December 20, 2011: “I think an independent candidate couldn’t win,” Bloomberg tells a New York TV station, reversing his position when he ruled out a 2008 run. (At other times, he has phrased this more colorfully when referring to himself, saying a “short, Jewish, divorced billionaire” can’t win, either.)
December 21, 2011: A Time story on the quixotic Americans Elect project, which seeks to choose a non-major-party candidate via an internet primary, notes, “Americans Elect will not promote a candidate, but the group is briefing potential contenders about the process. Among the names that have surfaced are Michael Bloomberg, Jon Huntsman and Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks.” Bloomberg doesn’t run, and Americans Elect will unceremoniously collapse several months later.
March 14, 2012: If not president, maybe the No. 2 job? While there were rumors Obama might appoint Bloomberg to the World Bank or Treasury, Ira Stoll writes in the New York Daily News, “if the President really wants to get the mayor involved, the way to do it would be to go all the way and put Bloomberg on the 2012 ticket as his running mate.”
April 17, 2012: Thomas Friedman writes a widely, deservedly mocked column complaining that on a recent trip between D.C. to New York, his phone dropped several calls, the streets were under construction, and an escalator was broken. “And that is why I still hope Michael Bloomberg will reconsider running for president as an independent candidate,” he enjoins. Somehow, Bloomberg is unmoved.
June 12, 2012: Fellow abrasive big-city mayor Boris Johnson, of London, backs a Bloomberg bid while on The Daily Show: “I am a great fan of Mayor Bloomberg. I don't see why he has ruled himself of for the presidency. That is my view. I think he would be a great candidate.”
November 1, 2012: In a surprise, last-minute move, Bloomberg endorses Barack Obama for reelection, citing his stance on climate change.
March 13, 2013: Piers Morgan for some reason feels compelled to weigh in on American politics.
September 7, 2013: In an exit interview as he leaves the mayoralty, New York asks him if he can really, truly rule out a run. “Yes. It’s just impossible,” he says. “I am 100 percent convinced that you cannot in this country win an election unless you are the nominee of one of the two major parties. The second thing I am convinced of is that I could not get through the primary process with either party.”
April 16, 2014: Just in case anyone wasn’t sure, Bloomberg reiterates the point on Today: “No is the answer. Plain and simple. I’m going to spend the rest of my life trying to make a better world for myself, for my kids, for my grandchildren.”
June 2, 2014: Ira Stoll (him again!), who apparently doesn’t watch Today, wonders in Reason, “Is Michael Bloomberg weighing a 2016 presidential run?” (Nah.)