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Bloomberg Asked Clinton to Consider Succeeding Him as Mayor

The New York Times – by Michael Barbaro

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg has long struggled to imagine a successor with the combination of star power, experience and grit to fill his shoes.

Michael R. Bloomberg is said to have viewed Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as a perfect fit for the mayor’s job.

Hillary Rodham Clinton, the retiring secretary of state, told Mayor Bloomberg she was not interested in running for the office.

But not long ago, he was struck by an inspiration:Hillary Rodham Clinton, the retiring secretary of state.

In a phone call confirmed by three people, Mr. Bloomberg encouraged Mrs. Clinton to consider entering the 2013 mayor’s race, trading international diplomacy for municipal management on the grandest scale. She would, he suggested, be a perfect fit.

Much about the call, which occurred some months ago, remains shrouded in mystery. But Mr. Bloomberg’s overture to the former first lady highlights the level of his anxiety about the current crop of candidates, his eagerness to recruit a replacement who can rival his stature and his determination to become a kingmaker in the political arena he will soon exit.

In Mrs. Clinton, it seems, a mayor known for his sometimes unsparing critiques of those in public life sees a globe-trotting problem solver like himself.

During their conversation, Mrs. Clinton left little room for doubt: she was not interested in seeking the mayoralty, people briefed on the call said.

Even so, Mr. Bloomberg’s reaching out to her is rich with political intrigue. He has privately signaled support for the presumptive candidacy of Christine C. Quinn, the City Council speaker, who cleared a path for his third term by backing a change to the city’s term-limit law. The mayor’s political apparatus has begun to coalesce around Ms. Quinn, and she promotes herself as a leader who ran the city alongside Mr. Bloomberg.

In many corners of the city’s political world, Mr. Bloomberg’s eventual endorsement of Ms. Quinn has been considered a foregone conclusion, barring the entry of a big-name candidate into the field. But the mayor’s conversation with Mrs. Clinton, even after he had begun to telegraph his allegiance to Ms. Quinn, suggests that, to a degree previously unknown, his thinking has been unsettled.

“He is looking for somebody he can feel comfortable handing the reins over to,” said Hank Sheinkopf, a New York City political operative who worked on Mr. Bloomberg’s last campaign.

Spokesmen for both Mr. Bloomberg and Mrs. Clinton declined to comment, saying that, as a rule, they do not discuss private conservations. Told about the call on Monday, Ms. Quinn said, “Really?” as an elevator began to close, then added, “I don’t know anything about that.” The doors then snapped shut.

The people familiar with Mr. Bloomberg’s conversation with Mrs. Clinton characterized it as a casual but earnest discussion that touched on the futures of them both.

Mr. Bloomberg maintains close and warm relations with Mrs. Clinton, whose ascent within the New York political scene, in the early 2000s, closely tracked his own: Her tenure as a United States senator overlapped with Mr. Bloomberg’s mayoralty for seven years, a period when they spoke frequently about state and federal policy and finances.

Those familiar with their exchange over the mayor’s race say Mr. Bloomberg holds Mrs. Clinton in extremely high regard, admiring her willingness to devote four grinding years to working for a former rival, President Obama, and her effectiveness as a diplomat. (In 2008, he invited the Clintons to drop the crystal-studded ball in Times Squareon New Year’s Eve, standing beside them on stage.)

He also relishes the chance to influence the course of future campaigns, in New York and beyond, a goal he has started to institutionalize recently with the formation of his own “super PAC.”

Despite his stated allergy to decision-making by poll, Mr. Bloomberg is well aware of Mrs. Clinton’s standing as a singularly popular Democrat who would upend the mayoral campaign.

Mrs. Clinton is not a resident of New York City, a requirement for incoming mayors. But she has overcome such hurdles in the past. To establish New York state residency for her 2000 run for Senate, she and her husband bought a home in Chappaqua, N.Y.

Democratic operatives and fund-raisers said the prospect of Mrs. Clinton’s seeking citywide office struck them as improbable, whether or not she ever mounts a second run for the White House.

As much as anything, they said, Mr. Bloomberg’s encouragement seemed to reflect his lofty view of the office — and himself.

“If in fact he did say that to Hillary Clinton, it’s only because he holds the position and therefore regards it as a step up from being president,” said Robert Zimmerman, a Democratic National Committee member from New York and a longtime fund-raiser for the party.

The city’s business community, of which Mr. Bloomberg is a leading member, has long fretted that after his 12-year mayoralty concludes, leadership of the city is likely to return to an elected official with little or no boardroom experience. Mrs. Clinton hardly fits the description of corporate chief executive — though she briefly served on the board of Wal-Mart Stores — but she has managed a large government bureaucracy as secretary of state, overseeing tens of thousands of employees in scores of countries.

In contemplating Mrs. Clinton’s future, Mr. Bloomberg was indirectly dealing with a challenge that has endlessly fascinated and bedeviled him: how to conduct a vibrant post-government life.

Mr. Bloomberg postponed his own version of that discussion three years ago by seeking a third term. Now he is becoming steeped in it, telling friends and colleagues that he is not entirely sure how he will spend his time after Dec. 31, 2013, when he must step down.

