United States primed for a post-partisan president

Published 12:19 pm Monday, June 25, 2007

By Staff
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is in the right place at the right time for his non-partisan message about our paralyzed parties' lack of will to solve big problems.
Whether or not he's the right man remains to be seen.
We crave a candidate with an uncommon amount of courage who can tell the American people, who don't like bad news, some truth.
Start with Bloomberg's lack of candor on his own intentions.
He sounds like a broken record telling the public he has no intention of running for president in 2008, but all his pals are convinced he not only wants to make an independent White House bid, but he can tap his personal communications-company fortune for a $1 billion war chest to make it happen.
Saying one thing in public and another in private is not reassuring, however.
Bloomberg, 65, told The Washington Post he wants to finish his second term in 2009 as "the best mayor this city has ever had," then devote himself to philanthropy and good deeds.
After throwing Republican rascals out in 2006 only to have them replaced by the do-nothing Democratic Congress, the country is primed to consider electing a chief executive lacking a party label.
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, whose $800 million worth lets him run the world's eighth-largest economy without a salary, has had more success than expected governing as a "post-partisan" leader.
Independents are the fastest-growing segment of his electorate.
These fast friends look like Schwarzenegger and his movie twin, Danny DeVito, on the cover of Time magazine ("Who needs Washington?") and it couldn't have happened without some orchestration.
Schwarzenegger in person (South Bend, Ind., Special Olympics, 1987) is not as physically imposing as his movies suggest, but he still looks like a five-time Mr. Universe with a paw wrapped around Bloomberg, self-described as the "5-foot-6-inch Jewish guy from New York."
Bloomberg joined the Governator in California to address how Republicrats and Demopublicans are failing us on the Iraq war, immigration, health care, energy, you name it.
"We continue to struggle from big problem to big problem with Band-Aids … and nobody is really ready to stand up and make the tough decisions," Bloomberg said.
Schwarzenegger was born in Austria, so he cannot run for president.
Bloomberg used to be a Democrat, switching to the GOP in 2001 to run for mayor after Rudy Giuliani.
I was a big supporter of former Republican John Anderson as an independent in 1980.
Since then they have been more distracting, such as Ross Perot, Ralph Nader and Pat Buchanan.
Bloomberg, at least, has a record of governing.
He rides the subway.
When New York magazine asked him if he ever smoked pot, he said, "You bet I did. And I enjoyed it."
Bloomberg was an Eagle Scout, earned an engineering degree at Johns Hopkins, where he learned data analysis and rigorous thinking, and added a business degree at Harvard.
"I would suggest that before anyone runs for office, they should go out and become a billionaire. It makes it a lot easier," he says.
On global warming, Washington rejected the Kyoto Protocol.
Bloomberg is among 500 mayors pledging to meet its emission-reduction standards.
As we mentioned last week, his administration would even impose a controversial congestion fee for driving into Manhattan.
Bloomberg is leading a national crackdown on illegal guns, enacted a draconian smoking ban and the first big-city trans-fat ban. He is so concerned about Washington's neglect of the working poor that he raised $50 million in private money to fund a pilot workfare program.
"All the great ideas are coming from state and local governments," Schwarzenegger tells Time. "We're not going to wait for Big Daddy to take care of us."
They don't need these jobs.
That seems to be the key.
Quips, quotes and qulunkers: "Actually, I would consider 'Dancing with the Stars.' All due respect and trying to be as modest as I can be, I am a dancer. But I don't think I would be on 'Dancing with the Stars' mainly because I would be too shy."
– Al Pacino
"I am having the experience two times in my life of doing something that makes New Jersey fashionable. What are the odds on that?"
– Stevie Van Zandt, on being in Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band and on "The Sopranos"
1,643: pounds of trash generated per person in the United States in 2005, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.
Obits: Edwin Traisman, 91, led the Kraft Foods team that developed cheese slices and Cheese Whiz. If that isn't enough lasting impact for one life, he also invented the freezing method for McDonald's French fries.
Jim Clark, 84, the Alabama sheriff who gave us "Bloody Sunday" in March 1965, when peaceful Selma protesters were baten and teargassed.
By August, President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act.
Clark wore a NEVER button stating his view on black voter registration.
Don Herbert, 89, who played "Mr. Wizard" on TV from 1951 to 1965.