Circumstances are also different now because Bloomberg is not taking any evident pleasure in his job. At least Silvio Berlusconi — the media mogul who became the prime minister of Italy as the country’s richest man and is the closest analog to Bloomberg on the world stage — seemed to enjoy his time atop Italy’s greasy pole before his recent resignation.

Not our mayor. He looks tired and bored and annoyed. And there are two long years until his liberation from the third term he foolishly sought.

But what is a man who clearly loves the spotlight, the attention and the idea that he is a get-it-done guy who transcends ideological and partisan categorization to do?

The path to 270 electoral votes and the presidency is no more evident than it ever has been for an independent. But combine his boredom with the opinion (which he might be inclined toward) that only he can save America from itself, and who knows what might happen?

I think I do. It is a terrific time for an independent to run, but only because the president is so weak. Bloomberg might even do better than Perot; he might even win a couple of states. But given his own ideological predilections — meaning, he’s a nanny-state liberal — it’s more likely than not that those states would be ones Obama would otherwise win.