There’s one name which keeps bubbling to the surface in American politics, and speaking as one of the residents of New York, I’ve never been able to fully comprehend why. Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been frequently cited as one of those “outside voices” who could bridge the nation’s partisan divide and possibly even run for president. (Even more strange is the fact that this is occasionally suggested by Republicans.)
First, a little history. This is a guy who is so enamored of the idea of government at all levels being the babysitter for the people that he has enacted some of the most broad, restrictive anti-smoking laws in the nation. He wants Big Brother to monitor your trans fats to the point where you can’t even get foie gras in some restaurants. And now, just to make sure we all know right where he stands, he’s going to blow a significant chunk of his own cash to purchase an ad during the Super Bowl reminding us how he feels about guns.
With little political capital to lose and millions of his own cash to spend, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is determined to check the role of guns in American society.
A 30-second Super Bowl ad featuring Mr. Bloomberg on a couch with Boston Mayor Thomas Menino will go a long way toward cementing Bloomberg as the king of gun control as the billionaire turns from attacking transfats and smoking to cracking down on illicit sales of firearms, too many of which he says end up in the hands of violent criminals.
“Mike Bloomberg is the only major political figure for whom gun control is a front-burner cause right now,” says University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Reynolds.
I’m sorry… did you say sitting on a couch? Does Bloomberg even own a television? If he really does still harbor any fantasies of a future run at the White House, you’d think Newt Gingrich would have taught him a thing or two about filming advertisements while sitting on couches and talking about things conservatives despise.
If the only thing Bloomberg is talking about is the gun show loophole – which will be featured in the advertisement – I suppose I could see him taking time out of his day to mention it, particularly living in a city like New York. There are cases on record of people purchasing guns completely outside the law at some gun shows and dealers need to do a better job of making sure they’re not selling to non-citizens or felons who are prohibited from purchasing. But Michael has a history of much more than that. (It may come as a surprise to some readers to learn that you actually can get a concealed carry permit in New York legally. However I believe you’re likely to see an actual Bigfoot in the Hudson Valley before you find one of those permits.)
How much is Bloomberg spending to take out an ad during the Super Bowl on this all too touchy topic? It’s a lot. But hey.. the guy is listed as having a personal fortune in the range of $19B, so I’m sure he can afford the tab. It’s a princely sum, suitable for the King of the Nanny State, I suppose.