Michael Bloomberg’s epiphany about the 2016 presidential proceedings is that what is missing is a second bossy, big-government billionaire from Manhattan’s East Side — another candidate with malleable party loyalties. Bloomberg, whose net worth estimated by Forbes is $38.6 billion (eighth on the list of richest Americans), is again exploring an independent presidential candidacy.
In 2001, he spent $74 million to become New York’s mayor. He had been a registered Democrat but ran as a Republican to avoid a competitive primary. Reelected in 2005, he left the GOP and in 2009 won a third term as an independent, spending $102 million — $174 per vote — to eke out a 50.6 percent victory against a negligible opponent. He had persuaded — not a Herculean task — the city council to alter the law, enacted and reaffirmed in two referendums, limiting mayors and city-council members to two terms.
“Make no mistake about it,” Bloomberg said then, “I still think term limits are a good thing.” Intermittently.