Bloomberg for President?

Amid reports that the FBI is close to recommending that the Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecute Hillary Clinton for mishandling classified materials, and that FBI Director James Comey and other agency personnel investigating Clinton may resign if the DOJ refuses to do so, sources close to Michael Bloomberg say the billionaire former mayor of New York City may run for president if Clinton appears unable to win the Democratic Party’s nomination.

CBS New York reports, “[t]hey say Bloomberg would strongly consider running if the general election looked like it would be a contest between Democrat Bernie Sanders and Republicans Donald Trump or Ted Cruz.” Bloomberg, who has let on that he would be willing to spend 1 billion dollars on a campaign, is expected to make his decision by March. Four states are holding their presidential primaries and caucuses in February, and another 14 will do so on Super Tuesday, March 1st.

Appearing unfazed by her troubles, Clinton insists “nothing that I did was wrong” and said of the Bloomberg news, “the way I read what he said was if I didn’t get the nomination, he might consider it. Well, I’m going to relieve him of that and get the nomination, so he doesn’t have to.”

Unfortunately, from Clinton’s perspective, that may be a fairly big “if.” Polls show her being trounced by Sen. Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire and also losing Iowa, where the country’s first presidential primaries and caucuses will be held, and that her national figures are dropping. Other polls show that more Americans view her unfavorably than favorably.

Fox News reports, “[t]he FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of private email as secretary of state has expanded to look at whether the possible ‘intersection’ of Clinton Foundation work and State Department business may have violated public corruption laws.” Fox followed up on the story on Tuesday, saying, “The security investigation is now part and parcel with the criminal [public corruption] investigation.”

Bloomberg must theorize that he could appeal to voters on the basis of his success as a businessman and his time as the mayor of the nation’s most populous city. But he faces a difficult “if” of his own. Clinton been casting herself as the most anti-gun presidential candidate in American history, a distinction Bloomberg would certainly want to challenge if he threw his hat into the ring. Also, and perhaps for the same reason, a Morning Consult poll released this week found Bloomberg at 13% in a hypothetical three-way race against Donald Trump and Clinton, 11% when the Republican candidate is Sen. Ted Cruz, and down to 10% when the Republican is Sen. Marco Rubio.

Bloomberg might be able to bump those numbers up among Democrats a bit, if he promised to pardon Clinton on the first day of his presidency. That would not only endear him to Clinton’s most fanatical supporters, it would wipe the slate clean, at least legally-speaking, for someone who shares his deep antipathy for guns. With public opinion trending steadily against gun control, a President Bloomberg couldn’t afford to have one of his strongest anti-gun allies in court or in prison.

© 2016 National Rifle Association of America, Institute for Legislative Action. This may be reproduced. This may not be reproduced for commercial purposes.

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