Saturday, January 23, 2016

Spoiler Alert and Snowmageddon Update

Spoiler Alert: Former New York City mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg is considering an independent run for the presidency.

Can he win? If not, who might benefit from his third party candidacy?

The New York Times says Mayor Mike might jump into the race if Donald Trump or Ted Cruz captured the Republican Party nomination and if Bernie Sanders secured the Democratic nod. Or if he believes Hillary Clinton is too damaged to win the general election after winning her party’s nomination.

Doubtful Bloomberg could win outright. His pro-choice and anti-gun stances make him an unlikely choice in most southern and western states that generally vote Republican. He would have to lock up all the true blue states Democrats usually secure and some swing states, such as Ohio and Florida. That would be hard even against a weakened Hillary. Splitting the vote with Hillary would shift those states into the GOP column.

Best case prospectus is that none of the three major candidates would garner the required 270 Electoral College votes to be named president, thus throwing the decision into the House of Representatives where each state delegation gets to cast one vote. Such an event would be more traumatic than the 2000 election decided by the Supreme Court. 

If enough state delegations controlled by Republicans are turned off by the prospect of a Trump or Cruz presidency, Bloomberg just might squeeze into the White House, but that’s a real far-fetched scenario. What probably would happen is that Republicans would believe they wouldn’t be able to control Bloomberg so they’d take their chances with Trump or Cruz.

It must be nice to have a billion dollars available for an independent run to save the country from itself. If Bloomberg were running as the standard bearer of either the Democratic or Republican party I would seriously consider voting for him. But as an independent, he’d be a spoiler, not just in the election but for the country he so very much wants to save.  

Snowmageddon Update: During Saturday’s snowstorm I asked Gilda if she were pregnant. She laughed, knowing I was referring to her puttering around the house, cleaning the front of our stand-alone freezer, reorganizing the pantry, and in general engaging in nesting activities commonly associated with child-bearing time.

Outside our side yard windows where I have hung bird feeders, stocked Friday with extra seed, there was a frenzy of activity. Blazingly red cardinals, bright blue jays, red bellied and downy woodpeckers, along with female cardinals and lots of chickadees and sparrows—nearly 50 in all—competed for access. Surprisingly, few squirrels roamed the top of the snow looking for spilled seed. 

One of our patio tables had a mound of snow close to a foot high. The other, more exposed to the wind, was covered by less than an inch. 

I ventured into the mud room. Gilda had thrown out nearly half of the literature (my biased word for the assortment of paper reminders and magnetized business cards) that has obscured the front of the freezer for decades, literally decades. She was obsessed with cleaning. I’m a hoarder. We engaged in civil, comical discussion. Why, she wanted to know, would I keep outdated MetroNorth train schedules when it’s easier to look up online current timetables? Why? Because I’m a hoarder. 

Don’t get the impression I just sat around doing nothing. I did two loads of laundry. 

During a lull in the blizzard around 3 pm I spent 45 minutes clearing the driveway and front walkway. Nine inches of soft powder, good for snowblowing, bad for snowball making, had fallen. Truth be told, the real reasons I went outdoors was to see if The Times had been delivered (it had) and to replenish the bird feeders.  

No sooner did I sit down to input my toil in this blog but Gilda informed me the buzzer had sounded—it was time to take my clothing out of the dryer. I tell you, there’s no end to a man’s work around the house.

In case you’re wondering, the snow blocked out any energy production from our solar panels.