Lou Dobbs For President

John Fund, in the WSJ:

Friends of Mr. Dobbs say he is seriously contemplating a race for the first time, although it's still unlikely. They spin a scenario under which the acerbic commentator would parachute into the race if Michael Bloomberg, the New York billionaire and favorite of East Coast elites, enters the field as an independent. With Hillary Clinton continuing to score badly in polls in the categories of honesty and integrity, and with the public's many doubts about Rudy Giuliani and other GOP contenders, Mr. Bloomberg may well see an opportunity to roil the political waters by entering the race late. If so, Mr. Dobbs then sees a niche for a "fourth-party" candidate who could paint the three other contenders as completely out of touch.

The idea of a Bloomberg candidacy in a Rudy-Hillary race has always baffled me (as opposed to, say, a Huckabee-Edwards race, where it would make a certain sense), since the Mayor's ideological niche would already be more or less filled by the major-party candidates; he'd have his billions, sure, but no compelling justification for his candidacy. But a Lou Dobbs candidacy, particularly in a four-way race, makes a lot more sense. And it's worth noting that Ben Smith, who wrote the best piece on why Bloomberg would be a lousy third-party candidate for TNR (it's vanished into their renovated archives, so far as I can tell), got there first:

The people who study third parties, however, are skeptical that Bloomberg would resonate with the typical third-party voter--not a New Yorker who likes his mayor but a voter in Utah or Maine (the two states where Perot finished second) who is suspicious of her government. According to Ronald Rapoport and Walter Stone, authors of a new study of Perot's politics, Three's a Crowd, Perot's appeal came as much from his specific positions that had been abandoned by both parties--he was for a nationalistic cocktail of isolationism, libertarianism, budget-balancing, and rolling back free trade--as it did from his outsider, reformist stance. But the kind of third-party discussion that animates Manhattan dinner parties has, oddly, ignored the one issue that candidates actually have failed to address. "The issue of immigration is the issue on which a third party could form," Rapoport says. "The third party on immigration is the party which says, 'Send them back.'"

..."If you were going to ask me who represents the Perot voter," he says, "Lou Dobbs comes a lot closer than Bloomberg."

Now it seems like Dobbs might be thinking the same way.