NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg has changed his party registration from Republican to Independent:
Bloomberg plunged the country's political landscape further into chaos on Tuesday evening when he released a statement saying he was quitting the Republican Party.
"I have filed papers with the New York City Board of Elections to change my status as a voter and register as unaffiliated with any political party. Although my plans for the future haven�t changed, I believe this brings my affiliation into alignment with how I have led and will continue to lead our City," Bloomberg said.
Bloomberg, who joined the Republican Party in 2001 after spending his life as a registered Democrat, went on to discuss his progress in leading New York City.
I wrote about Bloomberg's politics here the other day. Suffice it to say that on the face of it -- and absent any further knowledge about how he would run -- you have to guess that he would tend to take more votes from the Democratic nominee than from the Republican. If he actually announces, and as he clarifies his views, we'll learn more.
I had the opportunity to join Rob at this session with NRCC Chair Tom Cole yesterday, and hope to write up my notes today. Throughout the session, Cole kept stressing that the 2008 environment will require candidates to be 'nimble,' since it will be unpredictable. He alluded multiple times to the possibility of a major independent bid. If Bloomberg does run and spend a lot of money, things will be unpredictable, indeed.
Hat Tip: Glenn
Update: The Politico covers the story as well. Ben Smith's piece makes pretty clear why Republicans will welcome him into the race:
He has allied himself with centrists such as California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Connecticut Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman and become a national spokesman on issues from gun control to the environment...
His political and personal views are more in line with moderate Democratic Party politics: His first major act as mayor was a large property tax increase, his most controversial was a citywide ban on smoking, and the signature accomplishment of his first term was an education reform that mixed centralized control with increased spending.
Vocally opposed to remarriage for himself, he favors the right to same-sex marriage and has confessed not only to smoking marijuana but to enjoying it.
Call me crazy, but who do you think he will appeal to more?
Update II: I have to disagree with CA Yankee on this -- at least if he means that this is good for Hillary. I'm not sure if he's being sarcastic or not, though.
Update II: Finding more info, including -- surprise! -- Bloomberg's 'official site' (not his campaign site, mind you!). The issues page addresses education, public health, job creation, fiscal responsibility, illegal guns, affordable housing, poverty reduction, environment and sustainability, and arts and culture.