Common Sense: Money, the Media and Public Office

Have you heard of Michael Bloomberg?

Don't feel ashamed. Most people haven't. Even in the city he hopes to someday run.

Mr. Bloomberg is running for mayor of New York City. But here's the problem. He's never held elective office.

I don't have a problem with that. But a lot of people do. And here's why I suspect they do. Michael Bloomberg is obscenely rich. He’s a billionaire many times over. A man who parlayed financial data into a Wall Street powerhouse that now feeds Wall Street powerhouses and beams financial info into lots of regular houses through his Bloomberg network and scores of print publications.

But I digress.

Mike now wants to be mayor of New York City. Why, I have no idea. Being mayor means a lot more headaches for a lot less pay.

But many of my colleagues in the press have a problem with Mike wanting to be mayor. They say he's buying his way into the job. But you know what I say? Mike, have at it. Spend all you want. After all, it's not my dough, it's yours.

Now I know what some of you are going to say. It's unfair because old Mike can literally buy his way into office. I say, let him try.

Outside of Wall Streeter-turned-New Jersey Senator Jon Corzine, most rich folks never get there. Remember Ross Perot, Michael Huffington and Steve Forbes? Between just those three, better than $200 million wasted.

Voters make the call, not the media. And who's the media to decide that you have to be in office to run for office? I think it shrinks the pool and it shrinks the possibilities.

Americans aren't stupid. If they don't like the rich guy, they won't vote for the rich guy. No matter how much he spends. I'd much sooner trust voters to decide his fate, when all the spending is done, than the media, before it's even begun.

So, let the rich guy fall on his own sword. It's his sword; he paid for it.

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