CBS Evening News anchor Katie Couric interviewed Mayor Bloomberg on jobs creation on Wednesday night, and by that we all mean she interviewed him on whether or not he'll run for president in 2012. He answered that easily. "I'm not going to run for president. Period. End of story."
But if he were running for president, he probably would have unleashed a media barrage and given a speech to business leaders in which he blasted Republicans and Democrats, highlighted the need for a third party, and unveiled a bumper-sticker-ready campaign slogan. Which is exactly what he did.
"When did success become a bad word in America?" the mayor said in a speech to business leaders at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.
The Times reported that while Bloomberg has repeatedly denied a White House run, the speech and next week's planned unveiling of a anti-partisan-gridlock group called No Labels "suggested that he is determined to harness the news media spotlight and influence the political discourse in the run-up to that election."
The mayor invoked many of the themes he had sounded while testing the presidential waters in 2007: that "common-sense solutions" trump ideology; that both major political parties "follow the mood of the moment — instead of leading from the front"; and that the American people are getting fed up with "political pandering," "legislative influence peddling" and constant infighting.
Bloomberg told Couric:
"More and more of the public is choosing not to register in either one of the two parties. Take a look at what just happened. The Democrats were thrown out of the House. Why? Because the public said, "All they're doing is partisan bickering and fighting for their own party and their own power and their own perks and their own campaigns." Go back to 2006. The Republicans were thrown out for exactly the same reason."
"We need to have a voice for those who are not affiliated with either party. That's a good third of the population, and growing."
But not me, you guys. What gives you that idea?
This post has been modified since its original publication to add additional information.