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Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Thinking again about Obama/Bloomberg

A month ago I wondered why nobody was talking about the possibility that Barack Obama would pick Michael Bloomberg as his running mate. It wasn’t that I was seriously supporting such a ticket at the time; it just seemed to me to be a politically viable combination. Now, however, I’m taking the idea more seriously. In the first place, the recent spate of sleazy attacks on Obama claiming that he’s anti-Semitic would be effectively countered by having a Jewish running mate. In the second place, Michael Bloomberg’s Op-Ed piece posted today (to appear in tomorrow’s New York Times) makes it clear that Obama-Bloomberg would be a good combination. It’s not that they agree on everything, because they don’t. Nor is it that I agree with all of Bloomberg’s opinions, because I don’t. And it’s not even that I agree with all of Obama’s opinions, because there are some of those too that are wrong (IMHO). But the political effect of choosing an urban, Jewish ex-Republican with executive experience could be too exciting to resist. There’s definitely something appealing about these words:
More than 65 percent of Americans now live in urban areas — our nation’’ economic engines. But you would never know that listening to the presidential candidates. At a time when our national economy is sputtering, to say the least, what are we doing to fuel job growth in our cities, and to revive cities that have never fully recovered from the manufacturing losses of recent decades?

More of the same won’t do, on the economy or any other issue. We need innovative ideas, bold action and courageous leadership. That’s not just empty rhetoric, and the idea that we have the ability to solve our toughest problems isn’t some pie-in-the-sky dream. In New York, working with leaders from both parties and mayors and governors from across the country, we’ve demonstrated that an independent approach really can produce progress on the most critical issues, including the economy, education, the environment, energy, infrastructure and crime.
Sounds to me like Obama. Sounds to me like a good match.

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