Former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg preemptively dropped out of the race for president on Monday before ever officially opting in. Rumors of a third party run by the billionaire had been around for months, ever since the race appeared to go haywire—on both sides—and, if they ever materialized, had the potential to completely upend a contest that has already been a wee bit turbulent so far. If you were wondering what a potential Bloomberg campaign might have looked like however, fear not, the New York Times got hold of a rough cut of a Bloomberg for president ad (above) that hinted at the themes and tone the campaign appeared to be looking to hit.
Much of the minute-plus long ad is a pretty straightforward bio aimed at introducing him, presumably, to all those hundreds of millions of people who don’t live in New York—or strap on a Bloomberg terminal everyday. After a brief introduction of his business success, three terms as mayor, and his philanthropic efforts, the ad looks to start the process of positioning Bloomberg as a sane option for the independently minded tired of gridlock. “No nonsense, non-ideological, centrist, results oriented…” the narrator describes candidate Bloomberg. “He won’t take a dime in political contributions. Never has. Because he finances his own campaigns, he will be totally independent to take on the special interests and push both parties to get things done.”
Here’s more on the preparations Bloomberg made for a potential run from the Times:
The decision by Mr. Bloomberg, the former New York mayor who served three terms, ends months of intensive preparation for a candidacy. Convinced that a restive electorate was crying out for nonpartisan, technocratic government, he instructed his closest aides to set up the machinery for a long-shot billion-dollar campaign that would have subjected his image to a scorching political test. They covertly assembled network of several dozen strategists and staff members, conducted polling in 22 states, drafted a website, produced television ads and set up campaign offices in two states — Texas and North Carolina — where the process of gathering petitions to put Mr. Bloomberg’s name on the ballot would have begun in days. Mr. Bloomberg held extensive talks with Michael G. Mullen, the retired admiral and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, about forming an independent ticket. Lawyers for Mr. Bloomberg had completed the process of vetting Mr. Mullen, and all that remained was for Mr. Bloomberg to ask formally that Mr. Mullen serve as his running mate.