WEINBERG: Michael Bloomberg And John Bolton — Fellow Passengers On Ill-Fated Journey

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Mark Weinberg Contributor
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Teasing is something many associate with mean kids and promiscuous women.

These days, however, the nation’s two most prominent teases are neither. Both are adult males. Specifically, Michael Bloomberg and John Bolton. They have arrogantly dangled tantalizing possibilities before the American people – one as a potential candidate for president, the other as someone who has information that could be determinative in whether the president should be impeached and removed from office.

Shame on them both. Toying with the desires and needs of the American people is self-indulgent and cowardly.

Let’s start with Bloomberg. Word that he is seriously considering a run for the presidency has caused shockwaves in the political world. That’s not surprising.

Whether at this advanced stage in the process Bloomberg can triumph over men and women who have spent months (maybe even years) building formidable organizations and have campaigned vigorously in early states is very much an open question. But let’s remember that late as it may seem, not one hand has yet been raised at a caucus, nor has one ballot been cast.

If one wonders whether a potential Bloomberg candidacy would be credible, one need only look to Donald Trump’s recent comments. By calling Bloomberg a “nothing” (I should be such a nothing!) and mocking his physical stature with the moniker “Little Michael,” Trump has made it clear he is afraid of Bloomberg. And with good reason. Bloomberg is that rare politician whose appeal crosses party lines, and who moves people on all ends of the political spectrum to say “I’m in.”

Bloomberg is not perfect, of course, and there are legitimate criticisms of aspects of his tenure as Gotham’s Mayor, which should be discussed if he seeks the presidency.

But the bigger picture is whether he would be a better president than either Donald Trump or any of the Democrats or Republicans who seek to replace him.

If Bloomberg manages to secure the Democratic nomination, imagine for a moment a Trump-Bloomberg debate. No doubt it will be an enlightening, exciting, and extraordinarily entertaining show. Bloomberg will likely ask us to think about who we most hope will sit behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office January 20, 2021 – who has the courage, experience, and maturity to work with Congress to find common ground on solving our problems? Who will be respected and welcomed by friendly, and feared by adversarial, world leaders? Who will be an outspoken advocate for America’s defining principles of human rights and freedom? Whose behavior will set an example for our children?

Chances are he would also say that a billionaire businessman from New York serving as president is not inherently a bad idea, as long as it’s the right one!

Important points, but they won’t matter if Bloomberg does not get in the race.

In the same vein, Bolton, who has devoted his career to a fearless dedication to the principles in which he believes, and has served with great distinction in several senior government positions, now hides behind his lawyers in refusing to honor a lawful request from Congress to testify about whether the president may have violated the law. As Bolton is well aware, there is no more consequential matter for Congress to consider. It’s bad enough that he won’t tell the elected representatives of the people what he knows, he has taken the extraordinary step of saying he has information which could be critical to the investigation, but won’t share unless…

Why? Because Bolton wants it both ways. He seeks to appear as compliant with the law, but also loyal to the executive branch which he reveres. Bolton knows that punting the issue to the courts will delay things for months, probably making his testimony obsolete. He would have us believe that he is perfectly willing to tell us what he knows, if only the judicial branch will allow him to do so. Bolton and his lawyers know he does not need a court’s permission to testify, which is why nobody’s buying his ridiculous and disingenuous “don’t blame me” stance.

If Bolton has relevant information to share, he has an obligation to do so. Otherwise, he is nothing more than a co-conspirator in whatever the Trump White House is doing.

Similarities between Bloomberg and Bolton are usually hard to find. But sadly enough, both now seem to be passengers on the SS Cowardice. Bloomberg should run and Bolton should testify.

Michael and John sitting in a tree, T-E-A-S-I-N-G, is hardly a position in which either man should be.

Man up, gentlemen. Put the country first.

Mark Weinberg served as White House assistant press secretary from 1981-89 and was promoted to the rank of special assistant to the president in 1988. He served as director of public affairs in former President Reagan’s office in 1989 and 1990. He is the author of “Movie Nights with the Reagans” (Simon & Schuster).

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.