Why Michael Bloomberg wanted Hillary Clinton to run for mayor of New York

Bloomberg may view his job as a "step up from being president"

Hillary Clinton has served as first lady, senator, and secretary of state. Would she really want to be mayor of New York City?
(Image credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Hillary Clinton's post-State Department future has long been the subject of intense speculation. She would likely be the frontrunner in the 2016 presidential race (even though she has spent years adamantly denying any interest in another White House run), boasting a resume — secretary of state, senator, first lady — that would make her one of the most qualified candidates in modern presidential history. Others have suggested that Clinton might lead the World Bank or join the Supreme Court. But Michael Bloomberg apparently has a better idea: She should succeed him as the mayor of New York City. And Hizzonah actually went so far as to urge Clinton to run, says Michael Barbaro at The New York Times:

In a phone call confirmed by three people, Mr. Bloomberg encouraged Mrs. Clinton to consider entering the 2013 mayor’s race, trading international diplomacy for municipal management on the grandest scale. She would, he suggested, be a perfect fit.

Much about the call, which occurred some months ago, remains shrouded in mystery. But Mr. Bloomberg’s overture to the former first lady highlights the level of his anxiety about the current crop of candidates, his eagerness to recruit a replacement who can rival his stature and his determination to become a kingmaker in the political arena he will soon exit.

Rival his stature! Sure, Bloomberg is an important figure in American politics, but Clinton is a global icon and one of the most powerful women on the planet. And while running New York involves much more than making sure the garbage is picked up on time, it's definitely a step down from helping negotiate a truce between Hamas and Israel or becoming the first high-ranking American official to meet Aung San Suu Kyi. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Clinton reportedly made it crystal clear that she was not interested.

Indeed, the offer may say a lot about how Bloomberg feels about his spot in the political firmament. "If in fact he did say that to Hillary Clinton, it’s only because he holds the position and therefore regards it as a step up from being president," Robert Zimmerman, a Democratic National Committee member from New York, told the Times. In New York, that's what they call chutzpah.

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