Bloomberg makes his move

New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, a potential independent candidate for president, has scheduled a meeting next week with a dozen leading Democrats and Republicans, who will join him in challenging the major-party contenders to spell out their plans for forming a “government of national unity” to end the gridlock in Washington.

Those who will be at the Jan. 7 session at the University of Oklahoma say that if the likely nominees of the two parties do not pledge to “go beyond tokenism” in building an administration that seeks national consensus, they will be prepared to back Bloomberg or someone else in a third-party campaign for president.

Big names from both parties are endorsing. I like the idea. It’ll force the Democrats and Republicans to actually talk about issues rather than have the usual sorry, mud-slinging, poll-driven spectacle that passes for political campaigning in this country.

Bloomberg has said if he runs as an independent that he will spend one billion of his own money. That means he can outspend Republicans and Democrats put together. So their choice is simple. Discuss the issues or face their worst nightmare, a centrist candidate with enormously deep pockets.