Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Spitzer backs off...

NY Governor Elliot Spitzer has backed off his plan to issue drivers licenses to some of New York's 1,000,000 illegal immigrants. "You don't need a stethoscope to hear the pulse of New Yorkers on this issue." 75% of New Yorkers (and 55% of New York Democrats) oppose the plan.

This isn't good for Spitzer, because he takes a loss on an issue he led the way on nationally. It keeps the status quo of his stalled first term as governor.

It's also bad news for Hillary Clinton. Her double-talk during the last debate was on a question about Spitzer's plan (she was for it before she was against it). Clinton said she understood why Spitzer was doing it, and commended him for it, but wouldn't come out and support or denounce the plan. Now that Spitzer pulled it, the Clinton stuff will remain in the news and she looks bad for even halfway backing a plan that went nowhere.

As I've noted, I am a big fan of Spitzer. I worked for his campaign for governor and even met him. But he's had a rough go so far. That brings me to my point: Michael Bloomberg is on the cover of Newsweek this week, under the heading The Billion Dollar Wildcard, speculating about a Bloomberg '08 run for the White House. Like that's never been done before.

Anyway, I don't think Bloomberg will run for president, but I think he wants to be president. He's not going to win in 2008. You don't need two New York mayors running, and a third party isn't going to win, and he's too ambitious and pragmatic to run a wasted effort. So, in 2010, I think Bloomberg will run against Spitzer for governor, and see how the White House shakes out. That makes so much more sense from his point of view. He's the only Republican (once he converts back to the party) who has a shot to beat Spitzer.

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