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Four New Yorkers For President?

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Four New Yorkers For President?

File photo of former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg speaking during a news conference at City Hall in New York

Many Americans used to regard New York City as a bankrupt foreign vessel docked on their Atlantic coastline. Then the place got cleaned up, and after the heroism (and stoicism) of Sept. 11, 2001, much of the hostility was replaced with affection.

Perhaps nothing signifies the change in status more than the prospect of four — count ’em, four — New Yorkers as leading candidates for president. The latest would be former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who just said he was considering a third-party run.

Already on base in this subway series are Donald Trump, former New York Sen. Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, a senator from Vermont whose voice never left Brooklyn.

Bloomberg’s interest in entering the race apparently reflects his alarm that socialist Sanders might be the Democratic candidate and bigmouth Trump the Republican. Two polarizing candidates might open up a third-party opportunity. Nothing personal, you understand.

Ted Cruz probably regrets his attack on Trump’s alleged “New York values,” which he defined as “socially liberal, pro-abortion, pro-gay marriage and focus around money and the media.”

Trump’s defense of the city drew cheers from the Republican debate audience. But the best comeback was later supplied by Long Island Republican Pete King, who advised Cruz, “Go back under a rock.”

New York City has long been misunderstood as a hotbed of radical left politics embodying an attitude of anything goes in one’s behavior. That’s not quite right. More than socially liberal, New Yorkers are socially tolerant. There’s a difference.

New Yorkers must deal with people of all colors, accents and cultural folkways. There are 8.4 million stories in the naked city, and if you can’t make peace with that, New York will drive you nuts.

But the populace also has a conservative streak. They want the chaos carefully managed. Current Mayor Bill de Blasio is the first Democrat elected in 20 years — and his radical-left policies are not going over very well.

Obviously, party labels in the city’s local government don’t matter much. Bloomberg was a former Democrat elected mayor as a Republican and then re-elected as an independent. Pragmatism is his middle name.

The combative New York way of speaking may be helping the Trump and Sanders campaigns. Linguists say it conveys emotion and an air of honesty, a telling-it-as-it-is. It’s no accident that the most successful right-wing radio haranguers are New Yorkers Bill O’Reilly, Sean Hannity and Michael Savage.

For good or bad, Trump towers over the rest as the quintessential Broadway showman. He makes average working people feel they’ve been invited to his party. When Trump says of Cruz, “He’s a strident person; nobody likes him,” that’s intimate cocktail banter he’s sharing with everyone.

And his are madcap parties. Trump lit up with childish delight during Sarah Palin’s disjointed endorsement of his candidacy. It was as though he had just seen a chimpanzee swing on the chandeliers.

The other New Yorkers are far more contained. Clinton, a daughter of the Midwest, is guarded. Boston-born Bloomberg is sober to a fault. Sanders, meanwhile, neatly divides the world between “establishment” (bad) and those on his side (good).

As for Bloomberg’s possible run, the other New Yorkers have responded with cautious courtesy. Trump said he likes Bloomberg. Clinton said she feels likewise, adding that Bloomberg won’t have to run if she’s the Democratic nominee. And Sanders offered a fairly innocuous self-reference: “Now I’ll be running against two billionaires.”

No New Yorker has occupied the White House since Franklin D. Roosevelt died while in office 71 years ago. That’s a long time for New Yorkers to be out of the presidential game. They may very well be back.

Follow Froma Harrop on Twitter @FromaHarrop. She can be reached at fharrop@gmail.com.

Photo: Michael Bloomberg, New York City’s former mayor, is considering running for president — just another New Yorker who feels it’s time to run the country. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Froma Harrop

Froma Harrop’s nationally syndicated column appears in over 150 newspapers. Media Matters ranks her column 20th nationally in total readership and 14th in large newspaper concentration. Harrop has been a guest on PBS, MSNBC, Fox News and the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and is a frequent voice on NPR and talk radio stations in every time zone as well.

A Loeb Award finalist for economic commentary in 2004 and again in 2011, Harrop was also a Scripps Howard Award finalist for commentary in 2010. She has been honored by the National Society of Newspaper Columnists and the New England Associated Press News Executives Association has given her five awards.

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  1. Paul Bass January 26, 2016

    There is a fine line between “telling it like it is” and being flat out rude, crude, and racist.

    Trump is one New Yorker who doesn’t care about the difference, and neither do his supporters.

    1. FireBaron January 26, 2016

      Correct. They all seem to share the same gutter. Luckily, some of the ones who have learned to breath through their noses have been turned off by Caribou Barbie injecting herself into the Trump campaign.

      1. joe schmo January 26, 2016

        Yah, right! Obviously, we don’t care as his poll numbers seem to indicate.

        1. Independent1 January 26, 2016

          Remember!! That 40% plus percent the media is now quoting for Trump is of likely primary voters which are less than 30% of the U.S. population. Meaning Trump’s masses include less than 15% of Americans and only about 25% of all likely voters in a national election.

    2. joe schmo January 26, 2016

      Notice: 3 New Yorkers at the helm. Who are you to judge.

  2. charleo1 January 26, 2016

    Both Donald Trump, and Burnie Sanders scare the bejesus out much of the billionaire class like Bloomberg. However, for an entirely different set of reasons. Bloomberg could finance his own run as an independent. But could not win the thing in a month of blue moons, and only affect the outcome for the GOP. Or, for one candidate named Trump, should the GOP constituency ultimately decide mass political suicide is preferable to any of the establishment choices.

  3. WriterGuy10 January 26, 2016

    Bill de Blasio is a “radical leftist”? Man, you’ve never met any real radicals, have you?

    Here’s a hint: radical leftists want to blow up the system, not run it. Has de Blasio grabbed the condos of billionaires and turned it over to the homeless? Has he torn down the corporate skycrapers and turned the land over to community farms? Not yet?

    You can’t be elected mayor of New York as a “radical leftist.” Heck, you can’t even be elected mayor of Burlington VT if your views are outside the local mainstream.

  4. joe schmo January 26, 2016

    Couldn’t be happier that Bloomberg wants to run. He certainly does not appeal to conservatives. Sooooo, that means he will taking votes away from liberals….LOL

    By the way, minorities are lining up behind Trump:

    In a new poll, which still has Trump
    leading the race, shows 40 percent of blacks are lining up behind Trump,
    as are 45 percent of Hispanics, and even nearly 19 percent of Asians. Yay!

    1. JPHALL January 26, 2016

      Where do you idiots get your poll numbers? Make them up out your asses? The only Blacks, Latinos or Asians lining up behind Trump are those who think he is going to give them something financial the other candidates will not.

    2. Independent1 January 26, 2016

      Love these fantasy figures of your own creation!! Dream on!!


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