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« Romney Prepares Closer | Blog Home Page | HuckaBurger! »

Bloomberg's Sooner Spotlight

Major minds in American politics from both sides of the aisle head to Norman, Oklahoma today to sit down and discuss ways to unify the country around the next president. Former Senators Sam Nunn, Jack Danforth, William Cohen, David Boren and Chuck Robb and current Senator Chuck Hagel, former New Jersey Governor Christie Todd Whitman and others will have a morning-long meeting followed by a panel discussion and press conference, Reuters reports.

Cynics will say the gathering is nothing more than a stalking horse for the man who will certainly be the star of the show, New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg. The Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-Independent continues to deny interest in a presidential bid while continuing to fan the flames that he's going to jump in.

Those close to him say he has recently become more serious about a race, speculating openly to friends and associates about his chances. Should Bloomberg find, in mid-March, that he is faced with Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Mike Huckabee, his path down the middle will be easiest. If others end up with the nominations, as looks likely in both cases, Bloomberg's calculations would certainly change.

The combination of Bloomberg, a seasoned executive with two terms as mayor under his belt, with a Washington expert like Nunn or Boren could prove a powerful force, especially if they fill niches others have neglected. If John McCain is not the GOP nominee, someone like Chuck Hagel might consider taking a vice president's job.

The subject of whether a ticket should be formed may come up this morning. If it does, watch as it is kept under wraps until both parties' nominees are known. Then, what will likely be the last media boomlet Bloomberg enjoys will play out, and it will finally be time for the mayor to decide whether to fish or cut bait.

To give everyone something to talk about in Norman, the New Yorker today argues that Bloomberg should stay well clear of the race, calling a self-funding third-party candidate "unseemly."