Report: Bloomberg considering presidential run

Ron Kampeas

Former Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg speaking on February 10, 2015, in New York City (Monica Schipper/Getty Images)

Former Mayor of New York City Michael Bloomberg speaking on February 10, 2015, in New York City (Monica Schipper/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON (JTA) — Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is reportedly exploring a presidential run.

The New York Times on Saturday anonymously quoted aides and associates of Bloomberg, a media magnate and three-term mayor of New York, as saying that he saw an opening in case Donald Trump, a real estate billionaire, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I –Vt., respectively won the Republican and Democratic nominations.

Bloomberg, 73, was mayor of New York from 2002-2013. He was a Democrat until his first run, in 2001, when, unable to secure the Democratic nomination, he switched parties to republican. He became an Independent in 2007.

He previously considered presidential runs, but had concluded that an Independent’s chances are near zero. Earlier this month, it was revealed that he commissioned a poll to test how he would fare in a presidential run.

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Now, however, according to the Times, he feels that the prospect of Trump, a populist whose campaign has been fueled to a great degree by anti-immigrant rhetoric, facing off against Sanders, a social Democrat who like Trump rails against the political establishment, could change that calculus.

According to the article, Bloomberg would consider spending up to $1 billion of his own money on a run. He is much less likely to enter the race if Hillary Rodham Clinton, the former secretary of state who is the frontrunner among Democrats, emerges as the candidate.

Clinton still prevails in national polls, but Sanders has begun to surpass her in polling in the first two states in early voting, Iowa and New Hampshire.

Bloomberg, who, like Sanders, is Jewish, He has maintained close ties to Israel, making a last minute visit to the country during its 2014 war with Hamas in the Gaza Strip to show that travel was safe in the face of a brief Federal Aviation Authority ban.

He won the 2014 $1 million Genesis Generation Challenge, a prize awarded for “engagement and dedication to the Jewish community and/or the State of Israel.” His charity, Bloomberg Philanthropies, has provided $1.5 million to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in urban innovation grants.

He made his money, now valued around $40 billion, from the media and financial data company he founded, Bloomberg L.P.

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