Election season is starting to heat up, and that means it is time for the New York Times to report that billionaire Michael Bloomberg senses an opening in the field and may be willing to spend his fortune on an Independent run for president.
This year's story, "Bloomberg, Sensing an Opening, Revisits a Potential White House Run" came over the weekend. It notes that Bloomberg friends and allies were told that he is willing to spend $1 billion on a campaign and that his aides have already sketched out a campaign plan for getting him onto the ballot. His interest had been piqued, according to the story, by the field of candidates, all of which he sees as flawed. Bloomberg did not comment on the story, and his allies spoke only on the condition of anonymity.
The story resembles a Times story written just over eight years ago, "Bloomberg Inches Closer To Campaign," which notes that he was "buoyed by the still unsettled field" in 2008 and that "his aides are aggressively laying the groundwork for him to run."
The story similarly states that Bloomberg "might invest as much as $1 billion of his own fortune on a presidential campaign." People close to Bloomberg also only spoke to the Times "on condition of anonymity" for that story as well.
That was followed with a piece the next day, "Timing, Not Cost, Is the Question for an '08 Bloomberg Run," detailing the logistics of how exactly Bloomberg would get on the ballot in all 50 states.
The stories continued in 2008 until Bloomberg penned his own op-ed in the Times on Feb. 28 stating that he would not be running for president.
His announcement on a decision this year could come on the same date. Bloomberg set a March deadline for making a decision on whether or not he will run, according to the Times.
The endorsement columns for a potential Bloomberg presidential run have come in consistently over the past eight years. The New York Daily News recommended that President Barack Obama drop Joe Biden as his running mate in 2012 to replace him with Bloomberg.
The 2016 iteration of Bloomberg speculation in the Times comes after four years of Bloomberg flatly denying presidential ambitions and also dismissing the possibility that a third party candidate could actually win.
"I am 100 percent convinced that you cannot in this country win an election unless you are the nominee of one of the two major parties," Bloomberg told New York Magazine in 2013 as he ruled out running for president in 2016. "The second thing I am convinced of is that I could not get through the primary process with either party."
He was asked again during a 2014 appearance on The Today Show whether he would be running. "No is the answer. Plain and simple," said Bloomberg.
None of this stopped the Times from starting it all again this October, when it reported that "Wall Street's drums are beating" for a Bloomberg run and that his anonymous friend says "its not a zero-chance thing," despite his many denials.
The Times has already followed up this weekend's Bloomberg piece with three more stories on his potential presidential bid.