Enter Bloomberg, who is not a health care guru per se but certainly has some experience in overseeing New York’s $6.3 billion health care system (not to mention his strong feelings against large, sugary sodas). Moreover, what he lacks in specific health care expertise, he more than makes up for in managerial prowess and technological acumen, as well as — relevant to the confirmation fight question — political independence.
Bloomberg didn’t, after all, inherit his billions; he founded Bloomberg LP in 1981, and it’s now a company with $8 billion in revenue (he’s still the majority shareholder). Most of that revenue comes from selling Bloomberg terminals, which are sophisticated computer platforms that integrate data from a dizzying array of sources. That wouldn’t be such a bad skill set to have at Health and Human Services right now.
Just as important, Bloomberg is still at the top of his game, and he’s going to need a job in two months. When asked by a New Yorker reporter late this summer what he’d do after his final term expires, he proposed two weeks of skiing and golf. “After that, I’d go ballistic.” So he’ll be looking for a new place to hang his hat come January 15. Although there aren’t a lot of positions that compare to being America’s Mayor, Cabinet secretary just might.