This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.
News that the Republican Party has chosen Minneapolis-St. Paul for its 2008 presidential convention is being touted by the Associated Press as a loss for New York. No doubt about it, but it’s a loss only in the narrow sense. It also holds an opportunity for Mayor Bloomberg as he maneuvers for his own possible run for the White House on an independent ticket. It gives him free rein of the city in the fall of 2008 to mount his own convention to launch him and whichever running mate he chooses for an independent run for the presidency.
This isn’t an endorsement. We’ve got plenty of quarrels with the mayor on matters of policy, and he’s untested in respect of important foreign policy matters. That testing, however, is one of the things that campaigns are for, and we are unequivocally in favor of the mayor throwing his hat into the ring. And it’s hard to think of a better way to do it than by bringing together a major gathering in his home town. He can crowd it with major national figures who have found themselves at odds with their own parties and in tune with the mayor’s practical politics.
It wouldn’t be hard to imagine, say, Senator Lieberman showing up at such an event — or Governor Schwarzenegger. At the rate the mayor has been out making friends on both sides of the political divide, the list may well have lengthened considerably by 2008. The kind of litmus test being imposed on candidates of the Democratic Party by the party’s own left wing certainly suggests that large numbers of persons who used to be comfortable calling the Democratic Party home could end up in a Bloomberg Convention.
There’s been a bit of hand wringing of late about how a mayoral run as an independent would be fruitless, because even if the mayor were to win a plurality of the Electoral College the final decision would have to go to the House of Representatives, whence, the theory goes, the presidency would simply be handed to whichever party holds the majority there. We’re not so sure that would be so automatic if an independent went into the House with the highest number of votes in the college. Honor may not have entirely fled our national stage. But we can’t think of a better place to start testing that proposition than a convention in America’s greatest city.