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11 Responses to Bloomberg Asked Clinton to Consider Succeeding Him as Mayor

  1. robertsgt40 says:

    Yup. It would take a pretty good sized turd to fill Bloomberg’s shoes. Hillary would be an easy fit.

  2. NC says:

    1. Being mayor would be a step down for Hillary.
    2. SHE’S NOT EVEN FROM NEW YORK!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HELLO!!!!

    What does she know about the people in that city? She knew nothing about New Yorkers when she was senator and even then she wasn’t from New York. If I were a New Yorker again, I would at least want someone who was born and raised in MY city to represent MY city, let alone my state. WTF!! Why doesn’t she go and be mayor of her home state and stay the hell out of NEW YORK!! No one wants her!!!

  3. frphx says:

    He wants to be V. P.

  4. diggerdan says:

    You know NC, I wish that people would all tell these states to go F them selves. Ya know this thing they got called united states is a bunch of BS. Just look at – kind of like this state doesn`t like that state, Legal in this state but not that state kind of mentality. We should eliminate all state borders, and re-enforce the countries borders – if we all were serious – and say screw the state laws and quit being set up by all these hoaky little minded state govenors and state politicions. If we all are a country united then we do not have to have a different law for every different state………… I guess what I`m sayin` – is live in Wi. and it is ok, go to Minn. and try to do something there and you go to jail for something that is totally legal here in Wi. We should all be protecting our Mexican and Canadian boarders etc. and screw these individual state borders and state politicions. Bottom line is – what I think anyway is – If you are from this country here, then why do we all have to put up with juvenial lawmakers and govenors like the clintons, the walkers, etc. ya know – like here in Wi., or any other piss ant govenor or lawmaker. This might be another stupid comment by me, but I am damn sick and tired of going to another state and not even knowing that the laws are different. Ya know like the marijuana law is different fron state to state as a example that just comes to mind as a easy example, if ya kow what I mean.———- P.S. Sorry, I forgot to hit the reply button NC. Anyway, I`m sure you guys out there know what I mean by my comment there, at least I hope anyway.

    • RobW says:

      Hi diggerdan,
      Have to disagree. I think even the states are too big for fair guvmint, and communities should be self regulating. I live in WI, too, and the state is basically controlled by interests east of Madison, and south of Green Bay. Total control by Washington is the wet dream of the oppressors. There was once a movement for the UP and northern WI to form a state. Forget the year, it was back in the 1800′s, but the name proposed was “Superior”.
      Be well, digger, Rob

      • diggerdan says:

        Hi ya RobW. Where do you live in Wi. I`m from the Eau Claire/Chippewa Falls area – yep I will drink a Leinies beer once in a while HEHE. …. Anyway I just think that there are too many different laws from state to state ya know – ya cannot even go travel from one state without being afraid of being pulled over or arrested for something. And because of that attitude that I got Washington and state laws can just go stick a broom handle up their back side and stay out of everybodies business. Like I have always have said – ” until the laws are equaly and fairly applied to everybody there will be no law ” in other words, when the so called law is not equally and fairly applied to everyone then there is no law and that is called anarchy, if I`m not mistaken, ya know. P.S. RobW. It is good to know that there are others from Wi. here! I turned on a few others – to the Trenches – and they all did the same and they all love this site.

        • RobW says:

          digger,
          I’m not far from you, up in Burnett county. You’re right about any laws being applied equally and fairly. Long ago, I said I’d prefer living in an anarchy, before realizing that’s what we live in. I have faith people can be fair and civil, when we look one another in the eyes. Its the culture that makes people arrogant, greedy, and crazy; IMHO. I’ve had to downgrade from Leinies to Boxer, and cut back on other things. Scott Walker sent me a card; “spend more , the state needs your tax dollars”, but had to send back my regrets.
          Enough, good hearing from you, Rob

          • diggerdan says:

            Perhaps we can keep in touch and maybe even hook up some time , that would be cool maybe Rob……….. Guarentee that Scotty boy Walker wouldn`t want my tax dollars. Good hearing from ya too Rob. Hopefully we can hook up some day, eh. We keep the faith huh. I`m doing doing shots of the outlaw Jesse James american outlaw bourbon – and here`s one for when we can maybe hook up eh Rob., cool………………..P.S. Rob we can hook up on the PUB sometime maybe ya know. I know Burnett co. is not to far from me here, but I will have to check out where it is – brain dead sometimes I am ya know, hehe. Anyway here`s another one to ya and keep the faith budy, ok. digger.

      • diggerdan says:

        Oh Yea, by the way RobW. I guess that is what I meant by what you said about ” the comunities should be self regulating “. That is more what I was trying to say. Keep the faith and be well too there Rob, were all cool! digger.

  5. # 1 NWO Hatr says:

    “Michael R. Bloomberg is said to have viewed Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton as a perfect fit for the mayor’s job.”

    I totally disagree.

    The ONLY thing this b#tch would be a perfect fit for is a shoebox.

    You know, ashes to ashes, dust to dust, and all that.

    A Gucci shoebox would be a nice touch.

  6. Howard T. Lewis III says:

    Government of the punks, by the punks, and for the punks, whose stolen powers are derived from the sloth of the governed.

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