Why Obama Needs Mike Bloomberg

Wednesday, 15 Sep 2010 10:20 AM

By Jon Friedman

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Sooner or later, President Obama is going to crank up his re-election campaign in earnest.

So far, I get the feeling that his presidency has been surprisingly tentative, bordering on timid. The team he has assembled was brilliant at getting him elected in 2008. But that was an eternity ago by now.

The incumbent will need to do something remarkable to win back his quizzical supporters and persuade the undecided voters that he is: a. on their side; b. not overwhelmed by the weight of the White House; and c. capable of generating some reassuring, positive news.

The answer is simple, Mr. President: Bring Mayor Mike Bloomberg to Washington — in any capacity he chooses. That's right, any job except for yours. Veep? Done. Secretary of the treasury? No problem. Manager of the Washington Nationals? Just sign here.

Obama needs Bloomberg more than Bloomberg needs him. Bloomberg has done practically the unthinkable — lead New York to a stronger place in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. My city is thriving. It is safe. It is solvent. It is (ugh) attracting tourists in droves, who want to soak in the glitz and glamour of the Big Apple.

It's because of Bloomberg's steady leadership. He understands that the mosque furor will eventually go away — and he will continue to focus on what really matters, the safety and viability of the city.

Personally, I hope Bloomberg stays in the five boroughs and completes his third term. We need him in charge. But he may not be able to resist the allure and the challenge of saving the Obama presidency — and the nation as a whole.

I worked for Bloomberg's company as a journalist for six years. He recognizes ways to solve problems. He could do the same in Washington with the troublesome and nettlesome economy. Mr. President, go for it.

Jon Friedman writes the Media Web column for MarketWatch.com. Click here to read his latest column.


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