Moderates Unite! Bloomberg leading the way

Posted on September 26, 2010


New York Mayor, Michael R. Bloomberg.

Image via Wikipedia

It seems that supporting candidates more conservative than themselves is not some Republicans’ cup of tea.   

From the Los Angeles Times:   

Galvanized by the lightning-in-a-bottle success of conservative “tea party” candidates, moderate Republicans and others in the political center are looking for ways to push back against what they see as an advancing tide of ideological extremism.

The efforts are loosely organized and embryonic, but politicians, advocacy groups and others are piecing together a framework to promote moderate candidates and advance positions they say have been eclipsed by partisan sniping on the right and left.   

“Middle America is being ignored by Washington and the media. Centrists are desperate for a voice today; they feel entirely unrepresented,” said Mark McKinnon, a political strategist and former advisor to President George W. Bush.   

Leading the way in the effort is Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg.   Critical of the TEA party movement, he’s putting his money where is mouth is and using whatever weight he might have outside the Big Apple to campaign for candidates he supports.    

Bloomberg began to campaign on behalf of others after tea party activist Christine O’Donnell beat moderate Republican Rep. Michael N. Castle, a Bloomberg favorite, in Delaware’s Republican Senate primary this month.   

Bloomberg first traveled to Rhode Island, to promote former Republican Sen. Lincoln Chafee‘s independent campaign for governor. He followed up with a fundraiser at his New York home for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), who is running against tea party Republican Sharron Angle. Bloomberg also plans to fly to California soon to campaign for gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman, a Republican.  (emphasis mine)  

Bloomberg, a Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent, has more plans to support moderates who fit his model. He’s expected to back Rep. Mark Steven Kirk (R-Ill.), chasing an open Senate seat in Illinois, as well as Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), who faces a challenge from tea-party-supported candidate Ken Buck.   

In Rhode Island, Bloomberg’s visit was a boost for Chafee, once among the Senate’s vanishing breed of liberal-leaning Republicans. Bloomberg “provided some real credibility for us,” said Chafee’s spokesman, Michael Trainor.   

“With the polarization of the two parties,” Trainor said, “independent candidates provide a safe harbor for a lot of voters who are troubled by the extreme direction either party has taken.”   

Harry Reid, a moderate? Really? You have got to be kidding me.  

So serious are these centrists who feel that Middle America is not being represented, there’s even a new advocacy group being created to represent them.  It’s goals:   

In Washington, a nonprofit group called No Labels is forming with the goal of bringing Republicans and Democrats together; echoing tea party rhetoric, it terms itself a “citizens movement” and decries “the tyranny of hyperpartisanship.”   

The No Labels effort, expected to launch later this year, is backed by Republicans such as McKinnon, the former Bush advisor, and Nancy Jacobson, a powerful Democratic fundraiser married to pollster Mark Penn.   

Ironically, it wasn’t that long ago that many moderate Republicans were whining and fretting about the TEA Party movement trying to create some third party, debilitating the Republican party in the process.  The formation of this new moderate advocacy group now begs the question, would moderates actually be thinking of doing this themselves?   I am RINO/DINO, hear me roar!  

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Posted in: Politics