After months of speculation -- and months of the denials that have become ritual among prospective presidential candidates -- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg seems to have finally made it official: He will not be mounting an independent run for the presidency.
Bloomberg took to the Op-Ed page of the New York Times for his announcement. "I listened carefully to those who encouraged me to run, but I am not -- and will not be -- a candidate for president. I have watched this campaign unfold, and I am hopeful that the current campaigns can rise to the challenge by offering truly independent leadership. The most productive role that I can serve is to push them forward, by using the means at my disposal to promote a real and honest debate," Bloomberg wrote in his piece.
However, Bloomberg did emphasize that he would be willing to play a role in the election if a candidate ran the kind of bipartisan unity campaign those who promoted Bloomberg had seen him running. "In the weeks and months ahead, I will continue to work to steer the national conversation away from partisanship and toward unity; away from ideology and toward common sense; away from sound bites and toward substance. And while I have always said I am not running for president, the race is too important to sit on the sidelines, and so I have changed my mind in one area. If a candidate takes an independent, nonpartisan approach -- and embraces practical solutions that challenge party orthodoxy -- I'll join others in helping that candidate win the White House," Bloomberg wrote.