New York, NY - Bloomberg Would Love To Work in the White House - But Only If He Is The Boss
New York, NY - Don’t read too much into President Obama’s latest efforts to butter up the mayor. Whispering his name for Treasury secretary didn’t work two years ago. Why would it now?
Back in 2008, both Obama and his Republican rival, Sen. John McCain, were chasing Bloomberg’s endorsement.
McCain put the mayor on his short list for vice president. Obama did nothing to dismiss speculation Bloomberg would add economic heft to his cabinet.
“If he wanted to be Treasury secretary, he would have endorsed [Obama] in ‘08,” said an adviser intimately familiar with Bloomberg’s political positioning. “They were desperate for Mike’s endorsement.”
Now, Obama is mired in the midterm muck. Bloomberg hasn’t exactly raved about the President’s performance, though he has been polite enough not to criticize him publicly.
That’s the real reason Obama is wooing Bloomberg, say people in the mayor’s camp - as Michael Corleone famously said in “Godfather: Part II,” keep your friends close and your enemies closer.
Bloomberg is a billionaire who dreams of changing the world. He very seriously considered running for President and, despite his public denials, may consider doing it in the future.
Some advisers question whether Bloomberg would even want to be Treasury secretary - much less give up his day job for it.
“He hasn’t had a boss since he started his company,” one adviser says. “He doesn’t want to work for anybody else.”
Bloomberg is a fiscal wonk, but the real scope of his interests are on display at his charitable foundation, which wants to save lives all around the world.
For plenty of other ambitious Americans, being Treasury secretary would be the capstone to a career and the first line in their obituary - and even if they didn’t wholeheartedly agree with the boss, it might be worth it for the experience.
Not for Bloomberg.
As one of his aides put it: “Would you want to give up being mayor so you could sit in your office and have Rahm Emanuel’s assistant tell you not to say something?”
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