Obama-Bloomberg '08

It's Paul Starr's idea, and it makes an awful lot of sense to me. Bloomberg isn't going to be President - no way, no how - and at some point he has to be smart enough to figure that out. As a Vice-Presidential candidate, though, his moderate liberalism would help balance a more liberal nominee like Obama or Edwards, his executive experience would shore up a ticket that would otherwise lack any, and he might help secure the Northeast in the event that the Dems were up against Giuliani. Far more important, though, would be the narrative (and you know how I feel about veeps and narratives). The press that gave us stories like this one wouldn't care that Bloomberg was never really a Republican: They would take the "unity ticket" concept and run with it. For Obama, in particular, whose whole campaign is predicated on getting beyond our differences and so forth, the patina of bipartisanship would be invaluable.

As for whether Bloomberg would be content playing second fiddle, well, as Starr points out, both Al Gore and Dick Cheney have proved that "the vice presidency is no longer something to be scoffed at." No doubt he would be promised some important policy bailiwicks within an Obama Administration, and while his age might preclude him running for President after the eight years are over, that ain't necessarily the case. (Bloomberg seems pretty vigorous at the moment.) And again, barring a series of extremely unlikely events, he isn't going to become President in 2008 anyway. The Vice-Presidency is a pretty impressive consolation prize, and it's one that might actually be within his grasp.