News.

On Monday, Michael R. Bloomberg, former New York City mayor and figurehead of an enormous news organization, announced that he would spare the country his candidacy for president. The late, teased potential announcement was largely an irritation, like a loud drill that would repeatedly suddenly turn on at various increments, usually when you were finally sure it had completed its work for good.

“I’ve always been drawn to impossible challenges, and none today is greater or more important than ending the partisan war in Washington and making government work for the American people—not lobbyists and campaign donors,” he wrote in a column published this afternoon on said enormous news organization’s platform. “I’m flattered that some think I could provide this kind of leadership.”

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“But when I look at the data, it’s clear to me that if I entered the race, I could not win. I believe I could win a number of diverse states—but not enough to win the 270 Electoral College votes necessary to win the presidency.”

Bloomberg continued to condemn both Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, calling Trump’s campaign “the most divisive and demagogic presidential campaign I can remember.”

The New York Times reports that Bloomberg had actually taken a number of concrete steps towards launching the campaign. Maggie Haberman and Alexander Burns write:

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They covertly assembled a network of several dozen strategists and staff members, conducted polling in 22 states, drafted a website, produced television ads and set up campaign offices in two states—Texas and North Carolina—where the process of gathering petitions to put Mr. Bloomberg’s name on the ballot would have begun in days.

Mr. Bloomberg held extensive talks with Michael G. Mullen, the retired admiral and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, about forming an independent ticket. Lawyers for Mr. Bloomberg had completed the process of vetting Mr. Mullen, and all that remained was for Mr. Bloomberg to ask formally that Mr. Mullen serve as his running mate.

Bloomberg had also tapped Milton Glaser, designer behind the “I Love New York” campaign, and Swedish industrial designer Thomas Meyerhoffer to come up with some logos. Potential slogans included “All Work and No Party,” and “Fix It.” The Times even has a rough cut of a Bloomberg commercial, which boasts of Bloomberg’s middle-class upbringing and how he would not—in this scenario that is now dead—take political contributions.

So it turns out all that drilling actually was building a little skyscraper, which they eventually decided to bulldoze without filling it with anything.


Contact the author at joanna@jezebel.com.

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Image via Getty.