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Voters a step ahead of Bloomberg

New York's mayor wants a bipartisan president, but voters are already pushing in this direction.

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In presidential election politics, today is Michael Bloomberg's day to shine. The New York mayor is meeting with former luminaries in both major parties to push the candidates in a bipartisan, centrist direction – or else he might run as an independent. The candidates, however, probably don't need his push.

Why? Because voters are already exerting pressure. In Iowa last week, caucusgoers handed victories to two candidates who were seen as politicians who can bridge America's red-blue divide. New Hampshire, which votes Tuesday, seems similarly interested in such a message.

Democratic caucus-winner Barack Obama has staked his entire campaign on a promise to change Washington, a strategy he calls "the politics of hope." Republican caucus-winner Mike Huckabee, a social conservative and former Baptist minister with a populist twist, is preaching "vertical politics" that lift up all of America. (This, as opposed to "horizontal politics" where Democrats and Republicans scream at each other.)

Mr. Huckabee and Mr. Obama struck a chord with Iowa voters concerned that both parties have long vied for power in a perpetual campaign rather than govern through compromise. They see this long American "war of the roses" as dragging down the country. New Hampshire voters may send a similar signal. There, Obama has caught up to Hillary Clinton in polls, and Republican Sen. John McCain has gained momentum. Senator McCain has a record of working across the aisles (so does Sen. Clinton, and yet she's still seen as a polarizing figure).


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