At the opening gala of the Tribeca Film Festival last night, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Vice President Al Gore continued to publicly flirt with the presidential race, with Bloomberg joking, ostensibly about Gore, "Don't you just hate those rumors about running for president?"
But in an interview yesterday, one of the mayor's deputies and chief advisers suggested that, jokes aside, Bloomberg has shut the door on a White House run. Bloomberg was elected mayor in 2001, and his centrist record let him cruise to re-election in 2005.
The mayor's personal fortune--estimated by Forbes at $5 billion, which ranks him as the 40th-richest American--has spurred speculation that he could make a late entry into the 2008 presidential race and finance the campaign himself. But Bloomberg told reporters this morning that he does not "anticipate being a candidate at this or any other time."
Deputy Mayor Dan Doctoroff was even more unequivocal. When asked yesterday evening by U.S. News about Bloomberg's presidential prospects, Doctoroff praised the mayor's independence and pragmatism.
"I think he'd be terrific, but he's not going to run," he said firmly, avoiding the teases fellow Deputy Mayor Kevin Sheekey has used to stir rumors in recent months.