New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg today gave a major speech that's drawing plenty of political attention about Bloomberg's 2012 prospects, even though he's said he won't run.
The crux of Bloomberg's speech was about curbing partisanship in politics, acknowlegding that pragmatic solutions don't exist solely on the left or the right, and promoting economic innovation.
Even though parts of the speech criticized President Obama and Democrats -- as well as Republicans -- much of it sounded a lot like Obama's famous speeches.
This means one of two things if -- and it's a big if -- Bloomberg makes a third-party bid in 2012: He either runs on the same ground covered by Obama, or he tries to make the case that the president wasn't able to live up to his promises, but that he can deliver them.
Here's Bloomberg today:
Despite what ideologues on the left believe, government cannot tax and spend its way back to prosperity, especially when that spending is driven by pork barrel politics... At the same time, despite what ideologues on the right believe, government should not stand aside and wait for the business cycle to run its natural course.
Obama's inaugural address:
The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works -- whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified. Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end... Nor is the question before us whether the market is a force for good or ill. Its power to generate wealth and expand freedom is unmatched. But this crisis has reminded us that without a watchful eye, the market can spin out of control.
Both parties follow the mood of the moment – instead of leading from the front. They incite anger instead of addressing it – for their own partisan interests. They tell the world about every real or imagined problem in America – and not what is right with America. Especially in these tough times, we need our leaders to inspire the whole country – not criticize half of it... This can’t go on. We’ve got to pull together, and focus on what’s important for America – and then roll up our sleeves and fix the things that need fixing.
Obama announcing his presidential bid in 2009:
What's stopped us from meeting these challenges is not the absence of sound policies and sensible plans. What's stopped us is the failure of leadership, the smallness of our politics - the ease with which we're distracted by the petty and trivial, our chronic avoidance of tough decisions, our preference for scoring cheap political points instead of rolling up our sleeves and building a working consensus to tackle big problems.
Throughout American history, innovations combined with government investment have created fundamental and lasting structural changes to the economy that spurred new private sector investment, new jobs, and new prosperity for the country. For instance, after the financial panic of 1819, it was New York Gov. DeWitt Clinton who built the Erie Canal – ushering in a new era of westward development and growth. In the 1860s, with the Civil War tearing the country in two, Lincoln’s transcontinental railroad set the stage for America to fulfill its manifest destiny, by opening new markets and allowing private sector innovations – in industries like steel and oil – to drive a new era of national growth.
The state of our economy calls for action, bold and swift. And we will act, not only to create new jobs, but to lay a new foundation for growth. We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. We'll restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age.