More speculation on Bloomberg

The current crowd of those speculating the presidential aspirations of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg grew today, as the Wall Street Journal delves deep and offers scenarios that could help and hurt Bloomberg if he chooses to enter the 2008 race:

Should he run, Mr. Bloomberg's fiscal-conservative, social-moderate credentials could undermine the candidacy of Rudy Giuliani, the current front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination. Both play up moderate stands on abortion, gay rights and gun control. Mr. Bloomberg also could draw votes from a Democrat seen as too left of the mainstream on taxes and budget control, such as former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards. He might leach support from Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, whose appeal relies partly on talk of ending partisan squabbling.

An independent candidacy faces huge roadblocks, though. Each state has its own set of complex rules on who can be on a ballot. Theresa Amato, who managed Ralph Nader's 2000 and 2004 bids, says he eventually got on 34 state ballots in 2004 but had to go to court in a dozen of those. And the two major parties have grown increasingly aggressive about keeping third-party and independent candidates off the ballot.

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