Obama-Bloomberg '08?

A second photo op with the two men sparks renewed speculation about their connection.

By Alex Koppelman
March 27, 2008 7:47PM (UTC)
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Sometimes, political reporters get bored too. And there's little that gets that adrenaline (and saliva) flowing like some good old-fashioned speculation about potential running mates. And so, predictably, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's appearance with Barack Obama for Obama's speech on the economy Thursday has lots of people abuzz.

At the root of the frenzy was NBC's First Read blog, on which Chuck Todd and Domenico Montanaro wrote:

Those who love the Veepstakes will enjoy today's Obama speech, not for the substance but for the person who will introduce him: Michael Bloomberg. While the mayor says he's not endorsing anyone (yet?), this is the second time Bloomberg has given Obama a high profile photo-op (remember the meeting at that diner a few months back?) ... Considering [the] anti-Israel sentiments being expressed by the Rev. Wright in these newly circulating church bulletins ... The idea of a Jewish running mate might end up making more and more sense for Obama as the summer wears on.

Now, it is true that Bloomberg has some credentials that might be useful to Obama. Since Bloomberg left the Republican Party recently to become an independent, he might be useful in further shoring up Obama's support among independents. But I just don't see the advantage Todd and Montanaro do. If he's the nominee, Obama will face enough trouble in the general election campaign because of his race. Adding a divorced Jewish billionaire who is the mayor of Sodom and Gomorr -- uh, I mean New York City -- seems like a potential hindrance, rather than a real help.

Alex Koppelman

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

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