Even at the bipartisanship forum — a meeting of a 17-member group of Democratic, Republican and independent elected officials unhappy with the current state of politics — there was precisely zero detectable enthusiasm for a Bloomberg bid in 2008.
I’m glad to hear it. I don’t think the CEOs of Coke and Pepsi should get together and try to figure out a common formula that everyone will like, and I don’t think anyone else does either. So why does anyone think there’s some magical common ground between liberals and conservatives?
I think the error most people make on this subject is being confused about what voters are really tired of. They aren’t tired of partisanship, they’re tired of bickering. And who isn’t? But when push comes to shove, most of those folks who say they’re tired of bickering would rather bicker than cave in on the issues that are important to them. Bipartisanship goes down the drain pretty quickly when abortion or trade or immigration or any other hot button issue actually gets put on the table.
Barack Obama, of course, has based practically his entire campaign around the idea not that he can end partisanship, but that he can end the bickering. That’s a powerful message, even among staunch partisans. But can he?