thank you for your demonstration that hairless bipeds lacking opposable thumbs and frontal lobes can use computers just like real people.

  5. Jay Levenberg,Esq. says

    Well, those that are economic conservatives but socially liberal would finally have a candidate to vote for-unfortunately for Democrats, it will take more away from Obama then from the ultimate Republican candidate. It might even throw the election into the House of Representatives.

  6. Vic Kral says

    A new major party is long over-due.The Democrats and Republicans have had control of the Country for too long, and much of the status quo continues.

  7. Steve Fine says

    One small problem with the title: what is being suggested here is not a third party, rather a purchase of the Presidency by a party of one; in this case Michael Bloomberg, whose credentials other than his money, are what exactly? What does this sugar daddy for the starved republic offer? Independence from corporate money and control? He IS the embodiment of corporate money and control, a self made corporate zillionaire. Same difference, folks.

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