Bloomberg Inches Ever Closer

Builds Buzz the Old-Fashioned Way

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Michael Bloomberg made a big splash yesterday when he undeclared himself as a Republican.

In a statement, Bloomberg said: "I believe this brings my affiliation into alignment with how I have led and will continue to lead my city. Any successful elected executive knows that real results are more important than partisan battles, and that good ideas should take precedence over rigid adherence to any particular political ideology."

The man has a point, I guess. And while we can all debate what a Bloomberg run would actually mean -- there's no way he could win, but he could bleed votes from one of the parties (likely Democrats) and have an impact on New York's electoral votes -- there are two things I'd like to point out.

1. Perhaps it's a minor quibble, but there should be some sort of penalty -- let's call it the Bloomberg Rule -- for the sort of bald-faced lying that politicians engage in when they repeatedly claim not to be running for an office when, in fact, they are. Bloomberg's certainly not the first to do it, but it still rankles. But from a strict marketer-consumer perspective, why should consumers believe anything else he says if he proves himself a liar by throwing his hat in the ring.

2. You'll notice the easily excitable Web 2.0 crowd isn't making much noise on this one. Hmmmm, wonder why. Perhaps it's because Bloomberg has made himself a major player in this race without setting up a MySpace account or fooling around with YouTube videos. As John Edwards is doing in Iowa, Bloomberg is making the rounds, pressing the flesh and giving speech after speech. But Bloomberg's no fool and when he does declare, he'll probably get involved in the space. But it's a reminder that Web 2.0 isn't going to put anyone on the map or win any elections. Getting involved there is simply a way of covering bases.